LAB Think Tank brings marketers together for powwow on millennials

Monday, October 29, 2018

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On a rare occasion of collaboration between local brands, some 200 marketers, influencers, and key decision-makers attended the Inaugural Think Tank hosted by the integrated marketing agency, The LAB last week.

The event opened meaningful dialogue on using newly released data from local research firm Bluedot Data Intelligence, to mitigate the business and economic risk of brands failing to connect with the Jamaican millennial market.

“International competition is not new to Jamaica, but with the speed at which millennials now communicate, local brands needed this type of data-driven support to break through the noise,” said CEO of The LAB, Kimala Bennett.

She noted that though over 50 per cent of the current population was under the age of 30, culturally relevant data on GenY and Z had been scarce, “that is, until this week when the millennial-run agency hosted the one-day conference out of a sense of urgency”.

Speaking to authentic messaging, the Bluedot study revealed that Jamaican millennials prefer brands that demonstrate care for meaningful causes, to those only promoting the benefits of their products.

According to Randy Rowe, chief strategist at The LAB, this implies that Jamaican teens are more concerned about how brands can help their communities than they are about material items.

Insights like these were well received by the guests in attendance as top marketers shared that they gleaned useful tools from the programme. Panellist and Agile marketing manager at the National Commercial Bank (NCB), Sade Powell, noted: “Having data like this within a cultural context is invaluable. By better understanding trends and changes in the mindset of the new generation of consumers we can make a stronger connection, and more importantly we can ensure a better customer experience.”

Panel sessions also highlighted local case studies which broke down how peer influencers can provide authentic brand messages in the media and online spaces. With influencer marketing a major theme throughout the day, the business gathering saw members of the private sector engaging entertainers and other influencers on a strategic level.

Rowe noted: “The data is very clear that influencer marketing is a powerful driver of millennial loyalty so we felt it was important to include them in the conversation, and show that modern marketing is very much an outside of the boardroom sport.”

Panels featured industry leaders like Kimberley Lue Lim, acting global category manager at Grace Foods in apparently deep discourse with Grace Foods Global Ambassador Ding Dong, on the collaborative process leading to the success of the recent millennial targeted Flairy Mackerel Campaign.

What will now be an annual one-day conference also featured guest speaker,the internationally renowned millennial researcher Tina Wells, who shared her experiences working with brands like Dell, Sony, Nike, and OWN. According to Wells, “The days parroting your culture back to teens are long gone”.

“Marketers used to study teen trends, then fit their brand message within that culture. Gen Y and Z create their own culture and don't like being oversold. They want authentic messages from their peers, and brands need to think about that,” she said.

Other panellists at the event included Michelle McLeod, director of marketing at Digicel; Collise Spence, brand manager at Dominos Jamaica; Creative Curator Naomi Cowan; Nicole McLaren Campbell, head of Aim Educational Services; Kamal Bankay, director of PR at Dream Entertainment and Larren Peart, CEO of Bluedot Data Intelligence, as well as several millennial social media influencers.

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