It’s no secret that the younger the generation, the more the technological fluency. Children are playing with their parent’s iPads as infants; adolescents are being given smart phones before they enter junior high. In the same vein, baby boomers occupying CMO or other senior marketing positions within corporations are beginning to retire or step down; this has led to an influx of gen-x CMOs ascending the ranks to the top marketing positions within their respective companies. These gen-x’ers also grew up in a time of dizzying technological advancement and are much more willing to utilize new media than their predecessors. This breed of marketer embraces new technologies and methodologies to maximize their brand’s reach and marketing efficacy. That being said, it’s not entirely clear whether or not this younger, more tech-savvy generation of head honchos fully grasps what it takes to make a connection with the modern consumer.

The advent of smart phones provides an unprecedented opportunity for marketers to target new consumers in a seemingly unmediated format. And, this format is fully endorsed by younger generations as an acceptable medium through which brands can communicate content, so long as it’s personally relevant. Likewise, the mobile landscape allows brands to connect with their consumers in ways previously unthinkable—never before has a brand been able to engage a mobile consumer on the go with truly personalized content, offers, etc…. This requires CMOs to adopt an entirely new outlook on their marketing planning. It’s no longer acceptable to categorize your target market in broad strokes; you must identify individual elements about specific consumer profiles in order to shape your marketing into the most effective messaging possible. This requires a wholly integrated approach to marketing that leverages the power of mobile to create real conversations with your consumers on an individual level.

It’s not enough to know that males age 18-40 buy your product—you need to know what types of men in that age range do so. Are they mostly college students or young professionals? Are they single or married? Are they educated and affluent or do they simply aspire to those things? Do they prefer comedic to dramatic advertising? None of these groups is inherently better or worse than another, but as a marketer, you need a granular profile of the consumer groups purchasing your goods or services. And, unlike previous media formats, mobile can provide brands with that level of insight.

If you decide that one of the consumer profiles is more important to your success than another, you can then begin to adapt your marketing messaging for that group. What types of phrases and vernacular would appeal to a 21 year old college student vs. a 25 year old young professional vs. a 35 year old middle or upper manager? How many campaign customizations will it require for your brand to reach out to each major consumer group most effectively? And that’s before you even get to the groups you’re hoping to lure into the fold…

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All that is to say that creating 21st century marketing plans that reach and impact buyers necessitates a level of consumer knowledge never before required at the upper echelons of marketing strategy boardrooms. You have to tailor your brand’s messaging and placement in such a way that you’re targeting your specific consumer profile groups in the most effective manner possible. In our blog post next week, we’ll tackle where and how to reach those specific groups within the media outlets in which they independently seek out and immerse themselves.