The coming of Covid-19 has changed everything - lifestyles, work, study and technology. Every behavior has become tied to the digital world and social media have taken an increased role. E-commerce has grown in leaps and bounds, and businesses today need strategies to manage their marketing. Retail in particular has been continually disrupted, either by lockdown to contain infection, or from consumers' concerns for their own safety. As a result, consumers' visits to the storefront have markedly reduced.
Retail has had to adapt to the digital age, increasingly switching offline for online. They need to choose the right platform which caters to their target groups, offers convenience and has a great Ecosystem. This makes for easy and efficient store management, such as with ordering, data analysis, stock management and payment systems, as well as coping with enquiries and putting out promotional content. LINE is a platform providing all of these solutions with a complete suite of capabilities.
The first priority for business success in any sector is knowing who your target groups are, so you can analyze their spending and behavior. The target group of paramount importance is Gen X, because they are at the heart of families, being responsible for other members of the household. They are leaders in terms of income and have better financial security than every other generation.
Gen X has experience of shopping both online and offline. When they are at home for longer they spend more time online as a consequence. They can be connecting to friends on social media, checking text messages, browsing for products and purchasing products. Their most popular communication channel is LINE, with over 49 million current users. LINE Official Account (LINE OA) is the bridge connecting brands most closely to Gen X. Over the last year, engagement on LINE OA increased by 73% (source: LINE), meaning proactive conversations between brands and consumers.
Gen X also feels they are overlooked by brands and marketeers. Thus, any brand which can reach them first has an edge. Let's see which marketing strategies are effective with Gen X
Gen X give priority to their hobbies, their health and activities. They seek out quality and trustworthiness. LINE OA is a tool to upgrade trustworthiness of a brand, starting from creating a Profile Page, a Timeline and a Chat Room. These can build credibility for a brand among Gen X-ers.
Another interesting facet about Gen X is their fondness for nostalgia. They will talk about “the good old days” more than other generations. Therefore, the strategy enabling brands to penetrate these needs on target is Nostalgia Marketing, which yields more opportunities to close sales and get clicks on product links.
For the Nostalgia Marketing strategy, brands must stimulate demand from Emotional Bonding, to bring up memories from the past, and emphasize images from the past. They must make the bonding connection with LINE OA by designing content and advertising video. It could be broadcast text such as post-Rebranding product content, or advertising video referencing a familiar taste or unforgettable smell. Brands can start on marketing plans to penetrate Gen X by collecting basic information from the customers such as membership registrations, questionnaires, or information supplied for prize draws. These furnish the brand with a strong database on its target group, and the brand can then do Retargeting to deliver suitable content directly to Gen X, while other groups get key content which the brand is already using.
Brands are not limited to broadcasts, as they can also make Advertorial on LINE TODAY. Gen X uses this channel to follow the news, guaranteeing 1,400 million page views per month (source: LINE). Advertorial content can interleave the ads at various key points: The highest position before accessing content, positions between content, and at the bottom of the content. Ads can be either still pictures or video.
All of these things can stimulate interest among Gen X-ers and make them ready to pay in exchange for sentimental “value”. More than any others, Retail businesses must give consumers number one priority, because customers are looking not only at price, but want service, advice and attention from the brand.
Gen X loves personalized marketing which is sincere. MyCustomer meets this communication need, managing customer relations and understanding the needs of Gen X better. This can range from broadcasting text as mentioned above to designing a Rich Menu (shortcut menu on the screen) which can have a different display matching the preferences of each person.
The brand should start with settings on the Default Rich Menu which will display the same to every group, so that the customer can select their preferences. Action tags are attached to each Rich Menu to distinguish groups of customers according to their preferences. Then it can be chosen to send the Custom Rich Menu, designed to meet the needs of each preference. This makes the customer feel that our offer or our product matches their preference, giving them a better experience with the brand and an increased rate of Engage / Purchase.
Brands can also attract Gen X-ers with online deals such as giving discount coupons, reward cards to collect points, or give privileges continuously on LINE OA. Additional content can be broadcast from analysis of data stored by the brand, the top part of Personalized Marketing.
There is also a Survey Feature for brands to survey additional preferences of Gen X, such as which products they miss the most from their past, or that unforgettable moment in their lives. Data obtained from questionnaires can greatly increase the efficiency of online marketing, because of the capability to accurately measure data giving insight into customers. This better enables brands to create Personalized Offers for customers and send them directly.
Other features of MyCustomer help the brand to collect data from the customer, to give insight and adjust communications strategies. With just this, brands can better know and understand Gen X, with no need to create a completely new system.
Despite many retail brands having a traditional customer base who are strongly attached, they should not forget to penetrate new customer groups. When the situation recovers, a portion of customers will continue to shop online. Advertising on LINE Ads Platform (LAP) is an opportunity for brands to reach new target groups, which can be specified from both Core Audiences and Custom Audiences.
• Core Audiences are target groups by preference: They are specified by gender, age, location, phone OS and preferences such as health, sport and food. Don't forget that Gen X has special interest in health and hobbies.
• Custom Audiences are self-identified target groups, culled from the brand's customer database. This could be by website visits, app usage, being LINE OA followers, or even Lookalike Audiences, which enable brands to access new members of Gen X from their database of existing customers.
Ads can be displayed in various positions on LINE, starting with the first page they see regularly in the morning, the Chat list. Then there is LINE Timeline, LINE TODAY, LINE TV and Wallet tab. The system will automatically choose the most effective position for the objective and selected target group. With just this, there are no concerns that the brand's ads will not reach the target group. The better brands understand what Gen X wants, the easier to approach them. For instance, if the brand has conducted a survey and found that a Gen X-er likes to read articles more than watch a series, the brand can make advertising about “Health products from famous brands” and put the advertising on LINE TODAY to increase the chances they will see the ad. Just this makes the advertising fully effective. And when the campaign is over, there is also data from access or clicks on links from that ad for the purposes of further marketing.
When society is in a rough situation, forcing brands and consumers to stay apart from one another, LINE can be the agent bringing the relationship closer together again. The brand does not lose awareness and there is a channel for continuous access. LINE OA also contains many other features giving capabilities to businesses and helping consumers to spend more time online. If you want to build an extra level of resilience into your business, please contact us.