The emergence of the Generation Y is a game changer that alters the existing status quo of marketing and selling. Setting aside the talk of the Gen Y from a sociological point of view, what makes this generation of consumers unique and formidable is in their knowledge and comfort in dealing with new technology. These consumers are young, have specific needs, and aversions that will not be answered by existing services, technologies, or business strategies. To sell successfully to this crucial market segment would mean to set up a new business plan specifically targeting this population. Once this market is captured however, you would have the most dynamic and demanding customer that will dictate future technological, media, and consumer needs and services.
Rather than using conventional ways of marketing and selling to the Gen Y, we propose setting up a new sub-division that is specific to the Gen Y. The most effective way to sell to this target group is using both, direct human contact and virtual contact. We must realize that selling goods and services through traditional storefronts and kiosks or through internet websites to them only bring limited success. These consumers behave, shop, and think differently.
Taking this into account, in our opinion, the most efficient and cost effective way to reach this new generation of consumers is through direct selling. Here are a few reasons:
1. Gen Y cannot be reached through conventional marketing. Even if implemented, it would have limited success. Gen Y relies on peer and personal recommendations.
2. Direct selling requires minimal cost, but when combined with social media, it will achieve its true potential. Social media is a powerful tool in connecting direct sellers and market new products by amplifying its reach to other consumers.
3. Compensation provided by direct selling is flexible, and can be designed in a way that maximizes and encourages participation.
4. Direct selling compensation can be made on a simple cash basis or a hybrid, cash and (or) discounted services basis depending on the targeted participant.
5. Direct selling offers tremendous synergy in cross selling of related or adjunct services. Mobile e-commerce, m-wallet.
A multi-level direct selling plan is ideal for the Gen Y. Gen Y are individualistic, creative, and skillful at using social media. These characteristics all encourage entrepreneurship. Team and leaders can be created rapidly, and fast growth can be achieved. Most importantly, this must be fundamentally different from traditional forms of direct selling or business marketing: young people will not see this as a ‘job’, but as something they do to enhance their lifestyle.
Taken from: Club UNE 360: A Direct Selling Proposal for the Gen Y. By: Jonathan Han & Daniel Murphy