Electronic Retailer - June 2012 - (Page 20)

ASK THE EXPERT BY TIMOTHY R. HAWTHORNE 5 Ways to Win the Multigenerational DRTV Game d 20 DRTV marketers have always been notoriously good at segmenting their audiences and targeting them in a way that makes viewers want to pick up the phone or turn on their laptops to learn more. By speaking directly to those target consumers and by addressing their needs, wants and pain points, direct marketers have learned how to achieve higher sales, increase customer loyalty and improve consumer satisfaction. It goes without saying that DRTV marketers should factor generation gaps into the equation when targeting their audiences. Every generation is oriented differently, communicates on its own terms, and buys and shops in its own distinctive manner. Dissecting and hitting those targets isn’t easy, but understanding each generation’s quirks can help marketers craft targeted strategies and offers that appeal to these four major segments of the U.S. population: • The Greatest Generation: Born prior to 1946 (67+ years of age) and shaped by the Great Depression and World War II frugality, these are frequent shoppers who love great deals. • Baby Boomers: Born between 1946 and 1964 (47 to 66), this generation represents the largest annual dollar spend per household of any other generation. • Generation X: Born between 1965 and 1976 (35 to 46), this “sandwich” generation has the second highest annual dollar spend per household. • Millennials: Born between 1977 and 1994 (17 to 34), they shop less in stores and don’t like wasting their time on such activities. So how does a DRTV marketer go about hitting these various generations and capitalize on their unique shopping habits in the most cost-effective manner possible? Here are five tips for success: 1. Accept their differences. Every generation has its own set of unique attributes that you can’t ignore. Older generations are more frugal, for example, and are pretty deliberate about spending their money. Boomers typically spend more discretionary income than their parents did, but most are now woefully unprepared for retirement (and worried about it). The independent-thinking Generation Xers, followed by the Millennials, are both tech-savvy and ready to use their laptops and phones to shop. By understanding and accepting these differences between the generations you’ll be able to shape campaigns around their unique wants, needs and pain points. 2. Realize that some generations just love a bargain. Discounts, freebies and senior discounts are all the rage for the Greatest Generation. Test out special products that address aging issues (health care, wellness, etc.) and use packaging with large type that’s easy to distinguish. Don’t assume these folks don’t know technology. Many of them tote cellphones, iPads and other gadgets and use them for online shopping. 3. Well-honed marketing messages work best. The marketing message itself is a critical component of any campaign that’s targeting a specific generation of consumers. Avoid “talking down” to the audience. Speak to them on their terms and in a way that doesn’t seem calculated or contrived. Whether your audience comprises 20-somethings or 80-somethings, today’s savvy consumers know when they’re being talked down to, and they quickly pick up on marketing messages that don’t sound natural and honest. 4. Target Boomers with a youthful slant. Appeal to the Boomers’ sense of vanity with skincare, vitamins and pretty much anything that promises fountain-of-youth results. This generation is also concerned about retirement, so any products that help consumers save and/or retain their nest eggs will go over well. Comprising more than one-third of the internet population, Boomers are also avid online shoppers and are comfortable using email to stay in touch. 5. Hit younger generations with social networking techniques. The millennials are the first Americans in history to view tweeting, texting and poking as everyday parts of their social lives. Unlike their parents, technology is integrated deeply into the millennial lifestyle and is a mainstay for staying connected with family and friends. This presents both opportunities and challenges for marketers who should focus on relatively inexpensive products and anything related to entertainment or technology – the typical millennial’s two favorite categories. As marketers develop their generational strategies and integrate them into their product campaigns, remember there are similarities among the various groups. While millenials may be more wired than their grandparents are, technology is a common factor across all consumer groups. Use that and other similarities to your advantage as you develop an effective multigenerational DRTV approach. Timothy R. Hawthorne is founder, chairman and executive creative director of Hawthorne Direct, a full-service DRTV and new media ad agency founded in 1986. Since then, Hawthorne Direct has produced or managed more than 800 direct response TV campaigns. Tim is a co-founder of the Electronic Retailing Association and is the author of the definitive DRTV book The Complete Guide to Infomercial Marketing. Tim was honored with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by the Electronic Retailing Association in 2006. electronicRETAILER | June 2012 http://www.naylornetwork.com/era-nxt/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Electronic Retailer - June 2012

Calendar of Events
Your Association,Your Bottom Line
Industry Reports
FTC Forum
eMarketer Research
IMS Retail Rankings
Jordan Whitney's Top Categories
Ask the Expert
From the Executive's Desk
Thinking Outside the Box
DRTV's New Best Practices
It's Time to Think Differently About Payment Processing
Guest Viewpoint
Guest Viewpoint
U.S. Hispanic
Member Spotlight
Advertiser Spotlight
Advertiser Index
Bulletin Board
Rick Petry

Electronic Retailer - June 2012