Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Zoran Savin, IAB Slovenia
“The data are law, and analyses are the constitution!” With that sentence Mitja Tuškej, executive director of Direct Media Communications and partner at Formitas, sets the tone of our conversation about targeting in the oversaturated media space. In such an environment, targeting solely on age is way too inadequate for achieving communication goals, and one thing to keep in mind is that younger generations are extremely savvy in filtering information.
The new generations, in particular the Generation Z, in some cases respond very well to communication, if it is custom made for the target group we are addressing. The message is what carries the meaning and it is the one that can break through the oversaturation. The message is therefore the most important factor. Communication channels only come in second. The fact is that in today’s media space, where attention is fragmented and highly dependent on lifestyle, more focus on data and research is necessary.
Savin: What is the most important thing for branding today?
Tuškej: I would say that for branding today, math and statistics are of crucial importance, and that data is the law, and analyses are the constitution. Because if you want to do anything on a brand, it would be crazy if you don’t analyze data and figure out what your target group is beforehand. After all, you have to know what your position is in relation to competition.
Savin: Is demographic data enough for quality targeting?
Tuškej: No, I don’t think it’s enough. An alternative to this is lifestyle targeting. Ten years ago, I started studying the lifestyle of the population in Slovenia and the region. I was thrilled when in 2015, in TrendWatching – a group studying trends – I saw a brand new trend called Post Demographic. The first year they said, guys and girls, if you are dealing with brands, be a little more careful, maybe it’s time to venture beyond demographics, and in the last issue they stated that the demographics is dead. Long live lifestyle! The link between lifestyle and brand is obvious, and if the brand wants to find its true place in the market, if the brand is (and it should) aspiring to delight a certain group of people, to find their ambassadors and influencers, in short, to find people who will spread good voice about the brand, it is important that they know how to find such a target group, to focus on it and try to get closer to it.
Savin: So, division by generations is not enough?
Tuškej: I think – and math supports it – that division by generations is inadequate. There are segments within generations that differ in their behavior, in their perception of the world, in their understanding of brands, in their purchasing habits, in short, in all that would be of interest to today’s brands. I for example deal with three segments within the Generation Y: those who like parties, young family people and young conservatives. In Generation X I have five other segments, and when I compare the thinking of certain segments in Generation X, I conclude that the mindset in some segments is even more liberal, more progressive, than that among the young conservatives in the Gen Y. Thus, through lifestyle, we get a set of segments that isn’t covered by the age of individual groups.
It is interesting to note that when you analyze the different lifestyles, and put all the segments I mentioned in the Rogers’ S curve – his segment division method – the combination of these two divisions gives you the right results: you know who is accepting of innovation, who accepts the novelties, who spreads them, who creates the trends, and, if we want to be totally radical, for whom do we intend our sales advertising, price advertising, and for whom do we intend advertising that is meant to carry a true story of the brand, and ensure the brand its rightful market position in the long run. Through lifestyle analysis, you can determine who in the population actually accepts advertising, or accepts it significantly better than others.
Savin: Is the Gen Z truly the “Digital generation”?
Tuškej: In my first analysis of the Gen Z’s media consumption I was surprised to see that they receive news from various media. I was surprised that they accept news in the print media. It’s hard to take it all for granted, but data has shown me that this segment is following the press stronger than before. On the other hand, the fact is that their news sources are also linked to other, especially digital communication channels – they have their tablets and smartphones already in the cradle. Their perception of the world is completely different, just as their consumption of news is different. The digital world is present among them even stronger than among the Gene Y. So, my answer is YES, Gen Z is really the digital generation.
Savin: How best to reach the younger generations then?
Tuškej: Through new channels and with completely different messages. Messages must be short, and they must form a unique image across channels. It is interesting that Gen Z is the first generation that is truly capable of consuming substantially more information than all others. We older generations encounter a problem of information overload. We build a wall in front of our brain, and we block any information that is not line with our lifestyle, with our wishes and habits. With Z generation, it looks different. They are capable of faster and higher data absorption.
Savin: How does the new market situation reflect on the brands?
Tuškej: The period from 2008 to today has been extremely interesting for brands. When we analyze the work of many brands, we can clearly conclude that many people had bad and too wide targeting, because of which many lost their stories. Their advertising went in some weird direction, adapting to the situations most associated with recession in the economy. This has led to brands becoming increasingly similar to each other, which proved detrimental for them. But when we analyze the Interbrand ranking of the 100 top brands, we quickly come to a realization that in that period all of them focused their communication very well on their story, and that they were very focused on their narrow target group. This concept proved to be extremely successful.
Savin: How do you reach as many consumers as possible in a market as small as the one in Slovenia, but at the same time engage your target audience?
Tuškej: I have no dilemma there. You have to jump headfirst into the pool called – focus. I will try to illustrate it with one example. From professional point of view, I’m in love with a certain brand – although I would never sit behind a wheel of one of their cars, because it’s completely out of my life style. I’m talking about Volkswagen. I’m really amazed with their focus. Namely, Since 2000, I have measurements of the characteristics or attributes of the brand, of the values associated with Volkswagen and its personality that symbolizes the target group. And all the time it has been the same. Over the last 15 years, Volkswagen has grown from 10 to 17 percent of market share. Throughout that time they have been persuading the same people. Of course, some of us will never buy it, but others will always have it in their garages. The brand loyalty is exceptional and it is growing all the time. Their focus on what they really are is exceptional. Their focus on their target group is also exceptional. In my opinion, they do it perfectly. And this is the path that should be taken for all those brands that are faced with strong competition in the market. And today that’s almost all brands!