Charlie Cook On Air: Connecting With Millennials

Charlie Cook

Charlie Cook

Well, the world as we know it is changing. Soon a new female singer might remake Tim McGraw’s “Don’t Take the Girl.” Soon an illegal alien is really going to be someone from Mars, not Mexico. Soon healthcare is going to make you sicker than coughing in an elevator.

A lot of the change is coming because the largest generation in U.S. history is entering adulthood and these Americans were raised under different circumstances than their elders. I am from the Baby Boom Generation. We were associated with a rejection and redefinition of traditional values but we look like amateurs compared to the Millennials.

A lot of this has to do with technology. I was an early adopter with computers and cell phones but I gave all of that up when I passed the Samsung delivery guy bringing in the newest phone as I was leaving with my purchase. There is no way to keep up. That realization comes with experience and Visa bills that look like the national debt. Millennials don’t yet know that.

A recent study by Fizziology and Horizon Media broke the generation into four groups:

Youthful Pursuits (18%)

Confident and Connected (32%)

Creatures and Comfort (25%)

Indie Dreamers (25%)

Without stating the obvious, this is a group both the radio and music industry needs to appeal to every day. Understanding these groups should help. What I love, when looking at the characteristics of each group, is with some planning and focus each of the segments has a window of opportunity for our industries.

The Youthful Pursuits are image-seeking and live in the “Now.” This is the kind of person who wants to be on top of everything new, and it is important to their self image. Identifying this group with new music and a “hip” station is an opening.

Confident and Connecteds are social and knowledge-seeking. Providing the C&C with information about the artists and their communities is something that might appeal to this group. Having them on your team will help because they are likely to talk about you. They will tell their friends about their favorite artists.

Creatures and Comfort enjoy the simple life and are unmotivated. Okay, I am not touching those descriptions. Let’s just say they should be easy to manipulate with programming and hit makers.

Indie Dreamers are ambitious, creative and individualistic. This is the kind of person we definitely want in our fan base and as radio station listeners. This group is unhappy with their standard of living (as many young people are as they grow their careers) but these folks feel like they can change things when or if they want.

Your best opportunity to impact this generation is with Confident Connecteds as they talk most actively about brands and share promotions with a sense of pride. If you have something that you’re promoting like a new station, a new act or a new song, these are the people that you need to be talking to. The other groups tend to mock those who do not agree with their opinions and can be negative influencers if you do not fit in their lifestyle.

You can guess the Youthful Pursuits are a prime target for new product lines in fashion, beauty and entertainment. They tend to brag about what they have and this helps to spread the word fast. The hard part is not identifying these four groups but finding them in your base. Once you do, you will know each of them needs different nurturing and attention. When you engage a listener or a fan, ask them about their likes and dislikes. Ask them how they feel about other media, including social media and work them towards your goals by knowing their goals.

(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of MusicRow.)



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