What Generational Market Changes Tell Us About the Future of PR
Generational trends are bound to change, and quickly. They are constantly fluctuating and PR needs to follow. In the coming years, we are going to see new and surely innovative trends, but they don't have to be a surprise. Past trends are a great way to predict future ones.
From Baby Boomer to Generation X to Millennial, the generational marketing trends have been very different. Baby Boomers are more likely to care about brand loyalty and value traditional sales techniques whereas millennials would care more about friendly service and innovation. From company to company or item to item, the marketing techniques can be tailored to the target audience, but overall, the trends tend to follow the current generation.
The present trends revolve around social media, technology, and innovation. Every generation has tech lovers, so it is used to reach the most customers and bring something new to old ideas. Companies are using social media, email, and websites as their primary advertising and marketing location because it's what is hot today. What does that mean for the future?
Over the past twenty years, technology has really grown and it's not stopping. The change from magazine to Facebook and mailboxes to inboxes is only the start. It gives an insight into what the future of PR may look like. Social media presence and an exciting website are becoming more and more important for expanding companies. In addition to online presence, technology itself is always being reinvented and revamped. New technology means new products and new outlets for news.
A fair prediction for future PR is that it will be almost completely technology dependent, but there's more to it than that. Other noticeable generational market trends have to do with face to face interaction and loyalty. Customers have always cared about loyalty, but presently most of the focus is on the company to customer care. Millennials especially put a lot of value on being valued. They are a lot more likely to pay attention to companies that reward loyalty and are personal and friendly. For the future, this means we are likely to see more rewards programs and customer clubs.
So millennials, and many from other generations, are big on technology and loyalty, but how do you tailor to both at the same time. Social media advertising and online transactions can be very impersonal, but the trends show that higher percentages of customers would prefer personal and friendly marketing. The call of PR from this point forward is to perfectly combine the two.
Smartphone apps like Dunkin Donuts Mobile are one example of this and something we are sure to see more of in the future. The program rewards customers with points that add up to free beverages. The points come from making purchases and taking advantage of daily promotions. The technological platform tailors perfectly to the online world we live in, but the app is also personal and rewards a customer's loyalty and purchases. There is even an option to pay on the phone and pick up in the store with no need to wait in line or pay at a register, a perfect opportunity for someone with places to be.
The beauty of programs like this one is that it offers options for both the company and the customers. The customer can choose how to pay and how to order while gaining coupons and reward points. The company is given another, very effective outlet for advertising. For Dunkin Donuts, in particular, they are able to place advertisements in the app and send messages about promotions. Data shows that in the past month, things that have been on the menu for months but on the app for a week or so have gone way up in sales.
Every generation is different than the one before it. As a whole, each generation can be said to have different values and lifestyles so it's natural that marketing techniques would be different from generation to generation. PR pros have to be aware of their intended audience at all times because different things draw in different generations.