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That’s Rich: Meet them where they

“The best way to reach someone who is Gen Z or a millennial is on their mobile devices. Specifically, on social apps.”

June 8, 2021
By Rich Porayko

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Unprecedented times. It’s my daily mantra. Everyone is saying the same thing: it’s a mess. COVID continues to wreak havoc. Lead times are way out. There are glass shortages everywhere. Primaries are rationing allocations. Logistics is a nightmare.

On the bright side (I hope), there have been two price increases in six months. Considering that lumber has nearly tripled since falling off a cliff last March, this increase should probably stick for a while. 

Labour continues to be a major pain point. It’s deja vu all over again with companies poaching workers on job sites with cash bonuses. How and where the industry looks to recruit people has changed. Chances are that you are old and reading this in a magazine or on a desktop computer. That’s okay, I’m old, too. I also know the importance of understanding the market I want to reach. In this case, 15 to 25-year-olds who think and behave very differently than myself and my peers. 

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At the recent BC American Marketing Association (re)Vision Virtual Conference, Phil Hsia, business solutions manager with Snapchat, had a fireside chat with Arak Bhokanandh, vice-president of digital for Clearly on marketing to Millennials and Gen Z. 

“Gen Z now makes up 30 percent of the global population and will start to represent the lion’s share of commercial activity,” said Bhokanandh. “They are growing up in this internet and socially connected age. We look at their journeys and meet them where they are at.” (Please stop and read that one more time). 

“At Snapchat, we understand the value of Gen Z and millennials,” said Hsia. “This platform reaches two out of three Canadians between the ages of 13 to 34. We do internal research to understand our audience and it always comes as a surprise how much they are involved in the current social situation. They have really leaned in. They want to make a difference. Gen Z and millennials are trying to change the world for the better.”

“This generation are truth-seekers,” agreed Bhokanandh. “They listen and care about social issues. They are holistic.” He said that this age group cares if a company embeds its values. “This generation has been even more selective in the brands and products they engage with. They care about social justice issues. They care and lean far more in. They want products with longevity that don’t have a harmful impact on the world.” 

Bhokanandh told attendees that this generation is far more mobile. “Their device usage is more mobile. However, they are also mobile in their workplace and the way they go about their business. With the rise of the gig economy, they have a freedom of choice on how they earn their value.” 

This changes how we communicate with them. “The reality is they want to get stuff done really quickly,” said Bhokanandh. “Their attention span, with all of the noise out there, is really short so any conversations or interactions with them has to be meaningful and direct.” 

Bhokanandh emphasized to be far more and considerate in the social channels that we choose with regards to the generation that we are trying to reach. “There are always generational shifts and platforms of choice so it’s about meeting them where they are at.” In other words, what is the best way to reach someone who is Gen Z or a millennial? On their mobile devices. Specifically, on social apps where other people like them gather: Snapchat, WeChat, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and still even Facebook. Looking to recruit Chinese Canadians? WeChat may be your answer. 

Young Canadians are only going to engage if they see the value. We understand what their needs are and where to meet them. Next issue we cover creating a message that resonates.


Rich Porayko is a professional writer and founding partner of Construction Creative, a marketing and communications company. richp@constructioncreativecom


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