Friday, November 28, 2008

Using Mobile for Communicating with Gen Y

The mobile device is the 'first' screen for Generation Y and the most important social device they own. It’s their lifeline and a significant opportunity for brands engage this important demographic.

Recent reports from In-Stat, Pew Internet, and Nielsen underscore the idea that today’s youth is addicted to mobile and it’s about communication and socializing.
  • Nielsen reports that over half of mobile Web users are under 30 years old. 
  • According to Pew Internet & American Life, young consumers would find it hardest to give up their mobile (62 percent) over Internet (52 percent) and television (33 percent).
  • The same Pew report says 96 percent of Gen Y have done at least one of these activities: texting, instant messaging, photo-taking/sharing, sending email or taking video.
  • In-Stat says of 20 percent of Gen Y now use social networking on mobile and that the number will double to 40 percent by 2012.
If you are a brand advertiser, this should tell you a few things about the importance of using this marketing channel:
  • Engaging this demographic through social communication rules the day.
  • The mobile device is a highly personal, trusted and social experience, one and a critical communication device
  • The computer, by contrast, although still used heavily for social networking, is viewed as a means for formal activities (e.g. work, school and communicating with adults).
  • The mobile device is ever-present and critical for the socially active, on-the-move consumer.
Creating 'conversations' with this audience is critical and there are breakout opportunities to achieve brand trust and loyalty by creating meaningful, ongoing dialogue.

A friend of my recently sent an Tweet out saying that he was excited about the opening of a local Apple store. In near real time, he received a tweet back directly from Apple thanking him for his interest and asking him if he planned on lining up for the opening. He is a little older than Gen Y (Gen X, I think), but Apple took this opportunity to create a conversation with him and he tells everyone about the experience. And now I am telling you.

All this loyalty was built on one simple return text message response.