Brands developing relationships rather than sales

We always like to start things off with who are you, what do you do, and why do you do it?

I’m an artist, a father, a serial entrepreneur since I was 16 and currently I’m the creative director at Tomorrow Media & Creative Marketing. Tomorrow Media is a creative agency based out of Sarnia­-Lambton delivering 360 degrees of digital marketing and media to businesses, organizations and influencers. The reason I do what I do is because I love empowering business through digital marketing while being creative.

What are the most exciting projects that you have worked on recently? What were the outcomes and what are the learnings that would be interesting for our audience?

The most exciting projects thus far have been the ones that allow us to help build with organizations.  We have had the opportunity to work alongside the Southwestern International film festival, many large community events, new start ups and new up and coming artists. What makes these projects so exciting is that these projects are so young and fragile. They’ve probably gravitated to us because we’re also very new and they are excited by our mission to evolve the market place in an isolated community.

Regardless of their infancy, all these projects have grown to be absolute hits and be very successful. We’re just very fortunate to play our part in that. Something valuable I've learned in the past 6 months, is that knowing what you’re marketing, is as important as knowing who you’ré marketing too. We dedicate a lot of time to educating ourselves before we get creative. Good ideas can still be ineffective if you don’t understand how the target digests the brand.

What has most surprised you about the youth marketing landscape over the last year? Maybe it is a great campaign, maybe it is an uptake in certainly technology? A new cultural trend?

Much like millennials, generation z’ers love information, they have even shorter attention spans and are even better at multitasking. As a consumer I’m nothing like my parents, they were easy to sell to and easily convinced by labels and marketing. I however end up selling myself, after spreadsheeting a comparison chart I will ultimately make a decision that’s very calculated and prioritizes customer service and my relationship with the brand above all else. The youth marketing landscape looks like it’s capitalizing on this “relationship marketing”.

People don’t like being sold too, it’s good to see brands focus a lot more on developing relationships rather than sales. A campaign I think really nailed this on the head while also going quite viral was the “watch the stove” campaign. It was a hip hop mixtape released by hamburger helper on April 1st as a “fool's day” joke.  I would consider myself a hip hop connoisseur, and imho this tape was overkill awesome for what it was. I think it would be very interesting to see hamburger helpers demographics, just to see if they were targeting a demo that holds a large share of their consumer base.  Regardless their street cred has gone through the roof.

What do you see as the future of the youth marketing landscape over the next 12 months?

I predict a combination of several technologies and trends will create a more stimulating and harmonious marketplace. Just about everyone is carrying a smartphone today. The only problem with mobile regardless of how fast it’s growing, is that it’s constantly disconnecting you from the physical world around you. The 2014 viral video campaign “look up” is a great indicator of a frustration with our own behaviour. The newest generation is even more concerned after learning after us very connected yet disconnected millennials. This is why we’re seeing so much hype behind wearable tech and augmented reality.

These technologies allow for a more harmonious experience. Till the technology comes around I see lots of businesses using mobile in a more engaging way using location data. From retail to restaurants I think we’re going to see more businesses use technology in a way that connects them with their customers. Video specifically will be a huge! Obviously programmatic advertising allows marketers to better utilize budgets by delivering relevant ads based on consumer insights.  So for an enterprise like McDonald’s or H&M, connecting with me the second I’m within their physical reach has insane potential.

What brands do you most admire and why? Who do you think will win Voxburner’s Youth100 USA and why?

The brands I admire the most are the ones I trust, and use the most. If I had to pick my favourites who I also think had great years I’d say, Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, H&M, Zara, Uber, Adobe, Mcdonald's (canadian Mcdonald's tastes way better), Domino's Pizza, and Disney.  My pick for the winner of the youth 100 would be Amazon, they have essentially changed the game of retail and I think they’re only getting started.

What does the next year look like for you? Any exciting new campaigns or projects we can look out for?

At Tomorrow Media, we’re doing such a wide spectrum of different things I can only imagine it will be a crazy year ahead. We’re really trying to finish our first year strong and put a solid collection of works behind us. Our video campaigns is something I want to put a heavy focus on in 2017.  Video content can be delivered on just about all platforms and the growth/ need for video is growing outrageously. We’re initiating discussion with some brands we’re working with now to see what cool ways we can drive them results through innovative video campaigns.

What are you most looking forward to at YMS NYC 2016

I’m looking forward to learning, I’m only 20 years old and I have a lot to learn still. My goal for YMS is to come out understanding the industry better and learning how we can continue to provide our clients with solutions when marketing at youth consumers.