Reaching Millennials With Mobile Media

As this very cool video from Nokia demonstrates, the so-called fourth screen ‘changes everything’ by bringing the big screen to your pocket. If you want impressive statistics on global market for mobile youth marketing, look no farther than “The Mobile Shift” a slide show by Graham Brown at A sample: “American mobile owning youth under 30 will number 100 million. The USA is the most valuable mobile youth market in the world currently producing 17% of the world’s total telecoms youth revenue, or $48 billion per year.”

However, understanding how to make mobile youth marketing acceptable to youth is harder. In focus group after focus group, Millennials tell us, often emphatically, they do not welcome commercial messages on their personal phone — especially if they have to pay data or text messaging charges to receive them. What’s a youth marketer to do?

For clues to making mobile marketing work, I turned to some youth bloggers.

1. Arielle Patrice Scott: 19-year old blogger, Arielle Patrice Scott, a student at Berkeley and entrepreneur, recommends meeting your target in person, then continue the conversation digitally.

You really only need two marketing methods to establish long-lasting relationships with Gen Y. The first is face-to-face communication and the second is social media.

It’s really simple.

You use face-to-face to introduce yourself. You use social media for building and maintaining our friendship.

Face-to-face marketing refers to any form of guerilla, event or physical interaction communication between you – the brand – and us. The key is you want to make a great first impression and ask for permission to get to know us better, almost as if you’re looking to go on a second date.

Social media is the most effective for keeping in touch and afterward, it’s the perfect medium recommend your products to us. We already know you and are looking forward to your messages at this point. We are ready to get to know you.

2. Josh Kowitt: Arielle’s insight no doubt accounts for the presence of campus ‘ambassadors’ for brands like Apple, Red Bull and more. Taking the brand to the target is also expensive and fraught with pitfalls, as Josh Kowitt, the 24-year old entrepreneur behind College Boxes, explains in his guest entry for the blog, ‘Big Brand on Campus’ . Just giving something away free at a fraternity party does not guarantee you will be noticed or loved. Josh suggests carefully selecting the venue to ensure students will be present who will value your effort and spread the word to others.

3. Benjamin Leis: Benjamin Leis is the Millennial blogger and entrepreneur behind Big Brand on Campus. He describes a campus appearance by Havaianas Sandals that made the transition to digital successfully, to his great surprise!

Upon learning about the Havaianas’ Color War Campus Tour I joined their Facebook page and posted a complimentary comment on the wall. A few days later I was thanked by the page administrator/brand ambassador for 1. becoming a fan of the page and 2. “participating in the community”.

I was shocked. I am a fan of over 15 business’ Facebook Pages and I have never once received a personal message from any of them. The representative then went one step further and asked me for my sandal size and mailing address. SHE WANTED TO SEND ME A FREE PAIR OF HAVAIANAS!! Now that is remarkable! I have told just about everyone I know about this. It is super low cost marketing. The cost of postage will probably rival that of the manufacturing cost of the sandals themselves. Divide that by the number of people I have told and you have an incredible word of mouth marketing metric.

Ironically this wouldn’t be remarkable if it weren’t for the status quo, so that is something marketers should be aware of as well.

4. Tyler Reed: Tyler Reed, 20 is the founder of Younique and Project Wolf. Tyler suggests that mobile advertising should be location-focused, even if it is not triggered by a location search, per se.

Why is location based advertising so special? Once again, it ties in with being able to target people who looking for specific information at or withing a specific location. Therefore if advertising is location relevant or specific, it has a greater chance of being more relevant to the person. Even if they are not performing a search, information that is location specific to the person’s current position can be just as relevant.

Next time: Effective mobile media campaigns.