Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Once You Learn The ABC's Of "Y," Here Comes "Z"

Kudos to Russ Penuell for a terrific recap of A&O&B's client seminar session on connecting with the Millennial generation.

As I said, we really don’t need to work hard to understand millennials because almost all of our new superstars are them.  If you simply follow the trend in music and understand what they’re singing about, what their lyrics are saying and what their shows are like, you’re probably going to figure it out.

Like Blake Shelton said yesterday about his new LP Based On A True Story:   “It’s the best way to put into a song my personality, and the kind of people that I hang out with.  (the album’s lead-off track “Boys ‘Round Here” which features Pistol Annies)  This [song] is about the guys back in Tishomingo, OK and every town around this country.” 

But if you’re determined to be the you that you’ve always been and aren’t going to change, you have about three to five years to figure out that’s not going to work before your ratings figure it out for you as the audience evolves and the demographics shift.

WDAF/Kansas City PD Wes Poe and WUBE/Cincinnati PD Grover Collins are two programmers whose ratings prove they "get it."
  • “We’ve all encountered people who are fake or who turn it on when they’re around us, and those people are often avoided for lack the ability to have real relationships.  We need to let our guards down and be real. For example, we use a music-quantity position that is clear and honest about what we offer listeners and we deliver on it. And we’ve been lucky enough to come out on top in the Country battle several months in the last year. When we do, we sincerely thank our listeners for putting us there and explain what they’ve helped us accomplish and what it means to us. If you’re a radio station with empty promises and fluff, your days are numbered in my opinion.  But authenticity won’t stand alone in a world with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, Flickr, Socialcam and more."
  • “We’re rolling out a new wake-up app exclusively for the morning show that will work like an alarm clock.  They’ll set it and wake up to Chris Carr & Company. It’s just another feature for people that are not listening to regular radio first thing in the morning, but streaming more with their smartphones.  With the exception of the digital and tech aspects, I consider [millennials] to be a lot like everyone else.  They want to be entertained, they’re looking for quality content and they’re looking for things that intrigue and engage them. Our job is to keep them coming back.”

MediaPost's calls it "Generational Progress" as the segmentation of the marketplace has fallen into several categories, but none so ubiquitous as age or generational similarities. He notes that William Schroer, SocialMarketing.org, hasthoroughly described population cohorts in a convenient fashion for planning purposes, including the NEXT one we need to start to think about.

Generation Z
Born: 1995-2012
Coming of Age: 2013-2020
Age in 2004: 0-9
Current Population: 23 million and growing rapidly

While we don’t know much about Gen Z yet...we know a lot about the environment they are growing up in. This highly diverse environment will make the grade schools of the next generation the most diverse ever. Higher levels of technology will make significant inroads in academics allowing for customized instruction, data mining of student histories to enable pinpoint diagnostics and remediation or accelerated achievement opportunities.

Gen Z kids will grow up with a highly sophisticated media and computer environment and will be more Internet savvy and expert than their Gen Y forerunners. They are also loving country music, so for more to come on Gen Z...stay tuned!  (.... To THEM.)


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