Sport

Millenial Activation

Yesterday I had the pleasure to speak at the ISPO Communication Day in Munich — part of ISPO, the world’s largest sports industry trade show. ispoMy topic was on which social media channel fits your story. And while you cannot be on every single social platform out there, you should at try to do at least 2 or 3 well. But more importantly today with so much happening in the social media sphere, the need to engage with millenials is becoming more and more apparent. They are becoming a major influencing factor for brands, trends, and markets. In the US alone they have close to $200 billion purchasing power each year. With social media being the environment they thrive in, time for brands to start building relationships with them there.

 

Authenticity is key

Ok, we all know that authenticity is key to humanizing your brand. But for millenials it is especially so. Last year, Forbes reported that 43% of millennials rank authenticity over content. The same report found that 62% of millennials are more likely to become a loyal customer if a brand interacts with them on social media. Because of how ingrained social platforms have become in our behaviour, audiences are more informed, aware and empowered than ever before. Social media has made us more cynical and more critical of what brands are doing. We can’t as easily be won over by a glossy ad – particularly digital natives who are increasingly more likely to prefer YouTube content over TV. So brands need to be transparent and honest.

You need to understand “dark social”

Want to market to millenials? Then you need to get acquainted with the term dark social. More and more consumers are conducting their conversations in private and share links away from major social platforms. They are taking to the likes of Snapchat, WhatsApp or other messaging apps. These are becoming new, opportunistic venues where brands could potentially start to engage in conversations that aren’t interruptive. Did you know that there are nearly 4 billion global active users of messaging apps, from WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to WeChat and Kik? In fact, the top five apps in the world in terms of frequency of use are all messaging apps.

Move into unchartered waters

Most of us marketeers know that millenials don’t care for traditional advertising. They’re totally unaffected by it. That’s why social media marketing is such a big deal. The product is almost irrelevant. It’s the brand you have to sell, and social media is one of the best ways to do that. And while Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have been (and still are) highly successful when it comes to brand awareness, none of them offer the same level of value and authenticity that Snapchat does. Snapchat has over 200 million users. With over 7 billion video views per day. Of course you cannot deliver large-scale conversations on Snapchat but maybe we need to follow our audience into unchartered marketing waters even if it would be nicer to stick to platforms we are used to and feel safe on. Maybe we do not know exactly the best way to use these one-on-one platforms yet but there are many brands that are already exploring. Content like product launches, behind-the-scenes. all unfiltered and happening in the now. Making the brand totally transparent and authentic with the potential of creating deeper, more personal relationships. And even if right now we may not have the mechanics to easily track these conversations, I am sure they will be coming sometime during 2016.

Influencers have the power

“People buy from people, not brands” – according to findings 92% of consumers trust recommendations from other users even if they may not know them. That is why it is important to understand how your brand is perceived out there. So think influencer marketing. Influencers have thepower when it comes to marketing services and products. Consumers today trust recommendations from family, friends, and social media influencers more than any type of paid marketing. And when someone is happy with your brand, they will share this with their social networks. The effect is unparalleled to any other marketing tool we have.

And don’t forget the IoT

Today’s world is becoming more and more connected. And millenials are expecting brands to be connected and able to offer them seamless person-to-digital experiences and interactions. Brands will need to move away from being interruptive and seeing themselves as a broadcaster to actually offering personalized solutions. Think of something alongside a reminder being sent to order an Uber to pick up your date for that restaurant reservation you have Friday night. Or which SPF cream to use for today’s sunshiny weather.

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ISPO Munich 2014 – Visions become reality

rockWinter hesitantly arrived just in time for ISPO – making it all the more appropriate to check out the latest winter sport gear and clothing. ISPO is a great, colorful place for me to meet people and network, especially as this is an industry most removed from all my other daily business encounters.

After all the hype around this year’s CES in Las Vegas, I was pretty excited to check out the latest wearable tech on offer at ISPO. This year the organizers even dedicated a special wearable technologies show. I am amazed at the multitude of fitness trackers but none really stuck out. Probably most noteworthy was SenseCore . According to the Swiss startup, SenseCore not only can track the “regular” data but also has an EKG functionality, body temperature, acceleration and more. The sensors can be integrated into clothing and that way produce a multitude of data  In addition it is waterproof up to 5m. With a price tag of approx. EUR 900 this little wonder will most likely be used more for the professional sports people and possibly even whole teams.

hyperNot necessarily wearable tech but definitely wearable was Hyperice – a joint specific neoprene bandage that offers cold treatment. If you don’t mind looking like something out of Terminator it sure seems to produce great regenerative results.

While I always enjoy to check out the latest clothing, ski and snowboard gear the best place for me to go is ISPO BRANDNEW. This is where ISPO features the newcomers, the pioneers, the startups with a passion and vision. Having launched the Zipflracer myself at the trade show 6 years ago, I love spending time and talking with people who are at that same place as I was.

The most prominent new kids on the block this year were the bike crowd.  I particularly liked Loopwheels, a British startup that has truly “reinvented the wheel”. Funded by Kickstarter, loopLoopwheels has the suspension in the wheels, making riding much more comfortable. You can just buy the wheels or check out their foldable bike. Cool design. I got a great kick out of Ass Savers. There are so many bikers going passed me who look a little muddy on their be-hind. Well ass savers – basically bicycle mudguards will take care of that problem. They come in cool colors too. ass

And then there is also Pub Peddles. Never will have an excuse again not to ride my bike in my high heels (fortunately or unfortunately). They are attachments that will let you use any type of shoe to pedal. Easy to attach, many colors, how perfect is that.

filmThe other two startups that definitely got me excited were Fimbulvetr from Norway and Oru Kayak from my old home, California. Fimbulvetr has developed this amazing snowshoe that is lightweight and consists of only 12 pieces. But even better is the “all direction” hinge which gives your foot excellent flexibility while walking. Hopefully one day I can actually test this (please let it snow more again please!)

Oru Kayak of course got my heart beating faster as we have been looking for kayaks that we can take with us on our sailboat without taking up too much space like the one we have now. kayakAnother startup funded by Kickstarter, Oru Kayak gives you a kayak that comes in a bag, weighing approx. 12 kg and unfolds into a 3.66m long kayak. Brilliant. Discussions are already happening at my house how we can get one of these from California over the Adriatic!

beardAs an aside – even though I am known to have way way too many myself – I always wonder who buys all those hats and gloves that are presented at ISPO every year. They are so generic every year. Therefore my prize for most innovative headwear this year goes to Beardo – thanks for offering many options that made me smile.

 

At the end of the day I wished I’d had some wearable tech as I am sure to have logged at least 20 km walking the halls. See you next year!