Positioning Your Brand with the Youth market: A review of what went down at Youth-Marketer Converge

Mobile is at the centre of technology. Many of the ground braking technologies and inventions that we are witnessing today are happening around mobile. Mobile has changed the way we live and interact. There are lots of examples, ranging from Facebook, Twitter, MXit, 2g0, Eskimi, Square and others. At the just concluded Youth Marketers Converge that was held at Eko Hotel and Suites, we had the Co-founder of Wikipedia in attendance among other notable speakers who shared some information regarding what the youths are searching for online and how they are interacting. The information shared is to enable businesses know how to position their brand in order to gain visibility and enlarge market share.


Jimmy Wales shared awesome statistics about the growth of Wikipedia in Africa. There are 1million page views on the Yoruba language page of Wikipedia which is only second to Swahili which sees 1.7million page views per month. There are several factors favouring growth in Africa, one of which is Bandwidth skyrocketing—faster in a Nigerian Hotel than New York and Mobile Computing has brought many African folks to the web [low cost tablets are not left out of the picture].

Of what value are these statistics to brands? Internet enabled mobile devices have brought many youths to the web. You will often see them going to Wikipedia on their mobile phones when they have home work to do. Brands should look for ways to reach these youths by careful study of where they are, what device they use and how they are using it.

Lola Talabi-Oni one of the speeches gave a nice presentation on how that can be done. Read on. The adoption rates keep growing. It is rare to find a youth today who is not having an internet enabled device. Brands like Opera, Google, Facebook, Techno, Nokia and Huawei constantly keeps lowering the barrier. How can you leverage this?

Lola Talabi-Oni shared 10 trends that marketers targeting the youth segment should focus on. I just love the list. I reproduce them here:

  • Mobility – We take our mobile phone with use everywhere, next to our wallet and keys. It is one way you can be in everyone’s pocket.
  • Touchy feel – Touch is the new cool. Swiping on touch device will gain more ground among the youths.
  • Olympic fever – The Olympic will be held. Is there a way you can create a product or a campaign to factor this in?
  • Citizen’s journalism/Activism – If you use Twitter or Facebook, you’ll have noticed this. It is still ongoing.
  • Cashless/mobile payment – It is going to get more support from the government, the bank and operators.
  • Better on my own – how can you help people to be on their own? Many more will be eager to be their own boss
  • Deal or burst – folks would be looking for cheaper goods. The likes of QluQlu and DealDey are already filling this niche
  • Recession fatigue –
  • Control freaks – Customers will continue with the desire to want to own their own space on the web and connect with who they want and how they want it
  • Show and tell – Video and Photos will be a good content to share online.

There is need for these trends to be closely watched and monitored. Look for ways to make a connection between two or more of them Mike Saunders form South Africa spoke on social business. He mentioned the six different kinds of people that use the web. Taking a close look to these six types of internet users can help when deciding how to plan the contents you are sharing on the social web. The six different kinds of Internet users according to Mike are:

  • Aspirers – They are looking forward to jump onto the web to experience it. They are thirsty for a first time web experience.
  • Knowledge seekers – They hang out in places like Wikipedia and not on social media networks.
  • Functional users – They use the internet only for a particular function—mobile payment, email, News, search or else. That single function is why the use the web
  • Networkers – They have deep love for the internet as it helps them to connect in a big way.
  • Communicators – they love to communicate with lots of people. They are fond of sharing other people’s contents
  • Influencers – they want to be heard and be famous. They build their own community.

Looking at the internet users as being composed of different kinds of users is a good thing if one is creating content for the web. The group you target with your message will determine if it will spread far and wide. It was a day filled with loads and loads of information from the seasoned speakers that were invited. It will be awesome if you can get set and get yourself a place next year. What will you do differently in 2012 while targeting the youth segment with these few tips? I’d like to know in the comments.


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