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5 Ways to Lead the First Digital-Native Generation

What makes a market tick? What keeps the gears turning as products are introduced and advertised by different businesses trying to beat out their competition?

What is the single most powerful force driving the flow of ideas, goods and services throughout our society? The answer is simple: it’s the consumers.

If you’ve ever taken an introductory economics class, you already know the whole spiel about supply and demand, as well as the close interaction between consumers and producers.

It would be easy to assume that consumers and producers have an equal impact on the direction of the market.

However, while this is true to the extent that they both affect the flow of goods, consumer interests are much more significant in influencing producer decisions.

In the consumer-producer relationship, businesses that make goods and offer services need to cater to the ever-changing whims of the general populace in order to stay afloat.

People are more connected than ever, and producers need to be ultra-careful in their attempts to win over customers to their side.

However, businesses today can foster brand loyalty of an unprecedented magnitude by simply appealing to consumers creatively and correctly.

Here are 5 ways that current businesses can attract the first purely digital generation of consumers.

1. Use the language of the teens.

Language evolves. The words we use are always changing in their usage, in certain niche meanings and in overall associations. This continual transformation is especially prevalent among Millennials.

The Millennial demographic (ages 18-34) includes the most frequent users of technology and the communication devices that make consumer-producer interactions so much more transparent.

Smartphones and social media facilitate more concise forms of certain words and phrases. They have even created a new language altogether: emojis.

As businesses try to pinpoint the interests and desires of their complex, self-aware consumer base, they need to keep communication as clear and approachable as possible to capture the fleeting attention of their target audience.

Admittedly, using certain slang terms and imagery can scream desperation if done to excess. However, an expert execution will cause consumers to better relate to a brand and pay more attention to what a company is selling.

2. Jump onto the right platforms.

It has been mentioned before that the most common forms of communication today are on smartphones, computers, the internet and social media.

Newspapers ads and TV commercials are still present and they do have their place among certain audiences. But they are on the way out with the younger generation.

Businesses that know how to communicate with their audience correctly also understand that certain platforms are more visible than others.

The market thrives on its consumers. If those consumers are paying attention to Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter above all else, then it’s in the best interest of concerned companies to send their message through those avenues for the most effective advertising.

3. Hit hard with advertising.

Advertising on the right platforms is key, but it does no good if it isn’t consistent.

Because they’re constantly flooded by marketing campaigns, Millennials pay fleeting attention to content. Businesses thus need to find a way to stand out in the torrent.

Companies are most successful when they advertise again and again, to the point that consumers know what to expect and maybe even “tune in” to certain ads like they’re cycles of a beloved TV show.

Businesses don’t need to exhaust advertising ad nauseam. All they need to do is keep advertisements running every now and then to jog the memories of their prospective customers.

If advertising is done right, businesses can cover multiple platforms with likeable, entertaining messages on a regular basis.

4. Try something new.

It’s true that advertising needs to be done consistently and on the right platform, but that’s only half the picture.

In addition to covering as much territory as possible, businesses need to make certain that their message is heard. The best way to ensure visibility is to be as creative and original as possible in crafting a message.

It may sound overbearing to advise corporations to be original. But consumers today have been exposed to so much content that they don’t even remember half of the ads they’ve seen.

Businesses need to make their messages memorable, so that consumers can recall that information when recognizing certain brands, products and services.

Creative and original content can go a long way when trying to attract consumers, especially amid the thousands of competing companies vying for the same audience’s attention.

5. Keep track of trends.

The final strategy businesses can employ to better appeal to their digital native consumers is simple — be like them.

Obviously, consumers will relate to brands that espouse their same values and interests; businesses that generate messages in line with their consumers’ current interests will be more likely to succeed.

The key to making consistently relatable advertisements? Keep up with current trends.

Businesses that simply take the time to peruse the internet, social media and other Millennial-driven platforms of information will quickly realize what’s “in” for this influential demographic at the moment.

Knowing what people are currently talking about is highly beneficial for the company trying to attract consumers to their brand.

And although these internet fads are replaced quickly and constantly, it’s well worth the effort. Keeping up is in a company’s best interest. By doing so, they encourage their target consumers to keep up with them.

Written by Shishir Bandi

Shishir Bandi is a freshman at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Currently pursuing a major in Chemical Engineering, he enjoys writing in his free time as a creative escape.

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