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There has been a lot of talk about millennials and Gen Z, but we need to discuss a much more important group: Gen C. Gen C is not a generation defined by an age group. It is more than that—it’s a mindset that transcends age. Technology has evolved and with it so has the definition of a “generation.” Companies need to keep up with this trend to stay successful. I believe that two of the biggest areas modern businesses need to focus on to capture the attention of Gen C business are mobility and user experience.
Understand and Embrace Mobility
Mobile technology is no longer a concern for the future—mobility is very much in the here and now. Companies that aren’t embracing mobile marketing are quickly falling behind their competition and need to take concentrated steps to regain market share.
Gen C identifies the people who have a deep concern for creation, connection, community, and curation. Although Gen C isn’t a definitive age group, it is certainly composed largely of millennial consumers. These younger customers do business differently. They understand technology better than any other generation. The hard sell does not work with these customers—you need to connect with them on a personal level and convey true value rather than instant gratification.
The consumers of Gen C trust each other and look to one another for recommendations and advice. This means that making a lasting impression of relevance and value is going to turn into organic marketing. Your Gen C customers will be able to quickly identify your authenticity and value, and rapidly spread the word in their circles. Conversely, making a bad impression is going to leave a storm cloud over your business that won’t dissipate easily—or possibly at all. Gen C thrives in connected community, and information travels faster than ever before.
Leverage Mobility as a Marketing Asset
Gen C is more mobile than any other generation, so you’re going to need to be able to effectively market to them on mobile platforms. A few of the best methods for doing this include the following:
- Responsive web design. When you design a website to be responsive, you enable it to adjust in size and design to fit the screen or device on which someone views it. Gen C customers are not going to fiddle with clunky mobile sites. The average customer attention span is mere seconds. If your site isn’t up to snuff and reacts poorly to mobile devices, your Gen C consumers are going to click away and find your competitors. Responsive web design is one the best investments you can make if you want to reach Gen C in meaningful ways on mobile platforms.
- Social media marketing. Gen C is more active online than most other demographics, and they know how to use social media very well. This means you’re going to need to develop a solid marketing plan for your social media presence. Customers don’t just want to be inundated with ads, and this is especially true for Gen C. You need to generate meaningful interactions. The best social media marketing campaigns are the ones that reach out and ask for feedback, respond to customer comments and messages, and make an effort to stay in touch with new trends.
- SMS marketing. Text messaging is one of the best ways to reach your audience anywhere. Having your customers sign up for text alerts and ads is a great way to ensure they always have information about all of your latest innovations and offerings.
- Geo-location. Localized ads offer a fantastic return on investment. Casting a wide net may yield favorable results, but when you hone your marketing message to a specific geographical area, you can connect with your audience much more precisely and address very specific concerns or needs.
Create Meaningful UX
Throughout all your marketing efforts, you need to remain mindful of your users’ experience. A crucial component of responsive design is user experience, or UX. If your site is clunky, confusing, garish, crowded, or otherwise difficult to navigate, your customers are going to click away very quickly. Gen C contains a great many cord-cutters—people who have eschewed traditional cable TV and landline phones in favor of mobile devices. However, they’re not just favoring cell phones for their communication capabilities and convenience, but also because they can find and enjoy the content they want to see, when they want to see it.
You need to engage Gen C meaningfully, without being pushy or overt. Gen C consumers are going to appreciate important conversations and engagements and aren’t going to let high-pressure tactics sway them. Capture Gen C’s attention, and they’ll spread the word on your behalf.