Dear Retailers, When I was in middle school, the only way I realized that something was trendy was if Teen Vogue was writing about it or if Kim Kardashian (pre-72 day marriage) was wearing it. When it came time to go shopping I had to find something that resembled what I’d seen a year ago on TV. It was a pyrrhic victory. Not all size fours are created equal and even if I did find something that fit, it was definitely out of my price range. That outfit, or a great knock-off, was finally acquired and shortly went out of fashion after. In-store retail was a boring maze of racks, and online shopping was a confusing mess. Store layouts weren’t fun enough to engage me, and the lack of online reviews made me want to give up all together. Shopping was time consuming, disconnected and an expensive hobby. Ten years later – the game has only *kind of* changed. Here’s why:
Once upon a time, at the height of the Mad Men era, an American marketing professor and author named Jerome McCarthy was hard at work and introduced the concept of “The Four Ps” of marketing (product, price, place, and promotion). Since the years of shift dresses, mid-century modern appointed Madison Avenue offices that permitted smoking, the 4 Ps have become a ubiquitous and timeless staple of marketing that has never gone out of style.
Ecommerce tends to take its triumphs a little for granted these days. There’s talk of how the “Amazon Effect” has upended the traditional “offline” customer journey, rendering it obsolete. There’s the implicit notion that a customer will no longer just mosey over to their favorite store, pick out a shirt they like, try it on in the fitting room, wait in line to buy it and then purchase it from an actual, live salesperson — certainly not in a world with 100 million loyal Amazon Prime members and counting.
There was a time — not so long ago — when Enron executives were collectively known by their clients as “the smartest guys in the room.” There was a more-recent time when Volkswagen held an unimpeachable track record for emissions safety — until the so-called Dieselgate scandal came to light, sending its stock prices plummeting by 40 percent. There was even a time, at least before the release of Beyoncé’s “Lemonade,” when Jay-Z thought his street cred and talents as a rapper would keep his personal brand untouchable.
When it comes to meeting Gen Z’s food cravings, fast delivery isn’t a “nice to have.” It’s an absolute must.
Prefer viewing over reading? Scroll down to watch the video. There's a widening gap between how marketers and younger audiences perceive advertising - and it could cost brands a fortune, unless they’re able to find new ways of engaging Gen Z audiences both online and in-app. When an entire generation prefers movie theater ads and outdoor signage over digital campaigns, you'd best pay attention.
Before we get into Gen Z, a word about generations.
Marisa Allan, a Gen Z expert and VP of Innovation at UNiDAYS, sat down with Meg Hall from NCR to discuss all things marketing and Gen Z. Here are some of the tips and strategies she's developed for navigating this hard-to-engage audience.