Youth marketing is defined as any marketing effort directed toward young people; this target audience is typically divided into smaller segments depending on their age, including tweens, teenagers, college students, and young adults aged 23-34. Marketing to young people is a strategy used by a wide range of private companies, particularly those selling consumer goods with a unique set of messages and campaigns to each market segment. Do workforce organizations need to follow these private sector segmentation strategies? The answer is yes and here’s why.
FCM conducts brand surveys across the country for workforce development boards and its service delivery contractors and partners. On average an aided brand awareness question to test name recognition within any given region of the nation yields about a six percent positive response; that means 94 percent of job seekers, youth and businesses are not aware that the workforce organization exists. Youth in particular get lost with all of the messages that are tailored around funding streams and complex processes that leave them less engaged with the workforce system.
Here are several strategies to create a youth focused brand in workforce development and successfully market it to engage youth with workforce programs.
- Create a brand name exclusively for the youth target audience.
- Make sure youth are part of your creative process in selecting a name and tagline that resonates with them to take action.
- If the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funding applies, then follow the brand guidelines for co-branding with the American Job Centers to ensure compliancy.
- Youth should be a part of designing and testing the logo identity. Don’t worry if their color palettes and fonts don’t match the workforce board’s logos; this is about getting youth engaged and the logo is an important component of that.
- Create a separate web presence for the youth brand and include B2C social media platforms.
- Identify a mix of targeted marketing strategies for youth. Consider these strategies that have been adapted for workforce development from this article once you have your youth website in place.
- Use student/youth-focused media – Place ads in school newspapers and/or on college radio stations.
- Use text ads – Capture mobile numbers upon intake so that you can send out announcements straight to their phone.
- Keep your pitch succinct – Short attention spans require concise messages that include value propositions for engagement.
- Design guerilla street marketing strategies – take the promotional flyers to the streets and campuses where youth frequent.
- Engage local vendors – to post information on bulletin boards where youth frequent.
Check out FCM’s portfolio of creative campaigns for youth, job seekers and businesses here.