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3 steps to targeting Gen C

Posted by Alex Warren on 8th May 2014

As a PR agency, we earn a living from advising our clients on their communications strategies and how to make their content more engaging. But there are a great many cases where we take concepts and models that already exist in other areas such as sales or marketing and apply them to PR.

Earlier this month, our client infoMENTUM undertook a piece of research examining the latest generation of tech savvy consumers – Generation C.

“Gen C is not an age group, it’s a lifestyle. While social networks are the fabric of online relationships, it is how technology affects everyday activity. What’s most important for you to understand is that Gen C is different.

They put the “me” in social media. They’re always on. They rely on the shared experiences of strangers to guide their actions. And, they know that other Gen C’ers rely upon their shared experiences to find resolution.”

Brian Solis, digital analyst

Due to their constant connectivity; Generation C increasingly represents an extremely valuable target market for marketing and social media campaigns.

While the key focus of infoMENTUM’s report related to workplace practices and online engagement strategies, it’s interesting to note that a lot of the key findings can also be applied within the field of PR. So, how do we reach them?

1. Forget advertising, it’s time to build dialogue

According to infoMENTUM’s research, members of Generation C consider pop-ups and advertising their two biggest sources of frustration online. Instead of blasting users with adverts, businesses should be looking to employ traditional public relations and social media techniques to develop two-way dialogue online. Thanks to their increased social media usage, Generation C widely consider two-way communication  a minimum requirement, with pop-ups and banner ads being seen as not only old fashioned, but also an infringement on the online browsing experience.

2. Speed up your customer journey

In a world of constant connectivity and instant access to information, slow-loading content is Gen C’s worst nightmare. Speed and convenience is everything for Generation C, so improving the customer journey should be top of the agenda. A clear user path is vital, with one in five Gen C members considering difficult navigation to be a major source of frustration. As a result, PR professionals should be increasingly looking to collaborate with other business sectors to create a seamless customer journey.

3. It’s all about design

As it becomes increasingly easy for users to publish high quality content of their own, Gen C has grown ever more critical of low quality work. As a result, they are significantly more likely to appreciate well-designed and aesthetically pleasing content than any other group. In years gone by, traditional PR people weren’t always known for their design skills. More often than not, most PR pros will happily spend hours crafting a carefully worded press release, before dumping it into an unformatted email. This is an attitude that needs to change. PRs have just as much of an opportunity to flaunt their creative design skills as practitioners of any other marketing discipline. If we don’t start now, we may never capture a share of the Gen C marketplace.


Alex Warren

Alex Warren is an expert in AI and marketing technologies. He has published two books, Spin Machines, and Technoutopia and is regularly quoted in PR, marketing and technology media. In his role as a Senior Account Director at Wildfire he helps tech brands build creative strategies that deliver results and cut through the marketing BS.