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Music As A Marketing Tool Focused On Millennials

Music As A Marketing Tool Focused On Millennials

As all social media users know, millennials are now ruling the economics, making up more than 25% of the US population, with a purchase power of around $1 trillion dollars, and it’s not just me who says this: you can check the numbers on PTTOW, CNBC, and Forbes.

Because we spent a large part of our lives under the influence of electronics and social media, we like to see brands going an extra mile in order to sell us stuff.

Millennials are probably the first generation of buyers who prize the emotional bond between them and the seller. In order to make a millennial buy, you need to represent the complex set of values they appreciate and reach to them, speaking their own language. I will talk about the foreign language spoke by millennials in another article, as for this one, I want to discuss how music is becoming the leading marketing tool brands are using to advertise to millennials.

Why music?

Why music? Why brands are focusing their marketing campaigns on music, targeting millennials?

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The answer lies in the power of music. Music is able to cross cultural barriers and connect people in an amazing way. Music brings a lot of health benefits and is used as therapy, due to its great emotional power on the human brain. It also stimulates social interaction, which is just what brands are looking for. Moreover, millennials grew up on music, surrounded by tapes and sticking posters with pop singers on their bedroom’s walls. Some of us even had the advantage of recording music at home, with their computer, so music is close to any millennial’s heart.

The influence of the artist on the millennial.

Lori Feldman of Warner Brother Records states that music and the artist are critical to connect a brand with its consumers, as they transmit a certain message to the consumer, and this is true: music and those who sing it are able to emotionally connect people, so when brands started to use celebrities to advertise their products and conduct music marketing campaigns, they reached a gold mine.

To exemplify this, let’s remember the time when Jay Z announced the release of his LP “Magna Carta Holy Grail” in a Samsung ad, which was so effective the app went down due to traffic.

Call to action on musical notes.

Millennials are attracted by causes and they are quick to act and react on social changes. This generation will go out in the streets, asking for what they want! Music is going to be there, with them, at any social event, from a protest to a party, because music is dynamic and incites to action.

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Amnesty International launched a program called The Power of Our Voices in 2012, educating students about the power of music and how they can use it to drive social change. The program was a hit and many students wrote and sang their own protest songs, which incite to action, to change. After all, Billie Holiday sang about racial issues and most rappers sing about the difficulties of the ghetto live.

In this project, students were taught to drive change by using the power of their own voices.

Brands also took advantage of this driving force: during a contest labeled #AbsolutGaga that went on during Lady Gaga’s 2014 tour, fans were encouraged to share their creative ideas on how they would transform their community. Needless to say, the campaign was a hit and showed that people can be involved in transforming their community.

Music engagement leads to long term relationships.

What can you do to gain as much exposure as possible? Engage your audience! Music events have a great power to engage the audience – think Coachella and the million of photos and videos uploaded by the participants on their own social media channels. This is what makes Coachella the main musical event of the year and brands can benefit from this opportunity as well. The keyword here is “live event”. When people attend live events, they engage easier, because they are emotionally connected.

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The profile of the average music festival enthusiast is someone of 18-30 years old, who is quick to act on emotions and is active on social media. To understand better the phrase “act on emotions” think of the decision to spend hundreds of dollars on a ticket to a music festival: is it rational or emotional?

A study conducted by Momentum Worldwide showed that people who attend a branded live event are 65% more likely to recommend the brand afterwards and 59% more likely to buy from the brand afterwards.

Digital and traditional methods complement each other.

For a millennial who is highly active on social media, it may seem intuitive to use the online medium to discover new tunes. The reality is twisted: 78% of millennials find new music by listening to radio, which is a traditional medium.

Despite this, Twitter is the main platform where the audience meets the artist and share the news about live music events.

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H&M tested the results of this study when they launched their Fashion Against AIDS campaign on radio in 2008. The campaign had a great impact, as it was offering 500 tickets to an Estelle performance, which was going to be held at an yet unknown location. Social media was also used during this campaign. At the end, the entire marketing campaign showed the combo of millennials, music and social media can sell 50k designer T-shirts and attract 17k entries.

The conclusion on the power of music marketing on millennials.

Millennials are breathing music on their social media accounts and technology advancements are keeping us closer to our favorite tunes and artists, while we love to interact digitally with our idols, we also love to see them in live events. In fact, the general lack of social interaction is pushing millennials to crave more and more live music events, where they can get a physical and emotional experience.

All these make music a great marketing tool for millennials, so branded live music events are going to bloom in the future, as more and more companies use music to reach and engage their audience.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via images.unsplash.com

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

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Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

Reference

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