As February closes, the weather across the US keeps changing mercurially.
By contrast, Madison Square Park’s new art installation looks forward to Women’s Month.
Artist Shahzia Sikander’s sculpture, “Havah…to breathe, air, life,” stands across from the Courthouse of the Appellate Division, First Department of the Supreme Court of the State of New York
Table of Contents | Volume 11, Issue 9
- Marketing Lesson of The Week – Baseball’s Spring Training Brings Fans South
- Audience Understanding – How The Demographics of Gen Z Have Evolved
- Voice Notes – Putting ChatGPT Into Marketing Perspective
- Marketing Reads – Spring Reading
- Mark Your Calendar – Upcoming Events
Known for her interpretations of Indo-Persian miniature painting, Sikander unites female figures and motifs from nature in her first public installation. Also, she confronts the symbols of power and justice as a way of examining long-standing practices and attitudes that hinder women’s ability to advance. (Source)
Marketing Lesson of The Week
► Baseball’s Spring Training Brings Fans South
Last Friday and Saturday, Baseball’s Spring Training started. This ritual dates back to 1886 when the President and Manager of the Chicago White Stockings wanted a warmer place to get their players in shape for the season. They chose Hot Springs, Arkansas.
In 1913, the mayor of Tampa coaxed the Chicago Cubs to play in his city by promising to pay the players’ expenses. He envisioned making Florida the center of spring training and it was for many years becoming known as the Grapefruit League.
After purchasing the Cleveland Indians and signing Larry Doby as the American League’s first black player, owner Bill Veeck moved the team’s spring training to Mesa, Arizona in 1947. He persuaded other teams to join him in Phoenix for spring training. Since then, It’s become known as the Cactus League. (Source: MLB)
Baseball fans attend spring training games to:
- Enjoy warm weather while it’s still cold in the northern US.
- Have a better sports experience in smaller venues where you can see and, possibly, meet your favorite players.
- Get reasonably priced tickets for good seats compared to the options at larger stadiums during the main season.
- Feel special since you meet other fans who travel from across the US to see their favorite teams during spring training. It’s like a convention for baseball geeks.
- Watch baseball live.
One reason baseball fans connect with others is attributable to the large live audiences. The stadiums facilitate interaction with other attendees. Many fans attend sports games with their friends.
”[Sports] fans get so much from identifying with a team, in ways even players don’t. The athletes can be mercenaries, but the fan is permanent.” according to Eric Simons, the author of “The Secret Lives of Sports Fans: The Science of Sports Obsession.
Also, Adam Earnhardt, chairman of the communications department at Youngstown State University and co-author of “Sports Fans, Identity and Socialization: Exploring the Fandemonium” found: “The No. 1 reason people become [sports] fans is that it’s your connection to your first community,’’ (Source: The Seattle Times)
For many fans, belonging means more than winning. By identifying with a team, “a fan feels a psychological connection to a team,” says Daniel Wann, professor of psychology at Murray State University. This identity and group affiliation with other fans yields social and psychological benefits. (Source: Psychological Science)
Actionable Marketing Tips
- Figure out how to make the location of your business special for your audience. Give them a reason to visit you.
- Tap into the power of your most engaged fans. Use this as a competitive advantage by creating special customer experiences.
► How The Demographics of Gen Z Have Evolved
Since knowing your audience helps ensure that your marketing resonates with your target market, let’s take a deeper look at Gen Z as they become more important as a key purchasing demographic.
Why does Gen Z matter to marketers?
- Gen Z will make up 20% of the population in 2023. So they compose roughly the same percentage of the US population as millennials and Gen Xers.
- By 2025, Gen Z will surpass Gen X in terms of the number of US digital buyers. They expect a seamless digital experience from brands and retailers regardless of platform or device. (Source: Insider Intelligence, February 21, 2023)
Born between the mid-1990s to 2010, Gen Z grew up as digital natives. For them, the world has always operated at speed, scale and scope. In addition, access to digital tools allowed them to be self-reliant and collaborative. At the same time, they’ve learned about and connected with people from around the world.
For Roberta Katz of Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, the typical Gen Zer:
- Is a self-driver who deeply cares about others;
- Strives for a diverse community;
- Is highly collaborative and social;
- Values flexibility, relevance, authenticity and non-hierarchical leadership; and,
- Has a pragmatic attitude towards the work necessary to address the major issues they’ve inherited such as climate change.
What surprised Katz about Gen Z?
Most members of their study preferred in-person communications over digital options!
Dubbed “TrueGen” by McKinsey due to their search for the truth, Gen Z views consumption and brands to:
- Gain access rather than possession;
- Express their individual identity; and
- Anchor their ethical concern.
► Is Gen Z Brand Loyal?
Across age groups and product categories, brand loyalty has declined based on findings by McKinsey.
New technologies and more choices allow consumers to easily check competitive and/or substitute offerings in various shopping contexts. Often, consumers turn to their mobile devices and shopping apps. This facilitates the comparison of pricing, product specifications and peer reviews. As a result, brand loyalty decreases.
Among Gen Z research respondents worldwide:
- 64% would pay more to shop from brands they’re loyal to while
- 71% would buy from competitors for other factors influencing their decision.
► Social Media Drives Gen Z Sales
When you develop your social media marketing strategy, understand that Gen Zers buy on social media platforms and what motivates them to do so.
Unlike other generations, half of US Gen Z buyers shop on social media.
Among the reasons Gen Z customers purchase on social media are:
- Provides product discovery. So spotlight your products on the platforms in the content formats and via the devices these buyers favor.
- Highlights special offers, deals and coupons.
- Makes it easy for Gen Z customers to purchase on social media platforms. Remember they prefer to havie a seamless buying experience!
Actionable Marketing Tip
- Analyze your customer base to understand the percentage of GenZ members who buy from your brand or business. Then adapt your marketing strategies to meet how they want to interact with you across platforms, devices and different contexts.
► Putting ChatGPT Into Marketing Perspective
On November 30, 2022, OpenAI offered AI-powered ChatGPT to the public to test for free while the product was still in its research review phase. Many users overlook this fact! Powered by GPT-3’s language model, ChatGPT is a machine-learning model designed to generate human-like text based on the user’s input.
Less than a week later, ChatGPT reached the 1 million user mark and had 100 million active users 2 months later in January 2023.
NYU Professor and Meta’s Chief AI Scientist, Yann Le Cun posted on Twitter:
“ChatGPT [isn’t] an incredibly new, innovative, [and] unique technological breakthrough that is far ahead of everyone else. It’s just not.”
To prove Le Cun’s point, examine the data on the intellectual contribution to AI that various research organizations have made. They include Google, Microsoft, Stanford, Meta, Amazon, DeepMind and OpenAI. He added that, as a startup, OpenAI needs to focus on the wow factor over research to attract investors. (Source: Twitter February 2, 2023)
If you take the number of technical and marketing articles about ChatGPT, the hot new form of conversational AI, you’d think everyone knows what it is.
But new research by You.Gov disproves this assumption!
Over half of US adults aren’t familiar with ChatGPT at all. Unsurprisingly, a closer examination of the data reveals that 57% of men and 65% of people with postgraduate degrees know about this emerging form of AI.
If you’re a content creator of any sort, take a deep breath since your job is safe, at least for the short term. But don’t get complacent since acceptance and improved forms of conversational AI are in development!
For now, over half of US adults prefer human-generated content across a broad range of media options. Further, 7 out of 10 prefer human-created news and photojournalism based on an Ipsos survey.
This finding about human-created content shouldn’t surprise you since we’ve been trained to listen to human voices since we were babies. For example, my friend and colleague, Mark Schaefer, promotes that his content is 100% human-created
on his Business Grow blog.
Although it’s worth noting that you may not be able to distinguish between human and AI-created content, especially in terms of formulaic content like press releases.
Actionable Conversational AI Tip
- Test ChatGPT to appreciate what this emerging form of conversational AI can do for your marketing. BUT, remember this version of OpenAI’s ChatGPT product is still in the research review phase!
The Spring new book season has begun and my reading pile keeps growing.
Marketing books provide you with deep knowledge about how the field is changing as well as improve your skill set. Even better, you get new ideas that you can apply to your current marketing plans.
Read these 4 new books by some of my favorite marketing colleagues:
📖 Godmother of the Metaverse, Cathy Hackl, Into The Metaverse: The Essential Guide To Business Opportunities Of The Web3 Era
📖 Godfather of Content Marketing, Joe Pulizzi and Brian Piper, Epic Content Second Edition: Break Through The Clutter With A Different Story, Get the Most Out of Your Content, and Build a Community in Web3
📖 AMG Author Interview – Mark Schaefer, Belonging To The Brand: Why Community Is The Last Great Marketing Strategy
📖 David Meerman Scott and Reiko Scott – Fanocracy: Turning Fans Into Customers and Customers Into Fans
Plan Ahead: Mark Your Calendar
► Podcamp – March 11, from 9 am to 4 pm in Philadelphia, PA
A PodCamp is a BarCamp-style UnConference dedicated to digital and social media. (Note: I’m excited about this event since it’s been ages since I attended an UnConference.) Hat tip to Chris Penn for announcing this in his Almost Timely News newsletter.
► Social Pulse Summit: ROI Edition – Online, March 16, All day
Attend this free, one-day event to get today’s winning strategies for driving and measuring real business results from organic social media.
► Project Voice 2023 – April 24 – 28 in Chattanooga, TN
The number 1 event for Conversational AI / Voice tech in America
► Creator Economy Expo – May 1-3 in Cleveland,
If you run a content-first business this is the event to be at!
Use the code AMG100 to get $100 off any pass. I’ll be there along with Jesse Cole (Savannah Bananas), Joe Pulizzi, and other inspiring creators.
► CX Connect– June 13–15, Online via Zoom
Customer experience, CRM, customer service, and speech technologies are more critical than ever to the success of your organization. CX Connect will feature three days of thought-provoking presentations from the leading experts in customer experience.
► The Conversation Design Conference – July 24th-25th in London, UK
bringing together the leading thinkers and doers in Conversation Design
Organized by VUX World.
► Are you hosting an event that you’d like us to add to the Marketing Calendar?
If so, let us know by using our Contact Form with the Subject Line:
Event For AMG Newsletter Calendar.
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