Thursday, April 17, 2008

Earning the !

I attended the Fort Wayne AdFed lunch today, which featured a presentation by Clint! Runge of Archrival, a "youth branding agency" in Lincoln, Neb. Let's start with that exclamation point: yes, it's really there at the end of his first name. When I first saw it I thought it was some cheesy gimmick that he used as a substitute for doing anything worthy of an exclamation point.* However:

1. Turns out that it's the name his mother gave him (or at least that's the story he's telling, which makes it much more palatable than if were just a cheesy gimmick), AND

2. This guy definitely deserves an exclamation point or two

Why do I say that? Well, a few takeaways from his presentation which focused on marketing to millenials/gen Y:

- If you're a Gen Xer (like me, and Runge), you're A LOT different than a millenial. So while you might think you can predict what they'll like since you're fairly close in age, you can't. Don't try. Instead, TALK TO THEM. Listen to them. Find out what they like, and why. And then...

- Be authentic--and you can't fake authenticity. Milenials won't even glance at a marketing message that seems contrived. They're not immune to marketing, but it has to speak their language and respect their low tolerance for artifice.

- Increasingly for everyone, but certainly for millenials, the cell phone is the "first screen," much more important to them than a computer. Marketers should be thinking well beyond simple web pages to consider how their content will translate to a mobile world.

- It's no longer true that cool starts on the coasts and moves to the center. Because of technology, what's cool in New York and L.A. is cool in Fort Wayne and Lincoln, Neb. pretty much simultaneously.

- Millenials want to be part of something bigger than themselves, which helps explain their connection to causes like the environment and the Barack Obama campaign, as well as the growth of social networks

- Niche social networks are capturing more and more of millenials' attention. I was already convinced of that, but it's good to know that I'm not alone.

- Urban gaming is on the rise. And I wish I had thought of Pacmanhattan. So does Runge, but the difference between him and me is that...

- He did come up with National Collegiate Rock Paper Scissors Tournament, which I only wish I had come up with.

All in all, pretty exclamation point-worthy stuff, and a good use of an hour or so, even on a really busy day.

*This would be the typical Gen X skepticism/vitriol rearing its ugly head. Just so you know.

1 comment:

ScLoHo (Scott Howard) said...

An excellent review to an excellent presentation today.

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