The upcoming ‘Marketing and Communicating with Today’s Youth‘ event is set to be both informative and engaging. Being held in Sydney on 26 and 27 October, attendees will be treated to lessons from the world’s hottest youth brands. They will learn how to both please parents and appeal to youth, how to take responsibility for ethical issues, and how to understand the customer.
Attendees will hear from some of the largest players within the youth market, from The Wiggles and the AFL, through to the Transport Accident Commission and Nickelodeon.
Today we have Christie Nicholas, Director of Kids Business Communications to provide some insights into marketing and communications within the youth market. Christie will be the MC at the ‘Marketing and Communicating with Today’s Youth’.
Tell us a little about yourself, where you work, and what you do.
Kids Business Communications is Australia’s leading communications agency entirely focused on connecting brands with mums via targeted marketing, PR, events, influencer and social sampling campaigns. Kids Business has represented over 150 leading brands with specific projects and is known for its Bloggers BrunchTM series of events.
As part of my role, I work closely with brands to first understand their objectives and then work alongside a team to plan, strategise and roll out the ideal brand campaign. Brand campaigns we work on consist of: influencer events, blogger activation, grassroots sampling, consumer and B2B PR. Plus, when we are not customising solutions for clients, we are working behind the scenes in preparation for our signature bi-annual events (Bloggers BrunchTM, Bloggers BBQTM, Social MumsTM) and continuously researching new ways to best engage with mums. Mums are largely the gatekeepers to the household budget, including products for youth/their children, so it is important for us to be on top of marketing to mum trends.
How do you / Kids Business weave a children’s layer into your marketing campaigns?
It’s an interesting position to be in. We know that while mums do influence what her family is eating, drinking, using and experiencing – at the end of the day, Mum is also influenced by her family. Any mum who takes her children grocery shopping with her will know that shopping trips with kids in tow is more expensive because of the pester power influence. So as a marketer, it’s definitely about finding a balance. For example, if a food/drink product is for children, the brand needs to appeal to what mum is interested in, i.e. ingredients, price, nutritional value, convenience. Simultaneously, it has to be visually stimulating, delicious, convenient and fun for the child to want/insist it is included in their lunch box – and be impressive enough for their bestie to notice and to come home and tell their own parent about it.
When we worked with Cottee’s to first launch its concentrated cordial, the brand successfully connected with both parents and children. Kids Business hosted a Bloggers BBQTM interactive event for Cottee’s to engage, inform and entertain 50 social influencers (with collectively 1M connections) as well as their entire family. As part of this interactive social experience, Cottee’s hosted dance workshops and hi-energy activities for children to participate in, custom built around a Cottee’s branded dance floor. While the kids were immersed in the brand activity (and quenching their thirst on Cottee’s cordial) the parents participated in 2-way info-session to learn more about the product itself and ask Cottee’s anything. It was a perfect scenario where Cottee’s brought the brand to life to appeal to both the child and the parent addressing both target markets well. Thereafter when we surveyed participants, the feedback received was that the children had an exceptionally high and positive brand recall and could now identify the brand at supermarket shelves.
Do you find it difficult to both please parents and appeal to youth? How do you / Kids Business balance these two competing objectives?
You have to find a way to make the two sometimes competing objectives work, to ensure the brand message is effective. It does have to be done well or you risk alienating either/both markets. It does take extra effort and when we are working with brands, that extra effort is our responsibility.
When we collaborate with toy brands, the target market who plays with this product (children) need to see that this product offers: enjoyable play experience, constructive fun, sense of achievement. Simultaneously, the target market who is buying the product (parents) should see that this product offers: educational benefits, good value, traditional play patterns. An efficient way to communicate these messages is to generate recommendations from both the parents and the kids, as well as give consumers a chance to try for themselves – key for conversion.
We regularly tap into our trial team network to find advocates who create vlogs and other online content that truly inspires, as opposed to relying on the corporate messaging/clips. The advocates real brand stories promoted via youtube, influencers, websites, social media delivers more engagement. Our national, grassroots trial campaigns and pop up experiences via partnerships with youth-orientated organisations also work to appeal to both parents and youth.
What do you think is most important when trying to gain an understanding of the youth audience?
There are 2 really important elements that are critical to success:
- Get feedback from your youth audience. If you want honest feedback about your product for the youth audience, simply ask them. They will be brutal and tell you exactly why they like or don’t like your product and what could be done to have better uptake and engagement. Thereafter, brands can adjust the product itself, the packaging and how it is being marketed. Sometimes, people are hesitant to ask for feedback because it creates more work, but it’s always for the greater good.
- Where is your youth audience consuming brand messages and discovering new brands? i.e. youtube, school yard, tv, parent, influencers. With this information on hand you can better customise your campaign.
What will you be talking about at ‘Marketing and Communicating with Today’s Youth’?
I’ll be the MC at the Marketing and Communicating with Today’s Youth. I look forward to facilitating panel discussion, hosting Q & A open forum and working directly with attendees to inspire them with fresh ideas and perspective. The aim is that they walk away excited and armed with new ways to better target today’s youth.
Marketing.com.au is proud to support this event and we appreciate the support of Ark Group Australia in return. For more information or to book tickets, visit: Marketing and Communicating with Today’s Youth
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