In its seventh consecutive year, our youth trends marketing conference Share.Like.Buy is set to bring together the best and brightest from across the marketing industry on October 18-19 in Washington, D.C. Both on-stage and among the audience, there will be brand stewards, agencies, researchers, analysts, authors, journalists, influencers and youth trend experts who are set to educate the market at large about what’s next when it comes to the enigmatic Millennial generation – and their successors, Generation Z.
The Millennial Marketing GuyTM, our own Jeff Fromm, will be interviewing youth trend expert and brand steward Harley Block on day two of the conference, focusing on “How to Create Awesomeness.” As Senior Vice President of Brand Partnerships at AwesomenessTV, an entertainment and media company built specifically for youth, Block knows what it takes to resonate with Gen Z. We spoke with him for a special sneak peak:
Q: Why is Gen Z such an impactful generation for AwesomenessTV?
A: To say that Gen Z is ‘impactful’ to our brand is an understatement. We were quite literally born to serve this audience in particular and only exist to serve their interest and affinities.
Q: What is the most powerful insight you’ve learned about Gen Z and their brand preferences?
A: One of the more interesting pieces of data we’ve found is that Gen Z actually doesn’t mind when a brand is communicating with them. While unsurprisingly they hate being interrupted, particularly on social, our data shows that they actually lean in on content that does what every piece of content we create should do – entertain. That may sound trivial and overly simplistic, but it’s also a powerful insight that allows us build upon that initial connection and provide more value down the purchase funnel for the consumer who is seeking that out as well as our brand partners.
Q: How have insights like the one above impacted your company’s marketing strategy?
A: We are a consumer brand above all else. Awesomeness today functions like a digital TV network, purpose built for Gen Z and everything we do to market ourselves is through that lens.
Q: What advice do you have for other brands in the media space that are aiming to connect with Gen Z?
A: Don’t overthink it. Sometimes the easiest answer is the simplest answer. Focus on creating quality entertainment that doesn’t interrupt and disrupt, but with the faces and subject matter they know and love.
The reality is – generally speaking, Gen Z is an incredibly difficult demo to target. They aren’t watching linear TV and skim right by your sponsored posts in their IG feeds. They are a completely on-demand generation, they consume content when they want and how they want. This means brands who are looking to reach them must seek them out in those on-demand spaces but do so with a quality product that they WANT to engage with.
Haven’t registered yet for the conference yet?
Never fear! There are still spots available for regular registration here. And for those unable to travel to Washington, we are debuting Live Video Stream registration with three options: Day One, Day Two or Entire Conference. Each allows registrants to submit questions to the speakers and chat with other online viewers in real time. Register here!
Want more on Gen Z? Stay tuned for Jeff Fromm & Angie Read’s new book, Marketing to Gen Z, coming Spring 2018. Pre-order here!