Decline of Traditional Marketing Communication Forms in Generation Y: Myth or Fact?

Decline of Traditional Marketing Communication Forms in Generation Y: Myth or Fact?

Sylwia Kuczamer-Kłopotowska (University of Gdańsk, Poland) and Ali Aycı (SME Development Organization of Turkey (KOSGEB), Turkey)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 40
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9100-9.ch007
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This chapter presents and discusses the validity of the hypothesis of the decline of the traditional marketing forms among millennials. Based on the literature analysis, the introduction deals with the theoretical aspects of marketing communication, both in its traditional and contemporary forms. The specific character of the Gen Y communication patterns is also presented, following some analyses of the literature and desk research. The empirical section presents the findings from a series of individual in-depth interviews conducted exclusively for this publication with Polish and Turkish millennials, as well as with some managers of an FMCG company. In conclusion, it can be said that the new media are definitely the most important communication channel for the aforementioned group of consumers, and similar tendencies (with some local differences) can be seen in both Turkish and Polish markets. However, it has been shown that not all the traditional media analyzed have lost relevance.
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In today’s economy, business entities usually manage relatively complex systems of marketing communication, which identify and assess the key recipients of companies’ communications, plan communication activities and select the tools, as well as controlling the quality and the results of communication processes. Due to more and more diverse preferences of customers, and the concept of differentiated marketing, numerous programs of marketing communication need to be created and managed to appeal to various market segments. We have witnessed a rapid and multi-faceted development of the forms and the tools used by companies to communicate with their environment. A steady and dynamic growth of new marketing communication forms can be observed online.

Millennials constitute a unique group of consumers which is especially challenging for marketing professionals in any sector, as the classic marketing tools and the one-size-fits-all approach somehow fail to be as effective as in the case of other clients. One of the main characteristics of the generation is digital fluency. Not only is their everyday use of the electronic media an expression of esprit de corps but also a lifestyle. It influences various aspects of their life, including the consumption patterns. Hence, using the contemporary electronic tools for marketing communication is only logical in this market segment.

One of the notable trends nowadays is no doubt the increase in the importance and the scope of use of the new media for marketing communication in the millennial segment. Having said that, we need to address the question of whether the tendency might in the future lead to the decline of the traditional communication tools in the Gen Y segment.

If we set the phenomenon in the context of a consumer behaviour model, a new aspect comes to light, namely the dynamics of client preferences as regards sales channels. We can wonder whether the increase in the importance of the new media in communicating with the millennial segment translates into any changes in their shopping preferences and the shift to online shopping, and if so – in what product categories.

Based on the above rationale, the authors have described the new forms and the increasing importance of the new media in the marketing communication with millennials, as well as discussing the hypothesis of the decline of the traditional forms of marketing communication in the case of the Gen Y.

The theoretical deliberations herein are based on studies of the literature and desk research. The empirical part of the work includes the findings from the series of individual in-depth interviews (IDI) conducted exclusively for this publication. The aim of the research was to study both the recipients of marketing communication, i.e. the members of the millennial generation, and its authors, i.e. the businesses which address their products to Gen Y consumers among others. In order to present high quality data, the authors decided to study two diverse (culturally, economically, and socially) markets: in Poland and in Turkey.

As the research was qualitative in nature, it should not be treated as exhaustive and conclusive as to the scope of the phenomena studied. The authors, however, make the assumption that the informational value of the data collected enabled them to have conducted the objective analysis, which may be treated as an introductory study which brings interesting findings and opens new possibilities for research.

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