The youth market is such a crucial advertising market for the future longevity of your brand. It’s size alone – under 34’s make up 64% of SA’s total population and account for R303 billion of spend – means that targeting these young people should be an important component of your marketing strategy.

Radio station Y – formerly known as YFM – is Gauteng’s leading commercial youth radio station appealing to listeners  between the ages of 15 and 34. Y recently conducted research in collaboration with Youth Dynamix, a leading youth research company, with the purpose of better understanding its audience and what they expected from The Station. Y’s audience is made up of Gen Z’s and Millennials, consisting of scholars, students and those entering or having just established themselves in the workplace.

The research found that Y’s audience has a strong influence on family purchase decisions particularly as far as technology, electronics, finances and telecommunications are concerned. Being early adopters of technology, they do things differently and relate to the world differently.

These young people expect to be treated as important customers; they have high expectations of brands, products and services; they are extremely resourceful and empowered consumers; and they expect brands to deliver on trust, transparency and tailor-made solutions.

Understanding youth mindsets requires that marketers go beyond traditional segmentation and demographics and invest in further profiling to deeply understand what drives them and what they value most. The research revealed that the most prominent youth mindsets are focused around a sense of meaning and purpose, stability and security, wellbeing and quality of life.

Brands that want to reach this valuable age group need to tap into the youth’s need for individuality, connection, uniqueness and self-reliance. They need to encourage conversations around topics that resonate with them such as successful ‘side hustles’, how to be successful and even demystifying what is involved in being an adult. At the same time they also need to tap into the youth’s need for authenticity, trust and transparency by showing up authentically, demonstrating their values and helping the youth to live a meaningful life.

The research found that the youth align themselves to brands that truly connect to their value system.

However, to successfully connect with them, brands need to acknowledge their limited attention spans of between 8 and 12 seconds and that brand experiences need to factor in convenience, personalisation and support.

Having grown up in a world of choice, these young people want to feel in control of their lives and need to be facilitated in building their own solution, depending on their needs and life stages. Ideally, they should be allowed to personalise and customise their own experience which works to intensify their experience with the brand.

Haseena Cassim, MD of Y, said the station’s new line-up is aimed at appealing to the full spectrum of the youth market.

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