Companies who want to connect to a Millennial audience have to be prepared to talk – and text – the talk
The strangest thing popped into my Facebook feed on Wednesday night, a cryptic message that required rapid decoding: two frosty adult beverages followed by a trio of musical notes and a pair of clapping hands.
Even stranger was that I knew right away what this parade of pictograms meant: “Congratulations on sweeping the Cubs in the National League Championship Series. Your favorite baseball team has advanced to the World Series. I’m happy for you. Enjoy it. Let’s Go Mets!”
Yep. Two beers, three notes and clapping cartoon hands translated into all that. Welcome to shorthand communication in 2015. Even among old friends (and I do mean old).
My first reaction was, of course, gratitude (it’s not every decade I get the opportunity to celebrate the Mets). My second, which followed pretty much immediately, was OMG.
I was just starting to feel confident that I’d cracked the code on the acronyms that have conquered the texting world – for everyone, it seems . . . not just the ones I’m secretly monitoring on my middle school daughter’s phone. Finally, I had infiltrated some secret society, where everyone was sharing 411 with their BFFs, KPC with TMI that I once couldn’t comprehend.
No sooner had I developed the facility to fashion a smiley face out of a colon and a close parentheses, along comes this avalanche of emojis, a whole new language to become fluent in. Not just 😀 or 😕 or 😋. Those I could decipher without too great an effort. I’m talking about 👾 and 👹 and 👽.
All of a sudden, LOL has evolved into 😂. We’re living like futuristic cave people communicating through digital hieroglyphics. A place where, again, I tend to feel like a ☎️ in a 📱 world.
The reality is that we all need to get with the ⏰⌚️⏳ 📅. Communication is paramount to creating a connection between company and consumer, and the 🔑 to 💰 may just be your willingness to 🚶 in the 👟 of your Millennial target audience.
No longer is it acceptable to 🙈🙉🙊. Many progressive companies have bought into the emoji movement already. As Janda Lukin, a senior director at Oreo North America told Digiday recently, “We know it’s important to speak the language of our fans.”
Especially when those fans are up to their 👀 in emojis. According to AdWeek, 72.2% of people under the age of 25 are frequent users of emojis. That number goes up (75.9%) in people 25-29. One-third of consumers employ emojis several times a day. Why do you think Domino’s decided the best way to sell 🍕 was to tempt its Twitter followers with 🍕?
Some of you reading this might be thinking, “IDK what ur talking about.” Don’t worry. FWIW, not too terribly long ago, we DK either.
But we at Newbridge welcome our partners to join us in this brave new 🌍. We’re here to help you 👫 with the Millennial audience you are trying to reach.
Then, we’ll all have something we can celebrate together.
David Seigerman’s latest book, Take Your Eye Off The Ball 2.0 (Triumph Books)
will be released this fall. Follow him at @dseigs18.