The event lowdown: Global Tribes & Local Identities

Set in an art-house cinema in London, our latest Global Marketers’ Club event: Global Tribes & Local Identities certainly provided some movie magic moments. Indeed, our panel discussions weren’t the same old marketing debates we’ve all heard before. These were exciting explorations into consumer communities, the younger generations and local culture, alongside mic-drops, Britney Spears quotes and a dramatic ripping of a £20 note (you had to be there).

If you’re worried you might have missed out, don’t worry, our event roundup will tell you all you need to know.

Panel 1: Gen Z vs Millennials Around the World

For our first panel, we were joined by Alvin Hussey from Beano Studios; Chris Kubby, the CEO of Kubb & Co; and Rebecca Connée, an influencer marketing specialist from Tailify.

There was lots of healthy debate, especially around the attention spans of Gen Z and Gen A audiences. However, the overall consensus was that these younger gens are a switched-on bunch, and not to be underestimated.

Here’s the lowdown:

It’s true – Gen Z are woke

  • Gen Z are more aware and more raw than Millennials; they want brands to have values and be genuine
  • Gen Z are less fooled by influencer marketing, they want micro influencers who are more tuned in to real life

The great debate – how long can younger gens pay attention for?

Statistically, Gen Z have an attention span of about 8 seconds. However, an increasing number of younger audiences are actually tuning into long form content in the form of Youtube, Twitch, Netflix, online quizzes, etc.

Don’t make the same old mistakes

  • Choose your influencers carefully, they must align with your brand values
  • Watch out for self-conscious bias, too many agencies make decisions based on their own experience of being in their late teens/twenties and not on reality
  • It’s not necessary to rely on big overarching campaigns; specific content is cheap to make (especially on social) and can be personalised to Gen Z audiences

Gen Z and millennials are “glocal” citizens

  • Generally, millennials and Gen Z are becoming borderless, seeing themselves as global citizens
  • Local culture still has an impact; for example, kids in the US barely go online in the summer while they’re at summer camp. However, in the UK, kids are online throughout their school summer holidays
  • Trends are still local and the younger generations want smaller, localised influencers, as opposed to global celebrities

Panel 2: Marketing to Global Tribes

For our second panel, we were joined by: Gellan Watt, a creative and advisor; Thomas Huttner, the EU Media and Planning Lead at EA; and Eleonore Maudet, Marketing Manager and Co-Founder of The Global Marketers’ Club.

This panel caused quite a stir, as the panel (Gellan in particular) took a stand against those all-too-common marketing buzzwords, like authenticity, relevant, consumer and on-trend. Here’s our key takeaways:

Broadcasting vs participating – the death of “marketing to”

  • Brands must never “market to” tribes by observing from afar, they must be “part of” the tribe, driving conversations and connecting with the community
  • As a brand, ensure that you’re an icon within your tribe
  • Marketing to an entire tribe is unrealistic, instead look for a smaller tribe within your tribe, i.e. the mobile gamers within the gamer tribe

“On-trend” – another phrase to ditch

  • Forget on-trend, it’s advertising speak! Great brands shape tribe trends and drive the conversation in an honest way
  • Don’t jump on a trend if it doesn’t fit your brand
  • Keep your ear to the ground stay nimble and be willing to evolve with your tribe

Reaching consumers who belong to many tribes

  • Dynamic creative optimisation is a great tool to use, but don’t let your brand become disjointed or over-complicate your audience
  • The tools and data we have can give us the level of reach we want but it’s hard to touch people’s values, that’s what we need to work on as marketers
  • Many brands are able to reach multi-hyphenated consumers, i.e. Nike appeals to the gamers, the urban fashion tribe and the fitness enthusiasts

Just be part of the tribe

  • Immerse yourself in your tribe and understand their motivations
  • Do your research, don’t just replicate what your tribe or other brands are doing
  • Tribes are full of energy and passion, as a brand you must be reactive to this in order to ignite your tribe’s passion

Panel 3: Considering Local Identities

In our final panel, we were joined by consultant Paul Arnold; Gillian Davies from IHG; and Nara Cravanzola, Head of Creative Adaptation at Freedman.

Our speakers considered how local customs and behaviours shape consumer identity. The general takeaway was that while we may live in a hyper-connected world, local culture still matters.

Here’s some of their insights:

Spend money to make money

  • It is always worth investing in localisation, if it means your campaigns will resonate
  • When marketing globally, you have to consider different local truths – even when it comes to teeth! For example, a Sensodyne ad had to account for different global factors affecting tooth sensitivity; in Canada the cold weather affects sensitivity while in India, the nation have certain traditions linked to sugary sweets
  • For the hotel industry, travellers may be global but they want their hotels to deliver localised features and experiences from decor, to F&B, to customer service

If targeted marketing isn’t useful and relevant, it’s redundant

  • Personalised ads using geo-targeting must aid the consumer, using the location to provide relevant info like pointing to the local supermarket etc.
  • Don’t invade someone’s personal space or clog their feed when using geo-targeting
  • Culture doesn’t live on Google – send your creatives out the local markets so they can produce relevant content
  • You must catch a trend at the right time to get carried in the right direction
  • Like waves, trends can chop and change. For example, Chinese tourism is seeing a huge shift with millennials stepping away from the traditional reliance on travel agents and package tours, instead opting to get under the skin of new places
  • It’s important for brands to analyse trends so that they can become trend-setters, as opposed to trend-followers

We hope this event roundup provided you with some useful marketing tips and tricks! If you’d like to know more about global consumer tribes, you can download our latest guide. Or, if you’d like to hear about future Global Marketers’ Club events, you can join the club here.