Urban appetite: companies change focus to appeal to young, inner-city consumers.
Bacon, 28, along with partner Saptosa Foster, 29, invited media guests to a USPS reception at the Harlem Tea Room in New York. The agency cleverly tied in the promotion of the Pioneers in Black Music series, which features stamps of legends such as John Coltrane, Paul Robeson, and Marian Anderson, with Black Music Month. "The marketing campaign was very successful," says Monica Hand, manager of USPS public affairs and communications. "I was very impressed with the number of young people working in the PR and marketing industry and their genuine interest in the Postal Service." The Postal Service awarded 135th Street Agency with a $100,000 marketing contract in August.
Foster, a freelance writer for Vibe and XXL magazines, understands the influence of the urban consumer: "They're driving pop culture. They're coming up with the language, the clothing, everything."
Government agencies, corporate America, nonprofits, and businesses small and large are taking note. They recognize that young urbanites are viable, cash-wielding consumers ready to support their business. According to Packaged Facts, a publishing division of MarketResearch.com, 15- to 24-year-olds spend $485 billion annually. But there's a way to communicate with them and it isn't always with a rap lyric. "You have to be in their lives," says Carl Rouche Washington, president of Los Angeles-based Urban Marketing Corporation of America. "You have to pay attention to the market. Go grassroots, pump up the volume, and be aggressive."
TRY THE FOLLOWING TACTICS TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS MORE APPEALING TO THE URBAN CONSUMER:
1 GO WHERE THEY ARE
Think of ways to bring the product to the typical hangout of the urban youth consumer. Are they at the mall? At city parks? Pick the places where you can "create a momentum of emotion," says Washington. Think of marketing campaigns that might mesh well with All-Star Weekend or the NBA Finals.
2 PERFECT YOUR PRESENCE
Once you've determined your message, make sure it's clear and consistent. For example, if you've got a booth set up at an event, the people working at the booth should resemble your target market in dress and attitude.
3 GET ATTENTION WITH CULTURAL ICONS
"Know the influences of your target market," Washington says. Could Snoop Dogg also sell your idea? If you can't afford the latest hip-hop artist or athlete, make sure the face representing your product is one your audience will relate to, Washington advises.
4 MAKE SURE YOUR PRODUCT IS RELEVANT
Your product must make sense to the young urban consumer. "The product is crucial. If it isn't relevant, you can sell all day for nothing," says Washington, who uses Nike as a good example of a company that knows its product and audience.
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|Title Annotation:||CLOSING THE SALE|
|Date:||Dec 1, 2005|
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