Connecting with your target audience is essentially the purpose of marketing. The challenge is relating to an audience that continues to evolve. From baby boomers, millennials and rising Gen Z-ers, your marketing tactics need to continually embrace generation change to be successful in relating your message to the right crowd.
This is a hot topic and the focus of our podcast conversation with Karen Hinds, the CEO and Founder of Workplace Success Group, a firm that focuses on the next generation of leaders.
Though she doesn’t work in club marketing specifically, her expertise in engaging multi-generations is well-aligned with a very present challenge for private clubs — how to address an aging membership and appeal to the “younger” generation.
Understand Your Audience
Though the “millennial’ label gets rather flippantly tossed around by generations prior, Hind’s points out that, historically, this isn’t the only age group that’s gotten flak. It’s always been this way. And one day, it will be millennials saying, “Oh those darn Gen Z-ers!”
But as of late, millennials are rising to become the population majority and it’s important that businesses (and private clubs!) embrace what makes this generation so unique, as well as acknowledge the positive influences they bring to the table. Believe it or not, there are many!
What Millennials Want to Know
In this episode, Hinds highlights some notable millennial characteristics for all marketers to keep top-of-mind. In short, this generation is big into collaboration, they're confident and they like to know that their values and opinions are heard.
The new generations grew up with a wealth of information and are therefore big on data and transparency. They know how to find information about you, and they will. So private clubs can no longer say “we are the best” without being able to back it up.
What Private Clubs Need to Know
What can private clubs take from this? For starters, have an accurate and robust online presence. This generation needs to be sold before they walk through your doors. Not only through your club’s website, but on social media. Millennials want to know what others have to say about you first before they can trust you.
Don't Treat Millennials Like They are All the Same
So you want younger membership, but what does that mean exactly?
Hinds says you’ve got to break it down. Are you looking for young families? Young golfers? Young professionals? Because each group has different motivations, so the blanket statement “younger” in terms of club offerings could mean a variety of different experiences or amenities. Go after who you truly want to attract.
Once you’ve identified your specific audience, you’ve got to be willing to make some changes and remain flexible in the long haul, because (surprise!) generations will continue to evolve.
As a club – or any business for that matter – you must remain agile enough to change with the times. It's all about balance, though — adjust quickly while continuing to serve the needs of your existing members.
Connect With Karen Hinds:
Don't have time to listen to the whole podcast episode right now? Here are some of the main points — feel free to bounce around!
This Episode at Glance:
- 2:15 – Why generations are making a fuss over the term "millennial."
- 3:23 – What we know about millennials.
- 4:50 – How millennials behave differently, from a consumer perspective.
- 7:06 – What clubs should consider if they want to attract "younger" membership.
- 8:30 – Making sure your team is ready for change, younger will mean different.
- 11:50 – How to sell to the younger generation.
- 14:30 – The importance of social media and a strong online presence.
- 19:00 – What clubs should do, or provide, to appeal to a younger demographic.
- 21:10 – Why clubs need to remain agile to keep up with the times.
- 23:30 – What's next? Preparing for Generation Z.
- 24:41 – How younger generations are making us better.