What in the world is “MillZ marketing?” How is it changing the landscape in the marketing world? “MillZ” is the term that has been coined for the mash-up of millennials and Generation Z. Christine King—the Director of Digital Marketing at Tealbook—shares some insight into the ever-evolving world of marketing. There’s been a distinct shift towards social marketing, heavily influenced by the MillZ generation. What should your marketing strategy look like? How will the world shift moving forward? Listen to this episode of the The Content Callout podcast as Amanda, Kayla, and Christine discuss the future of marketing.
Outline of This Episode
- [1:11] Christine’s role at Tealbook
- [2:39] Unpacking the un-sexy parts of marketing
- [4:53] Reimagining marketing in a Millennial world
- [9:21] The “Death by Jeff” phenomenon
- [12:10] How brick-and-mortar need to shift
- [17:21] Marketing to the “New” experience
- [21:30] Societal marketing with B2B businesses
- [24:16] The era of monetizing side hustles
- [29:02] Capitalizing the army of one
- [35:32] Christine’s Tealbook team
- [38:52] How to connect with Christina King
The unsexy parts of marketing
Optimization for search engines, mobile, and social is important. You have to update DNS records, create sub-domains, and pull together data. You don’t realize the weeks it takes to get minor pieces of information. It can be complicated. When you see the completed tear-jerker of a Nike ad, you don’t see the blood, sweat, and tears that went into completing that project. The back-end of digital can be very un-sexy.
Christine gave a keynote presentation where she identified Nike as a baby boomer brand that has gotten it right. Their digital footprint is seamless. They have an app that helps you get discounts or design your own shoes. You get a one-of-a-kind experience. They’ve invested in the consumer side of their brand. But building that digital world on the backend must have been 100% time-consuming and 100% unsexy.
Visualization over explanation
Nike understands the importance of visualization over-explanation. They spend time showcasing the visual aspect of their brand and telling their brand story through that. If you go to a flagship Nike store, you can experience what you can do with their apparel or shoes. Some locations even have basketball courts for you to shoot hoops.
They’re a disruptor that has stood the test of time. Why? Because they constantly interject themselves in sports and entertainment and in the social spectrum. They take elements of what’s happening in pop culture and mash it perfectly with their branding. They emphasize experiencing their brand over explaining it.
When Nike launched the Colin Kaepernick commercials, people thought Nike was crazy. But they decided they wanted to be on the right side of history because it’s the right thing to do. The people that purchased from them the most care about those social impact issues. Nike made a key decision to listen to their target audience—and it paid off.
What is the “Death by Jeff” phenomenon? How is it creating a shift in brick-and-mortar businesses? Keep listening to hear Christine’s thoughts!
Changing experiences = a shift in segmentation
Christine points out that malls used to be the place to go. Malls are dying off because the money isn’t coming in. It’s because the “going to the mall with your friends” experience is dying off in favor of digital experiences.
Because of the shift towards digital experiences, everything has to be highly tailored to different segments of people. You have to build more personas and do more demographic research on consumers. You have to specialize your messaging. You’ll need to do more campaigns and more AB testing. It’s becoming about the user experiences.
You have to focus on: What’s going to resonate from a digital aspect? Is the app user friendly? Can people quickly access your brand or company with one click?
It used to be easy to segment your customers. But now you have to get granular. Christine notes that “You can even get down to psychographics. You can get down to locations, zip code, and income. Things become very, very much more granular as we have to step away from these big experiences.” All of our experiences are becoming individualized.
Marketing to MillZ’s
Gen Z is such a HUGE demographic. They are stacked to overtake Millennials. The mashup of the two groups are starting to be referred to as MillZ’s. Gen Z’s have always known the digital world. Christine points out that “They’ve never not known cell phones. They’ve never not known mobile apps. This experience has to be digitized for them. And they’re very, very picky about who they choose and why they choose them. The social impact is showing us that that is important.”
Christine asks: “What are you doing socially and literally on social media? And where are your sustainability practices? What are you doing for the community? What are you doing for the environment? So those things become a huge part of the picture now, whereas probably our parents didn’t really care too much.” Coca-Cola is replenishing water back into the Earth. Our parents wouldn’t care—but our nieces might.
So now you have to learn to market to the two groups in a way that speaks to each.
Societal marketing in the B2B landscape
Social unrest impacted brands in such a huge way. Brands aligned themselves and showed their support for black individuals. Tealbook offers opportunities for people to access African American suppliers on a large scale. There are opportunities for individuals to help with a cause.
From a branding perspective, no one saw this coming. Large brands Christine never thought would toggle into a social movement took the chance to show recognition and support for the Black community. They decided to “Offer up their resources and their time and money to help change and be a part of initiative for change.”
Everyone is at home. Everyone is at their computer. Societal marketing is with us now to stay. You have got to continue to adapt your marketing and strategies—as an employer and as a brand. Doing the same-old-same-old won’t cut it. Do your research, do your testing, and personalize your digital marketing for the right audience.
Listen to the whole episode to hear their full eye-opening discussion about marketing to the next generation.