Influential digital subcultures

With the ever-increasing digitalization of the world, one of the things to also change is the way brands and customers interact. Nowadays, there are three main target groups that marketers should focus on, as they are the ones with the most out of the box thinking. The three groups are youth, women, and netizens. Because of their outlook at the world, they are not easily impressed, but once they are, the turn into the most loyal advocates of your brand.

Youth: acquiring the mind share

Around 1,8 billion of the world’s population consists of people between the ages of 10 and 24. They are trying to balance their social life, education, and career challenges marketers are trying to solve.

Young people have a massive role in influencing the world, with their rebellious and anti-establishment behavior, pushing them to be the early adopters of society. Secondly, they are trendsetters, the “now” generation that demands instant everything. That makes them very agile when it comes to trends, which can be a bit tricky for marketers to follow. 

Finally, comes their influence as game-changers, which is just a representation of the former two. Often associated with their selfish behavior and irresponsibility, the youth responds more quickly to changes happening in the world and are faster to adapt.

Women: growing the market share

The female market is just as well an important one for marketers. It is not only enormous, but the segment profile is very distinctive. In general, there are three leading roles that women play:

  • Information collectors – a woman’s decision-making process goes through a long information collection process, that resembles a spiral. Women often find themselves going back a step to collect new information, spending hours in stores reviewing quality and comparing prices
  • Holistic shoppers – the more touchpoints on their customer journey means women consider more factors such as functional and emotional benefits, prices which helps them determine the actual value of products and services
  • Household managers – according to a 2008 research in the US, women are the ones making financial decisions in 41% of households, whereas men are more dominant in only 26% of them.

The influence of women at home and at work is steadily growing, as these three roles are the key to win market share in the digital economy.

Netizens: expanding the heart share

Michael Hauben, the creator of the term in the early 90s, defines netizens as people, not limited by geographical boundaries, who actively work towards developing the internet for the benefit of the world.

Among the 3,5 billion internet users, just a fraction can be considered netizens. The users can be segmented into six subcategories: inactives, spectators, joiners, collectors, critics, and creators, though only the collectors, critics, and creators can be considered netizens. 

A beneficial quality they have is that they are usually very aggressive in expressing their opinion, which in some cases might even lead to cyberbullying. That can also turn them into brand evangelists. When they are passionate about and committed to a brand, they can be a safeguard of their favorite brand.

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