Which generation are the real entrepreneurs of today? Is it America’s largest generation – the millennials? How about the boomers?
It’s really Generation Z – those born between 1996 and 2010 – children aged 6 to 20. In a recent survey of Gen Z, their top career choice was to be a serial entrepreneur. This generation’s new business tools are social and digital media with video content creation. They use real time information to determine pricing and engage in e-commerce. And they do it all from the comfort of their bedrooms.
Consider EvanTube, a hugely successful YouTube channel featuring a 12-year-old boy and his 8-year-old sister. They unbox toys, play with them and give us their thoughts. EvanTube is both an advertising platform and a marketing channel for toys. The success of EvanTube and other sites rely on “social selling” – consumers using video content and social media to engage with brands on social media. In a MediaPost survey, 39% of 13-33 year olds have posted about a brand on social media. A brand using “social selling” is 6 times more likely to surpass its sales goals.
With “social selling,” a critical component is Experiential Marketing, a key tenant of brand activation. What does that mean exactly? This is marketing that directly engages consumers and makes them participate in an active way with the brand. It creates unique face to face “branded experiences.” Think about online video gaming, which is a $2 billion business and part of the $100 billion video game industry. Experiential marketing is used to fill consumers’ need for community and experiences while fueling interest and stimulating sales.
Of course, there’s another factor that must be considered – legal issues. The uniqueness of experiential marketing is both compelling and challenging – it’s critical that in-house counsel ensure that all “what if” scenarios are considered. If not, legal landmines could destroy good will and harm the brand. Take, for example, the agreements at play – not only agency service agreements or statements of work, but all the other documents that may go into putting on an event, from venue agreements to IP licenses, talent agreements to catering vendor order forms. And thinking even more holistically: have you clearly established which party owns the event and all the materials produced? Do you need a permit to erect an advertising installation at the location, especially if it’s a public space? What insurance are your vendors carrying for potentially dangerous executions? How can the risk be minimized? Are there any special regulations that apply to your event or to the products that will be promoted? And perhaps most importantly, have all the PR implications been considered fully? Remember that even if a brand outsources to an agency, it’s ultimately the brand’s event, and the brand’s reputation that is on the line.