Marketing to Generation Z


Knowing your target audience is important to effectively market your business. For example, audience members for an interior design business are typically going to look, and act, a lot differently than audience members for a company selling beef jerky. Defining your audience is key in getting your business’ message in front of people who are ready to engage and convert.

Just when you think you’ve mastered marketing to Millennials, a new generation comes running through the doors full speed ahead. Allow us to introduce you to Gen Z.

Who is Gen Z?

Gen Z is the generation born between 1996 and 2012. There are over 23 million people in the U.S. alone who identify as members of Gen Z and it is considered America’s most diverse, multicultural generation to date.

Unlike Millennials, Gen Z is characterized by their initiative and entrepreneurial skills. They grew up during tough times (post 9/11, the recession) and over half of the generation is already actively saving for retirement, in fear that they will never have social security to claim.

Celebrity endorsements really resonated with a Millennial audience and this remains true when talking to members of Gen Z as well. But, Gen Z puts importance on transparency so if celebrities are in the ads they’re seeing, they prefer the endorser discloses that they’re getting paid to talk about a brand or product. Authenticity is (major) key! 

What social platforms do they prefer?

While Gen Z spends most of their time on YouTube, they do still utilize other social platforms – but for different reasons.

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Source: Defy Media Acumen Survey (March 2017)

They’re most likely to keep in touch with friends on Snapchat, while Facebook is where they keep tabs on Grandma. YouTube comes out on top for where Gen Z is interested in getting shopping recommendations (product reviews) and how-to videos (tutorials).

Gen Z loves technology – and as they should. They grew up with accessibility to technology and don’t know a world without the internet, cell phones or Mark Zuckerberg. Gen Z’s dependency on tech has already impacted the way businesses are marketing their products and services. They consume information online – with YouTube leading the charge. YouTube is how members of Gen Z learn how to change a tire, bake a cake, learn an instrument, and more! In fact, 95% of Gen Z uses YouTube regularly and 50% believe they can’t live without it.

With so much focus on digital, traditional media (TV) has taken a back seat. But don’t get it confused, video consumption continues to grow – it’s just on more non-traditional platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and ConnectedTV. In fact, these platforms are instrumental in getting video messages across to members of Gen Z.

How do I reach Gen Z?

Gen Z is really in-tune with brands that are being genuine and authentic in their marketing, more so than any other generation. They identify and focus on meaningful brand interactions and are most likely to dismiss marketing efforts that come across as insincere. Because Gen Z prioritizes transparency, social channels, like Instagram, give consumers the opportunity to

learn and interact with businesses more organically. Gen Z prefers unobtrusive brand messaging, which is evident in the rise, and success, of influencer marketing.

Your business can also reach members of Gen Z by creating a YouTube channel and uploading engaging and informative content. Or, if you’re looking for paid advertising opportunities, YouTube TrueView and/or Bumper Ads will deliver your messages on platforms Gen Z is already using in a cost-effective manner.

To put together a comprehensive marketing approach for Gen Z, talk with the TAG Team. We build brands that matter.

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Croken Joins TAG as Senior Vice President of Business Development

Ken Croken_v2Effective February 5, 2018, Ken Croken is the Senior Vice President of Business Development at TAG. He joins the agency after serving as the Chief Marketing Officer at Genesis Health System for 15 years.

“I’m incredibly excited to begin working with TAG,” Croken said. “This agency is growing its capabilities and innovative strategies every day and I am looking forward to creating new business opportunities for such a talented team.”

Croken will be responsible for business development in the region and beyond, bringing more than 25 years of strategic communication and marketing experience in the consumer technology, entertainment, legal, professional services, and political arenas to the TAG team.

“Ken’s addition to TAG will prove invaluable in our efforts to better serve current and new clients,” said Mike Vondran, TAG CEO.

During his time at Genesis, Croken was instrumental in the health system’s branding efforts including its logo signage. He is also credited for implementing new employee engagement programs.

Which is Better for Your Brand: Snapchat or Instagram?

59% of 18-29 year-olds use Instagram (via SproutSocial) while Snapchat reaches 41% of 18-34 year olds in the U.S. every day (via Smart Insights). Needless to say, if you’re not on at least one of these platforms, you’re missing out on marketing to a large, and important, audience.

While Instagram and Snapchat are similar, the two cater to different audiences, with different content that can be interacted with in different ways, so we’re breaking it down to help you figure out which platform is best for your business.

 Similarities

Instagram was released in October 2010, just shy of a year before Snapchat’s launch in September 2011. Instagram and Snapchat allow their users to share their experiences through images, and both platforms eventually expanded to incorporate video.

Snapchat originated the “stories” concept early into its existence. A “story” gives you the option to share one or more photos and/or videos for up to 24 hours with your friends. Instagram implemented its “stories” feature in August of 2016 and, for many, blurred the lines between the two platforms. As you’ll learn below, Snapchat and Instagram are still very different when it comes to audiences and content.

Audiences

Instagram caters to an older audience when compared to Snapchat. 59% of its audience is made up of 18-29 year olds, with 30-49 year-olds making up 33% of its audience.

Instagram’s audience base is also more educated than audiences on other social platforms. 37% of adults with some college experience use Instagram and college graduates make up 33% of its users.

Instagram’s income demographic reinforces the fact that its users are college educated, as 37% of adults who make more than $75,000 are on the platform.

Source: SproutSocial

Snapchat is the most-used social platform for people aged 12-24. In fact, 13-24 year-olds account for 60% of Snapchat’s total audience. According to MediaKix, 60% of college students would purchase from a brand if they were sent a coupon on Snapchat and 77% of college students use the platform daily, averaging 25-30 minutes.

Source: Smart Insights

Content

(Fun fact: Kylie Jenner revealed in her E! series Life of Kylie that she pays nothing for advertising. The 20-year-old CEO of Kylie Cosmetics says that the only advertising she does is on her personal Instagram and Snapchat accounts.)

Snapchat and Instagram both offer a platform for people to share photos and videos, but the content being shared differs.

Content on Instagram is often edited and refined. Brands are easily found on the platform, and the content shared is accessible by anyone, as long as your account is not set as “private.” Posts on Instagram also have a longer life-span, as once they are “posted,” they’re available for people to look at and interact with forever (or until the person who posted it, deletes it).

Unlike Instagram, most of the content that’s shared on Snapchat is typically between two “private” accounts and isn’t open to the public. However, there are public profiles (brands, celebrities, public figures, etc.) and the content that’s posted from those accounts is raw and unrefined. This kind of authentic content really resonates with Gen Z, as they feel that the brands that share raw and real content are more trustworthy.

A lot of brands find success using Snapchat geofilters, which can be designed on Snapchat’s website with their pre-made templates, or personally designed and uploaded (Geofilters are photo and video overlays that are accessed within a set location). For example, if your business is putting on an event where you know a lot of its audience members will be on Snapchat (concerts, fairs, etc.), then a geofilter would be an easy, effective and cost-efficient way for that audience to interact with your brand.

Interactions

The content is different on each platform, so the way it’s interacted with is different, too.

Content on Instagram can feature custom hashtags, users may tag other businesses or people, and there’s the ability to “like,” “comment,” “share,” “save,” and “send” photos and videos. In fact, 7 out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded, according to SproutSocial. Much like posts on Facebook, when you’re posting to Instagram, you also have the ability to select a location to associate your post with, giving that piece of content yet another way to be found.

When Snapchats are played, users have the ability to privately respond either via text or by snapping back a photo or video. Recently, Snapchat gave its users the ability to attach a link to their posts when users swipe up, giving brands the ability to track traffic from Snapchat more easily. On Snapchat, users can also see who has viewed their posts, who has replayed a snap and which users have taken a screen shot of the post.

What’s best for your brand?

Now that you know the differences between Snapchat and Instagram you could go frolic in a field and throw paper hearts in the air in celebration (thanks for the transition, Chris Pratt), OR you could get serious about your social strategy and call TAG! Let’s talk about which platform is best for your brand.

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3 Types of Video to Amplify Your Digital Marketing

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then that means one minute of video is worth 1.8 million – making it one of the best and fastest growing tools for digital marketing.

According to Cisco, by 2019, videos will account for more than 85% of online traffic in the U.S.. Which makes sense when you think about it. When was the last time you logged into Facebook and didn’t see a video in your news feed? Probably a pretty long time ago. In fact, 55% of people watch videos online every day.

If video marketing isn’t currently in your digital strategy, it should be! But with all of the video already out there, it can be difficult to cut through all of the clutter. Below are three types of video you can use in your marketing to help your brand stand out.

360° Video

What is it? 360° video is shot with a special 360° camera that captures all directions, giving the viewer a 360° view of whatever it is that’s being filmed.  This type of video allows the viewer to explore the video’s surroundings, giving them the option to tilt up or down and side-to-side. If you’re watching a 360° video on your computer, simply press “Play” and then once the video starts, click and drag your mouse anywhere on the screen to explore.

How can I use 360° videos for my marketing? 360° videos are a great tool for real estate agents, hotels, or other brands who are trying to sell, or showcase, a location of interest to its audience.

TAG’s favorite example: This example is from QANTAS, Austrailia’s largest domestic and international airline, which used 360° video to take its user on a virtual tourism experience to one of their most popular and scenic holiday destinations.

Interactive Video

What is it?  Interactive video is a different type of interactive experience. An interactive video will often include prompts asking for user action or input, which in turn, impacts the sequence or events in the video, making it a personalized experience for the viewer. This type of video also allows for user feedback, making it easier for you as a brand to tap into your audience’s needs.

How can I use interactive video for my marketing? Some brands have had a lot of success by incorporating interactive video for educational and promotional content, along with recruitment efforts. Essentially, interactive video is a great tool to use if you’re looking to test products, track your consumer behavior and even collect audience analytics right from the video platform.

TAG’s favorite example: Deloitte is a multinational professional services firm that provides audit, tax, consulting, enterprise risk and financial advisory services, employing more than 244,400 professionals globally. While taxes may not be your idea of a good time, their interactive recruitment campaign will have you looking into their current openings because it’s that good!

deloitte

Virtual Reality

What is it?  Virtual reality, or VR, is a fully immersive experience for your user. The 3D environment, that’s often computer-generated, transfers your user into a virtual landscape, where they’re allowed to explore the virtual environment and interact with objects within that virtual sphere. Virtual reality is experienced through a headset and as the user moves, the goggles track those movements and updates the display.

How can I use virtual reality for my marketing? Virtual reality allows for your clients or consumers to not only hear things from you, but to see and feel. If your marketing objective is to provide your audience with an experience, allow them to explore, educate or to entertain them, VR might be the best option for you!

TAG’s favorite example: The American footwear company Merrel used virtual reality to engage with its audience members over the release of their new hiking boot, the Capra. The company known for its high-performance boots took participants along a dangerous mountain hike to showcase the durability of their new release.

Want to take your video marketing to the next level and stand-out from the competition? TAG has the capability to produce 360°, interactive and virtual reality video! Contact us today to give your campaign the creativity it needs!

How to Improve Workplace Productivity

“When the cat’s away, the mice will play.”

It can be difficult to keep your employees focused, especially if your office is an open layout. One employee starts talking about grievances with a friend, another jumps in, and before you know it, a half hour of work was just dedicated to helping “Bob,” instead of staying on track with the task-at-hand.

In fact, according to an Inc.com article, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the average American is productive for only three hours of their 8-hour day.

THREE HOURS. You’ve binged watched “Making A Murderer” for longer than that.

So you’re wondering, ‘How do I increase my productivity at work?’

The good news is, it’s not just your short attention span that’s affecting your productivity, it’s also your work environment. Everything from noisy co-workers, to whether you sit by a window plays a role in how much you get done in a day.

Below are steps you can take to ensure you’re pulling your weight around the office:

1) Balance collaboration and concentration

86 minutes are lost each and every day because of noisy work environments

You can: Find a quiet space to escape if you feel yourself getting distracted or unplug from the group discussion with headphones. It’s suggested that there’s one enclosed room per every 12 employees.

2) Find the right light

Windows in workspaces provide 17.5% more light exposure than artificial lighting

You can: Sit in a workspace near a window. Not only will it have a positive effect on your productivity, but it’s also been said that people who sleep near windows sleep an average of 46 minutes more each night.

3) Transform your office with a royal makeover

Shades of blue promote tranquility and stability in the workplace and green encourages growth and prosperity while improving creativity

You can: Blue can have a positive effect on your employees. But, if you use too much, it can leave them with the “blues.” Instead of an entire room, choose an accent wall to paint blue in order to keep everyone in balance.

4) Master ergonomics 101

Providing workers with an ergonomic office chair can make them up to 17.5% more productive, while stand-up desks are proven to increase performance

You can: Better equip your employees for success by making sure they’re comfortable in their work environment. They spend an average of 8 hours per day in a chair, so make sure their workspace is making them both happy and productive.

5) Promote smart snacking

Productivity levels spike by 20% when employees are adequately nourished

You can: Encourage healthy at-work eating by stocking the break room with protein bars, granola, fruit, yogurt, jerky, and nuts.

6) Create an office oasis

Employees generate 15% more ideas when plants and flowers are present in the workplace

You can: Aside from having positive effects on your employees, plants can also improve your air quality. Strategically place plants around the building to help with productivity and office aesthetics.

7) Control the clutter

Employees spend an average of 6 weeks per year just looking for things

You can: Keep employees focused and on-task by making documents and information easily accessible, so they can spend more time working and less time looking.

As you can see from the video, TAG does a great job of implementing these tips to help our employees be as productive as possible. Find out more about TAG’s culture here.

Sources:

“INFOGRAPHIC: 9 Ways Office Design Creates a Productive Workspace.” Best Practices, Tips and Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 May 2017.

The Best Places to Pig Out in Dubuque

The Best Places to Pig Out in Dubuque

Discover some of the best food around when you try any of these local restaurants in Dubuque! We asked members of the TAG team in the Dubuque office what some of their favorite places to grab a bite are. Check them out and let us know what you think!

Lot One

AJWeb developer, Andrew Haas, is a big fan of Lot One.

“You can find a great craft beer selection and the best tacos in town at Lot One.”

This laid back watering hole has pub style food and a fantastic, casual atmosphere. And the Reubens are amazing—actually, everything’s great!

If you’re looking for a great breakfast place, check out Lot One’s Sunday Funday menu. Every Sunday they’re cooking up some of the best omelets and pancakes in the area! There’s something on the menu for everyone at Lot One.

Kathleen HerberRubix

We can’t start our day without our morning coffee. For Kathleen Herber, Vice President of the Tri-State market, that means making a trip to Rubix.

“Rubix has great coffee, welcoming staff and a great atmosphere. You can’t beat it!”

The key to the excellent coffee is their locally grown coffee beans. The menu also includes delicious food and fantastic organic juices as well. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried their bacon chicken mac and cheese flatbread. If you’re looking for quick, delicious and diverse offerings, Rubix is your place!


L.May Eatery

We love L.May Eatery for the creative options, atmosphere and cocktails! From brick oven fired pizzas to amazing entrées that are changed seasonally, you literally can’t go wrong here! Better yet, they use locally grown ingredients and they have THE best sangria and martinis around. And the appetizer menu is fantastic, hands down best bruschetta in town!

You literally just can’t go wrong at L. May!

Copper Kettle

MikeThe Copper Kettle is a great place to relax with friends and family and enjoy great food and craft beers. The easygoing, lively bar & grill is a great spot for sports fans too, with multiple TVs. The service at Copper Kettle is fantastic and unparalleled.

From fresh salads and burgers to scotch eggs and white truffle parmesan fries, the eclectic menu is full of unique items. And if you haven’t tried the scotch egg yet, you should!

TAG CEO, Mike Vondran has been going to the Copper Kettle since he was a child.

“It’s fun to go back and have a flood of great memories every time. Besides, the food and service is outstanding.”

 

If you haven’t already, stop into the Copper Kettle, L. May Eatery, Rubix or Lot One for some of the best food around—you won’t regret it! These aren’t the only places that we love to frequent, but they’re some of our favorites. Is there a Dubuque restaurant we should be talking about? Let us know! Join our conversation on Facebook!

Expanding Our Presence in Dubuque

Expanding Our Presence in Dubuque

Kathleen HerberIn 2012, TAG was proud to open a second office in Dubuque, Iowa, filling a need in the region for a marketing and communications firm with an emphasis on strategic planning and growth.

As the Vice President Tri-State Region, Kathleen Herber and the team work to expand the reach of the TAG community through developing partnerships with local businesses. We have been partnering with firms within the Tri-State area for more than 25 years, and our expansion is a result of the local market needs that have been growing exponentially over the last few years. TAG is uniquely qualified to serve those investing in brand development and management as a full service firm. We pride ourselves on providing real continuity and genuine focus on brand and its successful integration and execution with real passion.

“Our physical growth is in direct response to the business growth we’ve seen in the last several months. The Tri-State region has really welcomed TAG with open arms and has been so very kind in terms of expanded relationships. Our mission at TAG is to become our client’s most valued business partner and we are very grateful that so many Dubuque area businesses and industries have given us that opportunity. We look forward to further growth and expansion in the months and years to come,” adds Mike Vondran, CEO of TAG.

Brand value in this digital age comes in a variety of messaging platforms, and while the marketplace is recognizing this, they rely on partners they can trust to truly capitalize on their brand equity and strategic messaging. That’s where we come in. Our mission is to be recognized as the most valued business partner by our clients. We’ve built our team based upon the ability to adapt, and move quickly and effectively in an evolutionary and responsive way.

Mike HeadshotWe’re building brands, and now with our additional space, we’re going to be able to make an even bigger impact for our clients. We’re excited to continue work in the Dubuque area with our unified commitment, uncommon energy and adventurous spirit!

As a Dubuque native, this expansion means a great deal to Vondran. “Dubuque is my home. I was raised in this community and it provided me with a very firm foundation to build upon. To come home and truly be a part of the local community once again is very rewarding. I am excited to see where we can go in partnership with this great community.”

If you’re in search of a full service agency to build your brand and work with you like no other agency will visit our website!

 

TAG Announces Staff Promotions As It Enters 26 Years in Business

Michael Vondran, CEO of TAG has announced the following staff promotions within the TAG executive team effective January 1, 2016.

Don_Mug_400_400_80_int_sDon Farber to Chief Creative and Digital Officer. Don has been serving as TAG Executive VP for the past two years. In his newly expanded role Don will drive all creative and digital services of the firm. “Don has been an outstanding leader as Executive Vice President, he has built a great team and is now ready to evolve the services and vision for TAG’s creative and digital teams. We look forward to great things with Don in the lead,” said Vondran.

“The world for our clients and ourselves continues to evolve with digital communications driving brand and sales, I’m confident Don will continue to enable TAG’s growth as the digital communications leader in the region,” said Randy (RJ) Jacobs, President and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO).

Natalie Johansen-Murray to Executive Vice President/Strategy. Natalie has been serving as VP of Natalie MurrayClient Strategy and Experience for the past two years. In her new role she will continue to provide leadership and business development assistance to the TAG account management team while also growing the strategic planning, research and Brand Summit products within the firm. “Natalie’s driving focus has been to build the best possible client experience when working with TAG, this will continue and expand with focus on emerging and evolving service lines,” according to Vondran.

“TAG is a team of enthusiastic and intense members, Natalie’s leadership will continue to strengthen our position as the regional leader that Builds Brands,” said Jacobs.

Kathleen Herber to Vice President / Tri States Market. Kathleen has been serving as Market Kathleen HerberDirector for the past two years growing and managing account relationships from the firm’s office located in Dubuque, Iowa. “Kathleen has been a tremendous addition to our TAG team, her focus on client development has been instrumental in our regional growth. Her new role will only amplify and enhance our efforts in service to TAG clients in the region,” stated Vondran.

“TAG’s expansion into the Tri-State region has been an exciting journey, Kathleen’s skills and client focus will only enhance the growth of our team to provide valued services to our client partners in the region,” declared Jacobs.

Five reasons to hire a professional Media Buyer

Media Buyer Image

Media buying may seem like a straightforward affair, but coordinating effective and efficient messaging across radio, television, print, outdoor and digital platforms can be more complicated than your company might be prepared to handle alone.  Here are five reasons why you should hire a professional Media Buyer instead.

  1.  Tools of the Trade.  Professional Media Buyers have specific software and other tools at their disposal that your company would typically not invest in.  These tools allow Media Buyers to use industry formulas and audience ratings subscriptions to make educated recommendations based on data-driven results.
  1. Big Picture.  Professional Media Buyers have the ability to see your company’s big picture.  Often times individual Sales Reps are focused on the products they provide and aren’t looking out for your company’s best interests.  Media Buyers look at all media objectively and make the best decision based on your target customers and overall marketing goals.
  1. Practice makes perfect.  Professionals are professional for a reason.Experienced Media Buyers have honed their negotiation skills and have established long term relationships with media partners that can lead to premium opportunities that an unexperienced buyer would not be able to leverage.  Experienced Media Buyers have industry knowledge and are able to recommend the right media mix to deliver your companies message to their target market.
  1. Budget friendly.  When planning what to buy, Media Buyers evaluate various factors which include but are not limited to station formats, pricing rates and demographics to create an optimized buy that serves your company’s campaign goals. Going it alone can end up being more expensive without the expertise of an experienced Media Buyer.   
  1. Everything in one place.  By working with a Media Buyer you are able to avoid the hassles of being inundated with calls from Media Sales Reps, having to decipher Media Invoices and the time spent researching all the different mediums available. Media Buyers become the point of contact for all media reps thus freeing up your time.

For more information about media buying and the services that TAG offers, visit our website.

Five tips to choose a web development partner

Your business website is more important than ever in today’s digital-savvy world. Often times your potential customers find your website before engaging with you directly. Your website needs to reflect your brand, drive business, collect leads and serve as a 24/7 inbound marketing machine.

There are many factors that go into choosing a web development partner for your new website. But we’ve narrowed down the top five considerations for choosing a firm to trust the future of your business’ online presence to.

Website Grader

Start with a discovery meeting

A discovery meeting is critical to creating a website that will work as an inbound marketing machine for your business. Designers, developers and copywriters are experts at creating websites; but, you are the expert in your business and industry. The discovery meeting allows your website design team to get to know your business goals, market expectancies and what you need the website to do for potential customers.

Only after a discovery meeting will you get a website that truly works for your business 24 / 7, and a true estimate of the cost to make it do exactly what you need it to.

Will the website be responsive?

The way we access the web is changing. Mobile and tablet usage is on the rise and there’s no sign of it slowing down. Mobile users want a website that is easy to read without having to turn or enlarge the screen. If your website doesn’t dynamically resize itself on a mobile device, 61 percent of people will leave and go to a competitor’s that does.

Is the website designed just for your business?

One way website developers cut corners is to use a template design for your website. While this can keep costs down, it also means there could be another business out there with a website that looks just like yours. In order to get the most ROI out of your website, it’s best to have it designed and developed specifically for your brand, business needs and objectives.

Use an open-source CMS instead of a proprietary one

A CMS, or content management system, is the back end of your website where you will be able to edit and make changes to the content. Some web developers use a proprietary CMS that was developed in-house. This can be problematic because you’re tied to the developer as long as you have the website.

However if your website is developed in an open-source CMS, you can cut ties and take the website with you when you go.

Optimize for search with a Google-certified specialist

Your brand new website won’t be very useful if your potential customers can’t find you. Search engine optimization is becoming much more about content on the page, than meta tags included into your website’s code. Writing for the web is an art form. It’s not like writing for print. Working with a Google-certified specialist to choose keywords that matter to your industry, and an experienced copywriter to weave them into the content throughout your website, will increase your search engine ranking.

Click here to learn more about the TAG web design and development process and how we can help turn your business website into an inbound marketing sales machine.

We have a few free tools to help you asses your current website and vet potential web developers. Click here  to download your free website grader determine the strengths of your current website’s marketing presence. And click here to download a web development services checklist to get all the right interview questions to ask potential web development partners.