Even if you're a marketer from traditional sectors, here are three ways to grow your youth segment online.
While the Post-80s grow up with a stable job and even a new family, they form a major role in the consumer market. Unfortunately, many companies from traditional industries in the Mainland or Hong Kong, such as home products, are still marketing to this young consumer group using old methods. This is far from enough to attract the Post-80s.
To marketers whose target audience is this segment, it is important to understand how they purchase, as it is totally distinct from the older generation.
They make a purchase under self-perception. Unlike the older generation, the Post-80s would not consider back and forth when buying. As long as the product is trendy and catch their attention, they would easily make the decision to buy it. This means sales opportunities from young people are greater if the product is well perceived by them.
It's not hard to conclude that the Internet is the most effective and direct way to capture young customers, especially for traditional industries who are still working offline.
To seize this market ahead of your competitors, you need to utilise the Internet in three ways.
1. Create trends using trendsetters to spread the popularity of products
Post-80s love creative and trendy things whose key source is from trendsetters like Edison Chan, the Hong Kong actor. As these celebrities can lead the trend, some retail companies like Louis Vuitton will consider cooperating with them to promote new products. This could also work for traditional industries. A successful case study is from Kinhom, a renowned home product company in China. A young couple posted photos about how to decorate their new house with Kinhom's products on Tianya, a popular BBS forum, which resulted in a lot of hit enquiries from other youths. The common ground between your products and trendsetter's creative ideas is a path to attract the Post-80s.
2. Explore China market with group purchase
Compared with Hong Kong, there is a larger population of Post-80s in Mainland China, which is a more prosperous market for Hong Kong companies. But one challenge is that the Post-80s pay more attention to well-known brands and quality, and would not easily try unfamiliar products. Therefore, if companies want to explore the youth market in China, group purchase is a clever way to convince them of your products. To many young people, group purchase has already become a major channel to try new products at a lower price. One of my Post-80s friends once told me she bought a wardrobe from IKEA through a group purchase activity that she found is cheaper and good quality. Hong Kong companies can use this channel as a gateway to grow China's youth market.
3. Integrate with online interactive activities
Although the trends and preferences of the creative Post-80s keep changing, one thing remains unchanged - their love of the Internet. Traditional industries should cross the offline and step into online to interact with these youths. This could be an indispensable and challenging task for almost all companies in 2011.
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Francis Kwok is the founder and CEO of Radica Systems. Radica has become a leading e-marketing solution provider in six markets in Asia Pacific under his leadership. He has worked closely with Chanel, Mercedes-Benz, Global Sources, CTrip, BenQ China, Li Ning Company, and others, and works to enable enterprises to develop highly effective e-marketing campaigns with advanced personalisation technology.
With numerous experiences in the domain, Francis is also a regular author and guest speaker in Asia. Currently, Francis holds an executive position at the Hong Kong Association of Interactive Marketing. He is also a council member of iProA (Internet Professional Association) and a business adviser of SUCCESS of Hong Kong Trade and Industry Department.
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