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Redefining content for the ‘Millennial Generation’

The advent of technology has given birth to an important consumer segment – the Millennials, also known as the ‘Selfies’ by some – that considers itself at an even playing field as marketers. The selfies derive the name from the power that this connected audience is exploring with social media. For marketers, understanding this generation is crucial as it is slated to be one of the largest segments and knowing what this segment responds to can make all the difference to any communication activity.
Marketers have acknowledged that content is the most important vehicle for engaging consumers today. The impact of technology however has also changed the definition of content. Kevin Aratari, Managing Director, mOcean reflected, “People are cutting chords in every single sense of the word. Internet not only competes as a legitimate channel with other more mature and established distribution platforms but it also creates on-demand opportunities of its own. Content is still about entertainment but what can be entertaining is evolving.”
While the long form of content, ways to make videos that click with audiences is undergoing several changes, digital has also led to the creation of new kinds of influencers. The role, that was once limited to celebrities and public figures, is now for anyone who can make people like or view her or his post. As the playing field gets levelled out, content creators and marketers have to develop a relationship of partnership with viewers.
Technology driven platforms such as Netflix have also understood the consumer’s tendency towards binge viewing and have releases all seasons of shows at one go, putting an end to weekly waits. The trend opens brand new opportunities for connecting and content creating. The second screen is not just maturing, it is making a case to be referred to as the primary screen for the Millennials.
The Millennials are the first generation that is consuming media in this form and they already have a sense of what they are willing to accept. The first point in that is authenticity. Brands need to look at content and communication messages that stay true to the brand irrespective of the changes around.
Brands must look to proactively gain social credibility because social media has given birth to tribal marketing that can destroy or rescue brands.
Millennials are socially conscious and they connect with brands with similar traits. They are essentially creators and inspired by the stories around them to be optimistic about the future. “Millennials are not waiting for someone’s permission to rise up the ladder, they have ‘can do’ attitude. Marketers and brand managers need to come to terms to the fact that they have to now think of less advertising and more of opportunities to engage,” added Mr Aratari, while addressing a gathering at the PromaxBDA in Singapore.
His advice to brands is to constantly stay in front of the consumer and don’t let them forget the brand while using engaging content streams. He warns that not only is this an ongoing effort but it is also dynamic and evolving and requires brands to tell a rigorous story.

Noor Fathima Warsia

A veteran journalist in the Indian marketing, media and advertising fraternity, Noor Fathima Warsia took on the role of Group Editor -– APAC for Digital Market Asia in May 2013. Noor has focussed on tracking trends and developments in the Indian media industry.