Marketing is interesting due to its constantly evolving nature, and is of utmost importance to any successful business. Although it has its critics, who claim that it may not be personal enough, or is simply window-dressing for companies who would be successful without it, I strongly believe that a business must market themselves on online and offline platforms in order to maximise its potential.
Perhaps the best example of this is Nike’s campaign with Colin Kaepernick, which, although highly divisive, made Nike a universal topic of conversation as people voiced their opinions on it. Through this, one can see that marketing is much more than offering a low price to a customer, which does not always guarantee results. The #justburnit movement trended and was picked up by worldwide news outlets, but their 31% surge in sales in the days after the ad was released shows that it was an effective marketing strategy. For my generation at least, this ad was seen as a positive move towards more political freedom as Kaepernick, a controversial figure who notoriously kneeled for the US national anthem, sparking widespread outrage, was given a platform through marketing and allowed to drive his message home.
Paddy Power’s Save our Shirt campaign was a stroke of marketing genius. This involved creating an absolute shambles of a kit for Huddersfield, which their fans were not best pleased with (see below), but then making the shirt completely sponsor-less. My generation generally saw this as a stroke of genius, as it is clear to see how corporatism has somewhat ruined modern football, with extortionate transfer fees one of many problems within the game at the moment. This was very much a breath of fresh air, and a clever strategy from Paddy Power, who became the talk of almost every football fan in the country and will continue to do so as they draw in new clients to the campaign.
However, marketing has the potential to go wrong. Influencer marketing, I’d say, is quite inefficient because it targets an audience that companies do not know a great deal about, apart from the fact that they follow an account or like a celebrity. According to emarketer.com, 76% of marketers use no tools when selecting influencers, instead relying on teams within them and a lot of research. Therefore, companies may not always be selecting celebrities relevant to their brand. It is the case amongst most of those in my generation that we accept that we will see ads on social media, but when those that we follow are posting them too then it becomes a painstakingly boring process to scroll through our feeds.
However, influencer marketing can work well if it targets very high profile people and isn’t intrusive upon the customer. Roger Federer using kit from UNIQLO this year drew a lot of attention as, although subtle, audiences were surprised to see him not sporting his typical Nike apparel.
In conclusion, Generation Z is still very much interested in marketing provided that its done well, isn’t intrusive and ideally doesn’t use too much of our data, a topic which has led marketing to lose a degree of credibility in my opinion in recent years. The case studies mentioned above all caught the eye, and are prime examples of how to pull off marketing for a youthful audience.