Diverse Buying Committees Require Personalized Approaches

Millennials are taking their seats among Generation X and Baby Boomers at the buying table, making navigating the already complicated buying environment even harder, thanks to their different preferences.

According to a SnapApp and Heinz Marketing survey  in late June 2017, to understand and identify the generational differences, and impact of those differences, on the B2B sales process and buyer’s journey, the report looks at the differences between the rising Millennial buyer, their Generation X and Baby Boomer counterparts, and how B2B marketing and sales strategies can address the gaps between them.

 The key findings included:  

For Millennials:

A noninvasive approach is key to gaining any traction within this cohort, which avoids sales at all costs:

  • Emphasize the relevance to the Millennial buyer and their issues specifically.
  • A company must win the trust of those that the Millennial buyer trusts.
  • Best pieces of content include: blog posts, infographics, videos, ungated eBooks. No whitepapers.

For Generation X,

Marketing and sales should reach out early in the buying process:

  • Highlight product details and benefits for the whole team vs. individuals.
  • Use data, analytics, and other measurable statistics in your conversations.
  • Best pieces of content include: webinars, charts/graphs, brochures.

For Baby Boomers

Early engagement goes a long way with this generation:

  • Lead with how your product benefits the members of their teams, rather than individuals.
  • Use data and analytics to clearly show the value of the product.
  • Best pieces of content include: webinars, charts/graphs, interactive eBooks.

Why It’s Hot: B2B marketers still take a fairly standard and universal approach to marketing and media, which aligns well w/the behaviors and interests of Gen X and Baby Boomer buyers; i.e., white papers, lead gen and immediate sales outreach, as well as focus on benefits for the team as a whole. This approach is a huge turnoff to Millennials, who not only are joining buying committees, but are often initiating and spearheading them!

 

Relive The Drama of AIM In “Emily Is Away Too”

In 2015, game designer Kyle Seeley released the freeware title Emily is Away, a romantic epic divided into five virtual acts told through the nostalgia of an AOL Instant Messenger chat with the titular Emily. Emily is Away Too takes place in 2006, the protagonist’s senior year of college.

The game not only captures the social and dating experiences of its creator from that time, but also a year of transformation and expansion for digital culture.

This game is all about how we first portrayed ourselves online – the AIM platform was such a pivotal part of self expression growing up. Opening up and reliving those past relationships and conversations developed through outdated technology helps evaluate who we are and who we choose to be in the future.

 

WHY ITS HOT:

Millennials are more nostalgic towards old tech because we’re the first generation to uniquely experience these complete shifts in communication at the same time together. Past generations shared the passive, much more gradual rise of film or television. Meanwhile, the internet, its interactivity and social applications, fundamentally changed how we created memories with childhood friends.

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/relive-the-torrid-human-dramas-of-old-aim-chats-in-emily-is-away-too

 

The “Creator Era”

With the Super Bowl just around the corner, it will be interesting to see how brands are leveraging influencers through social media to be a part of the new “creator era.”

The Super Bowl and other live events are the last vestige of a dying era of mass media. Sports–along with The Bachelor, The Voice and other major primetime events–are the few programs that remain impervious to DVR ad-skipping, as the immediacy of the live coverage is key to the viewing experience.

But does advertising on these mass outlets still make sense with increasing prices and changing consumer preferences?

Since fewer alternatives now exist to capture consumer attention en masse, the cost of the options that remain has risen quickly over the past 10 years, as referenced in Harvard Business working paper The Rising Cost of Consumer Attention. A Super Bowl ad for 2017 sells for $5 million–an effective CPM (cost per thousand impressions) of $38, quite an expensive price for the least–targeted advertising buy available.

The cost per eyeball becomes even higher when you take into account the increasingly divided nature of attention today versus 20 or even just 10 years ago. It’s been well-documented that attention spans are shorter than they once were. It’s no longer just running to the kitchen to grab a beer during the commercials, but instead diving headlong into a second-screen device.

One out of three viewers now watches part of the Super Bowl on a mobile device, and 50 percent of this group are millennials. On Super Bowl Sunday 2016, there were 200 million Facebook posts and 27 million tweets about the game. Social media conversation is an ingrained part of major live events.

Studies have shown that millennials are often blind to traditional TV ads or even have a negative perception of brands advertised. Growing up with TiVo and YouTube has conditioned many millennials to be in complete control of what they want to see and when. The result is that social media and smartphones have made millennials both followers and creators.

We deem this new age of participatory social media the “creator era.” Collaborative social engagement is a much deeper experience than the passive consumption of a TV commercial. It’s here, in social creation, where brands will have much higher attention for their marketing dollar.

Why its hot?

As digital marketers we have a challenge, engage audiences within the shortest amount of time and overcome the “second-screen syndrome.” Millennials have grown up with the a negative perception of advertisements and brands interjecting themselves into spaces where they just want to be themselves and talk to friends. They are conditioned to be in control of what they want to see and when they want to see it. Social media in particular has made them creators. To engage this audience we have to provide them with content that is experiential and not passive like TV.

It will be interesting to see how brands approach the super bowl this year.. Snickers is testing a LIVE TV sport and more attention may be put on the second screen this year than past years. In the new “creator era,” successful brands communicate awareness in a personalized manner through co-creation with influencers and advocates speaking in their voice to their audiences.

Swipe Right for the Next President of the United States

Spending so much time on Tinder that you haven’t had the chance to read up on the presidential hopefuls for the next elections? Addicted to swiping? Want a fun, easy, quick way to expand your political knowledge? Voter might be the app for you.

The iOS app uses Tinder’s familiar swiping mechanism to help you learn more about presidential candidates and parties that match your views. The app currently has various levels of questions. In Level 1, you’ll be swiping about your views on basic, core social, environmental and economic issues, like legalizing marijuana, same-sex marriage, abortions, the death penalty, and increasing or decreasing the minimum wage and military spending. Unsure about an issue? Click the picture for a quick cheatsheet on the facts behind the issues, and a few bullet points from supporters and opponents.

You can also select how important each question is to you (a la matching questions on dating website OkCupid).

Level 2 goes more in depth: you’ll swipe about a fence at the border, increasing spending on education, term limits for congress, taxing the wealthy, financial aid for other nations and more. Once you’ve swiped your opinions, you get matched with potential political parties and candidates.

You’ll be able to view your political matches sorted by percentage, with a neat breakdown of the issues you agree or disagree on, and the ability to contact the party or donate. For candidate matches, you’ll also get a few quotes and a short bio, as well as a breakdown of top campaign contributors by name and industry for the more established candidates.

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Source: PSFK

Why It’s Hot

It’s important for young people to understand their political environment, and we haven’t seen a lot of evidence that politics is adapting to Millennials. An app like this takes a key demographic and insights about their behavior and makes politics accessible and even entertaining.

 

 

The Newsroom is Dead. Social Media Killed it.

Social Media is the Local TV for the Next Generation

According to a new Pew Research Center report on political interest and awareness among 18- to 29-year-olds, about 6 in 10 online Millennials report getting political news on Facebook in a given week. That’s a much larger percentage than any other news source.

This stands in stark contrast to internet-using Baby Boomers, for whom local TV tops the list of sources for political news at nearly the same reach (60%).

Millennials and Baby Boomers: A Generational Divide in Sources Relied on for Political News

This occurs even though Millennials express less interest in political news. Roughly a quarter of Millennials (26%) select politics and government as one of the three topics they are most interested in (out of a list of nine).

 

Why this is hot?

Social media personalizes the news. The good side is you get to read what you want. The bad side is you get to read ONLY what you want.

Snickers Got YouTubers to Post Terrible Videos as If They Recorded Them Hungry

Another fun take on the brand’s “You’re Not You” 5-year old campaign, Snickers got video bloggers all over the world to post intentionally bad videos—pretending they recorded them while they were hungry, and thus weren’t themselves.

The “You’re Not YouTube” campaign launched simultaneously in 8 countries and included 13 popular “how-to” video bloggers on YouTube. In each video, the host is obviously not themselves and presents themselves in a way that is completely out of the ordinary of what their subscribers would expect.

For example, the US based video blogger, Jessica Harlow, who is typically very put together, shares a video that gives subscribers a “how-to” on how to let yourself go.

Why It’s Hot

There’s no better way to reach an audience and give a campaign a fresh look than by working with influencers. Across platforms and media types, influencers are dynamic content creators that truly know how to engage their audience – especially younger consumers. Not only did Snickers recognize their campaign needed a refresh to appeal to younger consumers, but adding international influencers added a layer of global reach that was a strong extension of the campaign.

USA Network Makes Programmatic Changes to Target Millennials

USA Network this week announced a reworking of its strategy to reach mainstream millennial viewers after finding that their audience has shifted to be more millennial than previously believed. As a result, the NBC Universal-owned property is replacing its slate of half-hour comedies with new dramatic series and extending its partnership with WWE.

The network is betting big on upcoming hacker thriller Mr. Robot (screencap above) out of its 14 new shows currently in development. USA will also air additional content from WWE including a rebooted reality competition series and the classic SmackDown program.

In addition to programmatic changes, the network is experimenting with different ad offerings as well to include digital programming and other non-traditional TV platforms such as video-on-demand, services more popular with millennials.

Read more via Adweek.

Why It’s Hot: USA Network is well aware of its target and changes in its audience’s demographics, and is making changes in order to keep its audience engaged. Apart from feeding the mainstream with more drama series and popular wrestling programs, USA and WWE anticipate increased interest from advertisers. With WWE’s 460 million social media followers, both enterprises hope to attract big advertising dollars with the new, additional programs.

As marketers, understanding the audience is key. The only way to give consumers what they want and to effectively convey a message to them is to understand them.

Bud Light Partners with Tinder to Promote Whatever, USA

Bud Light is transforming another town into Whatever, USA, and this year, the brand is choosing the next set of random beer drinkers to inhabit its party town like many millennials choose their next date—on Tinder.

Users of the dating app who are 21 and older can match with Bud Light for a chance to win a weekend trip to the next Whatever, USA. “There’s a lot of synergies between the Tinder audience and the audience we’re looking for,” said Hugh Cullman, director of marketing for Bud Light.

Bud Light will select about 1,000 beer drinkers—fans can enter the contest on Tinder, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram—to attend this year’s celebration, which is slated for the last weekend of May. The exact location of Whatever, USA has not yet been determined, though Bud Light has whittled the possibilities down to five finalists.

Why It’s Hot

The partnership between Bud Light and Tinder marks the first time the dating app has used native video. The two brands worked together for six months to create spots designed specifically for Tinder’s platform. By using Tinder, which has 26 million matches a day worldwide, Bud Light can connect with millennials spontaneously, which embodies the spirit of the #UpForWhatever campaign.

A-B InBev Tricks Brooklynites Into Drinking Budweiser

As A-B continues its continued campaign targeting craft beer fans, Budweiser headed to Brooklyn during Restaurant Week and orchestrated a little stunt to get people to actually drink Bud—and even rave about it.

Hip, young Millennials were invited to sneak peek a new bar, weeks prior to its opening. When there, they were asked to sample a smooth, crisp, golden lager. The bartender played into the craft beer trend and highlighted how the lager had been aged over beechwood and the brewer’s recipe hadn’t changed for 139 years.

Why Its Hot

A-B InBev’s pro-macro beer Super Bowl spot was meant to ruffle a few feathers and get people talking. Budweiser has seen declines in sales in recent years as consumer tastes for more premium beers gains popularity. Craft beer production was up 42% last year, and for the first time ever, craft brews accounted for more than 10% of all beer sales in the US.

budweiser_craft_beer.jpg.CROP.promovar-mediumlarge

Craft brewing is still a niche, but a fast growing one that is beginning to take market share from Budweiser, transforming Bud into a beer without a “purpose” and in desperate need for a new positioning to entice young beer drinkers.

Cupcake Vineyards Partners With Share Our Strength

wine

Cupcake Vineyards is kicking off a promo with Share Our Strength to lend support to its No Kid Hungry initiative.
The northern California winemaker will donate $1 for each mobile visit to a dedicated microsite to support No Kid Hungry’s important mission. The effort runs through June at restaurant locations nationwide, including a selection of independent restaurants and regional chains. Marketing collateral in restaurants will encourage both patrons and employees to visit cupcake.nokidhungry.org via their mobile devices. For every visit to the site, Cupcake Vineyards will donate $1 to No Kid Hungry, up to the donation goal of $75,000.

Why It’s Hot

The campaign will be supported on Cupcake Vineyard’s social media platforms — including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest — with geo-targeted posts.

This is the brand’s first initiative with Share Our Strength, a national anti-hunger organization.

Fighting hunger is a cause we can all feel passionate about and Cupcake Winery has created a campaign that should resonate well with their customers. Their target audience are Millennials, who do place a larger emphasis on affiliation with a cause than any other generation and also enjoy eating out more than any other age group. With the combination of feeling good by donating to a charity and enjoying a meal at a restaurant, these young adults should embrace this promotion. Cause marketing is very effective on social media and Cupcake Vineyards is hoping that this is a simple convenient way to support this iniative. No purchase of wine is even required. Cheers!

Beer on tap: New app summons Bud Light to your door

AB InBev is waging war on the beer run with a new app that lets drinkers have Bud Light delivered to their doors.

The Bud Light Button is only available to drinkers in Washington, D.C., and promises beer within one hour of ordering.

AB InBev has partnered with a third-party beer delivery service Klink to use independent offices to deliver up to 100 cases of beer. The app uses credit-card details for payment and, presumably, to ensure the buyer is over 21 years old.

Along with beer delivery, AB InBev is looking to inspire ‘YOLO’ moments with extra ‘Up for Whatever’ experiences. The idea is to throw surprise parties for customers picked at random, to match with the brand’s tagline: “The perfect beer for whatever happens”.

 Why It’s Hot:

“Whatever, whenever” seems to be a trendy campaign for beer lately, with Heineken operating under a similar messaging strategy.

In the age of Uber and Seamless (plus alcohol delivery services spouting up left and right), it makes sense that a brand would want to be front and center of the “get it now” Millennial need. However, I’m sure there are other services that will deliver a variety of beverages for a party — why would someone want just Bug Light? I guess we will see!

 

Time Inc. Tries to Join Millennial Culture with The Snug

Time Inc. is re-imagining the way we curate and deliver content for this highly coveted audience” of millennials, says Evelyn Webster, exec VP of Time Inc.

content + digital + DIY = a hopeful recipe for success for engaging millennials

Many say 2015 is the year of content marketing, and at a time when the media industry is undergoing such a transformation in the way content is distributed, Time Inc. realized it was time to make a change. It’s time to focus on digital.

As part of Time Inc.’s new strategy to publish digital-only sites that aggregate content from across the web, The Snug is a new website that pulls in DIY content from a variety of sources, in an effort to resonate with millennials.

The Snug.

Per Ad Age, here is how it works:

Snug staff repackage articles from other Time Inc. titles to better appeal to young readers. There is, for example, a post on The Snug that includes several pictures of Lauren Conrad‘s home. The Snug headline is “go inside lauren conrad’s apartment (without getting arrested)” — all lower case. The pictures are from an InStyle slideshow that carried the headline “Inside Lauren Conrad’s Beverly Hills Penthouse.”

Why It’s Hot | This new effort by Time Inc. is a great example of understanding the target, and ensuring that we are not requiring a change in behavior in order to access our product. Millennials are always on, super connected to social, and highly mobile. Additionally, they are avid app-users, downloading dozens of apps that pull together feeds from all over the Internet into a one-stop-shop. It makes sense that Time Inc. would essentially create the same thing for audiences, from their own content. Regarding the content being pulled in, as we tell so many of our clients, solutions don’t always have to be entirely new platforms and content. Sometimes we can use pre-existing assets, but share them in a way that is more convenient and enticing for new audiences. Overall, this seems to be a smart move by Time Inc. – even if it is a bit of a late arrival to the game.

BMW’s Snapchat-Inspired Campaign to Attract Young Drivers

Today’s ever sought out younger consumers are known for having seconds-long attention spans—but that’s fine for BMW, which only needs five seconds. The automaker is launching a social campaign and website dubbed Snowchat, which will let users share pictures that last only seconds, just like a Snapchat message.

bmw-holiday-snowchat-hed-2014

 

The site features an image of a BMW windshield covered in snow, which users can wipe away to make designs with the swipe of a finger across a touchscreen or the click of a mouse. Then, the virtual artwork can be shared via Facebook, Twitter or e-mail. Once the image is shared, it disappears five seconds after it’s opened. BMW hopes that since the messages vanish quickly, people will send more than one to their friends, similar to how millennials use their favorite mobile messaging apps.

The site promotes the X4 SUV, which is aimed at a younger consumer than BMW’s average driver. BMW’s social push isn’t solely geared toward moving cars off lots, partly because millennials don’t have the money to buy luxury vehicles—yet. “We are trying to open our arms wider than just car enthusiasts and BMW fans,” Renner said. “We’re trying to invite people into the brand and let us be a part of their daily lives for the holidays.”

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Why It’s Hot

Although not many Millennials can afford a BMW, the brand is taking the right approach by placing an emphasis on building a relationship with these consumers now. The younger audience appreciate a brand that “gets” them and with such a high value purchase and the audience’s propensity to research prior to buying, BMW is setting themselves up to be top of mind when that day comes for Millennials. Of course, Millennials are keen to stick with a brand that provides a high quality product, however, second to that is a brand that is transparent, authentic and understands the younger consumer’s mindset. 

Tumblr’s Top 20 Sponsored Posts of 2014

Since Tumblr first introduced in-stream sponsored posts in Spring 2013, more than 300 paid advertisers have gotten on board. The brand publishers contribute to an ecosystem of content creators and users who have posted more than 98.4 billion items, at an average rate of 83.3 million posts a day.

And, for marketers that want to get their messages in front of millennial eyeballs, it seems like it makes sense to advertise on the Yahoo-owned microblogging platform. According to comScore, Tumblr was the No. 1 social destination when it came to the amount of time spent on desktop in October. The average user spent 14 minutes per visit on its pages, while people who visited runner-up Facebook only spent 12 minutes.

AT&T had the most popular sponsored brand post of the year. Its simple image, a text message bubble that reads “when you know what you want call me,” collected more than 448,250 notes. The phrase was contributed by a young man on Tumblr: when asked why he though it was so successful, he explained that its something that everyone experiences.

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Check out the rest of the list here.

Why It’s Hot

If 2014 wasn’t Tumblr’s year, 2015 certainly will be. Although Tumblr doesn’t have as many monthly users as some of the other social networks, it is becoming increasinginly more valuable to brands: Tumblr users are young, and they’re incredibly engaged. The active user base is quickly growing, presenting a unique opportunity for brands to connect with this highly sought-after audience. But, just like any other social platform, it’s imperative for a brand to play to the platforms strengths, native features and user behavior to be successful. The brands on the top 20 list are there because their content is directed towards this specific audience. This list is another example of how necessary it is for brands to understand their audience on their active platforms to break through the clutter and truly resonate with consumers.

Tumblr Figures Out Your Favorite Brands to Help Those Brands Speak to You

Tumblr seems to be the first major online entity to attempt to analyze visual content for data. Every day, Tumblr users post about 130 million photos to the platform, and starting this week, those photos will be analyzed.

Tumblr recently made a deal with Ditto Labs, a Cambridge, Massachusetts firm that has analyzed photos posted on social media for brand-related data, in order to analyze all user photos to measure brand affinity by the platform’s users.

That being said, Tumblr claims they don’t plan on using the information to sell advertising space; however, if a brand approaches Tumblr wanting to understand the social buzz around their brand, Tumblr will share the information analyzed from the photos.

Karp-tumblr

Read more on Mashable.

Why It’s Hot | It’s only a matter of time before this analysis informs ad-spend on Tumblr, and we begin seeing ads relevant to the products in our photos. Twitter, Facebook, and Google all do this with text already, so it’s almost expected that visual platforms Tumblr and Pinterest will follow.  It seems likely that a debate on personal privacy will follow, but luckily research shows that Millennials (the bulk of Tumblr’s users) don’t mind giving away personal information if it means their experience will be mo re tailored to their interests.

Everything You Need to Know About the Millennial Consumer

Millennials, the elusive demographic group of consumers born between 1981 and 2000, are a favorite target audience for marketers to investigate as they frequently buck normal trends and assumptions of other generations. Read more here and see infographic below.

Why It’s Hot

Some interesting takeaways include that millennials check their phone up to 43 times a day, they rely on word of mouth recommendations when making purchases and 71% browse online but prefer to go offline for purchases.

Infographics are great ways to convey a large amount of data and information into something impactful and visually appealing. As marketers and strategists, we’re always digging into information to fully understand who our audience is and what makes them tick.

datapoints-millenial-shoppers-02-2014

McDonald’s Gets Super-Sized Backlash With Instagram Ads

McDonald’s recently ran a number of sponsored ads on Instagram to promote the Bacon Clubhouse burger that was launched earlier this year to appeal to millennials and make up for slipping sales. These marketing efforts seem to be falling flat though with a swarm of backlash against the burger chain’s ad.

“While we are unable to provide specific details about our media strategies, we are always looking to engage with our guests and fans in fun and relevant ways in social media. Instagram allows us to share compelling and entertaining photos about our brand, food and more in unexpected and innovative ways,” said David Martinelli, digital marketing manager at McDonald’s.

One such ad appeared on Monday morning. The post had 45,347 “likes” and 1,941 comments, many of which were negative from users who were ticked off by seeing a McDonald’s ad in their newsfeeds.

mcdonaldshotsauce

Why It’s Hot

Actively, and successfully, engaging the Millennial audience is more than being present on the social platforms they frequent and throwing “text-talk” into copy or jumping on the next red-hot trend. This audience is difficult as they have the highest BS radar of all – they know when they’re being marketed to and more importantly, they see right through a brand’s attempt at being “hip” and take personal offense to intrusive brands in their personal social network feeds.  As a result, it comes as no surprise that McDonald’s was faced with negative sentiment towards their new Instagram ads and it implies the brand’s lack of understanding of this audience. The platform’s popularity with the younger audience is a direct result of an unfiltered feed, free of ads, and it’s clear this audience is still resistant to this forthcoming change in their photo streams.

Read more here

Volvo Tells Millennials It’s Okay to Look Back

Millennials have been called the largest and most influential generation of consumers ever. The generation of people now 18 to 34 years old represents an estimated $1.3 trillion in spending. In the U.S., by 2030, Millennials will likely outnumber baby boomers 78 million to 56 million—and they are forming lifelong shopping preferences and habits now.

This group is known to identify with brands more personally than others – making it imperative that companies cultivate and foster a relationship with these individuals to ensure life-long brand advocacy. Recognizing that the first Millennials are reaching peak buying power, some companies are seeking to resonate with this audience by playing up the feeling of nostalgia in campaigns.

Volvo’s new spot manipulates their millennial target into feeling reminiscent of the days they spent growing up in the third row of a Volvo station wagon. The voice over drives the spot home stating, “And really, who wants to look backwards, when you can look forward?”

Possibly one of the best examples of brand positioning towards the Millennial crowd through nostalgia is Microsoft’s Internet Explorer spot “Child of the 90s.” Although this became a viral sensation, reviews were mixed if it was successful in winning back a generation now loyal to Firefox and Chrome.

Why It’s Hot

As a quintessential Millennial and a marketer, Volvo’s spot strikes a cord, but will I’m not yet convinced it has the legs to encourage fellow Millennials to go out and purchase a Volvo. My generation is unpredictable, we value authenticity and we have a BS-radar more keen than others leaving it up to debate how best to capture our ever-fleeting attention. Brands must find an original approach when relating to young consumers, and although Volvo’s forward-and-backward metaphor is pseudo-philosophy, it got me thinking that maybe nostalgia is the right first step to grab and keep a brand top of mind.

Read more here. 

McDonald’s Enlists LeBron James to Engage Millennials on Snapchat

McDonald’s quietly joined Snapchat late last week and plans to publicly kick off the account on Tuesday with a snap from basketball star LeBron James, the company confirmed to Mashable.

“We are excited to use Snapchat as a way to share the fun side of our brand with this highly engaged audience of millennials,” said Rick Wion, director of social media for McDonald’s.

Read more here.

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Why It’s Hot

The introduction of Snapchat’s Stories Feature gave way to a new Snapchat Era – giving brands the perfect opportunity to connect with their millennial audience directly. Snapchat is in the spotlight right now as a social app that still delivers what marketers and brands are craving – authentic one-to-one engagement with young consumers without the stress of ever-changing platform algorithms. Only time will tell if Snapchat can help brands build meaningful modern loyalty with the millennial social audience, the “next consumer.”