February 24, 2007
It seems that its about time for me to weigh in again about the sorry state of marketing geared to Gen Y individuals. Granted, I can be a very judgmental individual, but there are so few really quality marketing campaigns out there that I often find myself telling my friends that there needs to be a group that has to approve all marketing campaigns and ads to save us from having to watch some of the truly awful ones.
On that note, I’d like to propose an option for companies looking to market to Gen Y and college students. Marketing firms should be making use of the internet to put together focus groups who watch the ad campaigns via streaming video or evaluate print ads on some website. By mining the data on social websites like Facebook and MySpace, companies could identify individuals that they want to be part of the focus group and invites could be sent to those individuals with a promise of compensation for participating.
I’m sure there must be online focus groups already in operation, but aside from using the social websites to identify individuals to take part in the group, my other innovation for this undertaking would incorporate a device to monitor physiological responses from the individual watching the ad. I remember a West Wing episode in which a focus group watching Bartlett giving a state of the union address were monitored using a simple dial that they adjusted in response to what Bartlett was saying. A simple extension of this approach would be a device that is shipped to the individual in the focus group. The group members would hook this device up to a USB port on their computer and before watching the ad, they would place their hand on the device, which would measure electrical and physiological responses to the ad. A baseline could be taken by also showing the group members ad campaigns that the company thinks are ones they either want to emulate or not emulate.
This approach would allow marketing firms to reach the ever so important Gen Y demographic in a very controlled manner and would also provide more information than they would get from a simple form that group members would also fill out after watching the ad campaign.
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