2018 Marketing to Gen-Z Conference by Brendan Maher

Last year our president, Jake Skoloda, won the "Apple of Our Eye" award at the annual 2017 Marketing to Gen-Z Conference. This year Jake will be back and is looking forward to making the 2018 conference a memorable one. He is teaming up with Gregg Witt, Maxine Marcus, Connor Blakley, Patrick Finnegan, Ishan Goel and Scarlet Curtis to deliver never before published strategies and market analysis reports that will help decipher the world of youth marketing. 

The Marketing to Generation Z Conference is a one-day, multi-speaker, drill down on Generation Z, presented by today’s most active, prominent leaders in Gen Z research & marketing. It will immediately help consumer marketing, research and ad execs improve their understanding, sales and marketing to the largest ever consumer cohort.

Gen. Z, the Market:

  • 2 Billion Globally

  • 25% Of Current US Population

  • First Majority Non-White US Generation

  • 40% Of US Consumers By 2020

  • Spend $44 Billion Annually

  •  Influence $600 Billion Annual Family Spend

Attending the Marketing to Generation Z Conference gives you incomparable ROI:

  • Tens of Thousands of $$$ worth of the very latest Gen Z research

  • Priceless real-world insights based on direct-from-the-trenches experiences

  • Up-to-the-minute, case-studies from successful Gen Z campaigns

  • Peer-to-peer networking and learning with execs who face the same challenges you do

  • Immediately actionable information & insights you can’t get anywhere else … at any price!

Do not miss out on this amazing opportunity!

Social Media: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly by Brendan Maher

Facebook and Twitter beware! Gen-Z is catching on to the negative effects of social media on their society. Below is an article written by my close friend and collegue, Madison Rogers. Like myself, she is a high-school student that experiences the positive and negative attributes that social channels bring to our every day lives. 

What does this mean for big brands and marketers? It means that now more than ever you must be extremely cautious on how you go about cultivating your social channels to attract youth. It is a necessity to incorporate youth into your marketing departments. This is the single easiest way to navigate the complicated world of youth culture. You need youth on your side! Reach out to my team at contact@millennialadnetwork.com to see how we can help you connect with the fastest growing demographic in the world!

Also be sure to check out Madi's blog at https://madirogers7.wixsite.com/website it has some amazing material!

More often than not, people choose social media as a form of connection rather than face to face interaction. The constant dependence on cell phones and media has created health problems often seen in teenagers and young adults. According to the Children Mind Institute, experts have noticed a rise in social anxiety and lower self-esteem in teenagers and young adults that frequently use social media. The heavy usage of cellphones and devices are prohibiting the development of important social skills. Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, a clinical psychologist, described the use of texting, calling, scrolling, and sharing as a collective nonverbal disabled behavior, which affects reading social cues and body language. Teens often feel a need to constantly be communicating with friends and updating statuses. The lack of unengaging from this lifestyle can lead to larger problems such as anxiety and depression. Not receiving  instantaneous responses to text messages, comments, and instant messages has been known to cause depression in teens and young adults. The constant need for gratification for what is put on the internet can expose users to harmful consequences. Teens often become obsessed with their persona that is put on their media page. Frequently editing their photos, changing their appearance, and behaving a certain way on the internet versus their daily life can eventually lead to social anxiety and the fear of people seeing them any other way than what they look like on the internet. Cases of depression seen most frequently in teenagers due to the obsessive and addictive usage of sites such as Facebook has been coined, “Facebook Depression”. This can further lead to social anxiety, withdrawal, and isolation. Teens often turn to blogs as methods of self-help that may encourage substance abuse, self-harm, unsafe sexual activities, or aggressive behavior towards other people in the long-term (American Academy of Pediatrics). Exposing children and young adults to social media has negatively impacted the health and well-being of many, which outweighs the few positive effects that social media can have on society. 

Privacy is put at risk every time a person logs onto any media source. People often share an excessive amount of information about themselves without considering the consequences if that information is put into the wrong hands. Sites are made to hold important information such as passwords, credit card numbers, and personal information that may be compromised if the site crashes or is hacked. Privacy is often overlooked in society. People feel the urge to share everything they are doing on social media sites. From the restaurant they ate dinner at, to the exact location of their households that are connected to posts with GPS, privacy is compromised with each post. Adolescents frequently fall victim to people who create false personas on the internet. This opens the door to larger safety issues. Adolescents and young adults are also more likely to “sext”, or share inappropriate images with others via social media platforms, such as Snapchat (The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families). According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a recent survey revealed that 20% of teens have sent or posted semi nude or nude photos or videos of themselves. In some cases, these are charged as felony charges of possession of child pornography. Serious problems can result from information being shared at the hands of people using social media. 

As the internet continues to grow, media will grow with it. Receiving instantaneous results on news and information has allowed social media platforms to flourish. However, social media has negatively affected mental health and the privacy of users. Media will continue to prosper, all at the cost of the well being of its users. The use and viewing of media sources will never end, but ways to properly inform the public of the danger and negative impact of media sources will continue to evolve. 


-Madison Rodgers and Jake

Where's The Beef? Where's The Line? by Brendan Maher


Many big brands have taken notice of Wendy's social media prowess. Its continued success gives license to further experimentation. Experimentation that will sharpen our understanding of how social media tools will be used by brands for many years to come. 

Pepsi's police debacle, Adidas's accidental reference to the Boston Marathon bombing's, and DiGorno's Pizza's misuse of a hashtag intended to support victim's of domestic abuse; all powerful and recent examples of brands falling asleep at the wheel and venturing beyond the proverbial "Line". The invisible and so often illusive line that dictates, through social convention, what is funny, what is offensive, what is in good and what is in bad taste.

How did these misguided attempts at social media marketing see the light of day? How can missteps be prevented in the future? 

Generation-Z, born into Twitter and Instagram, have a keen and uncommon ability to understand and navigate social media. The oldest members among them, now entering college, will each carry years of social media experience that can be leveraged to procure the content that brands push through their social channels.

Large companies who are on the cutting edge, from sports teams to consumer brands, are ahead of the curve and already incorporating youth in their marketing departments. This gives them an unprecedented advantage over their competitors when trying to reach young audiences. In the near future, implementing this uncommon knowledge will be an industry wide practice. The brands who do not move quickly, who do not make use of Gen-Z's knowledge, will continue to be a step behind in the ever changing world of social media.  

If you are interested in perfecting your brands social media and digital strategy, the Millennial Ad Network team is here to help! 

- Brendan, John and Jake

Chief Executive Officer or Chief Engagement Officer? by Brendan Maher

What does Tesla, Facebook and T-Mobile all have in common? 

At first glance not much. They couldn't be more different and yet all of these brands capture the eye of Gen-Z. Why is this? How can your brand follow suit? 

Millennials and Gen-Z support brands that align with their ideals. With ease of access to news and other means of communication every move that a brand makes will be under the spotlight. Through effective use of their social channels the companies listed above all are able to control their news flow and stimulate a younger audience. They will all have very continued success as today's youth grow.

That is just the start. Even though Gen-Z's lives revolve around social media we cherish the human to human relationship we have with the person behind the screen. When we see a big name CEO expressing themselves on social media and standing for ideals that we relate with we are much more likely to associate with that brand. They also get bonus points when their messages do not sound "corporatey".

Gen-Z wants to see the story, the struggle and the passion of large corporations. We want to feel that basic human connection. 

Become more than another big brand. When you become a person, an ideal, you will capture the Gen-Z market. 


Think Micro Not Macro by Brendan Maher

The power of micro influencers in regard to marketing to Gen-Z is no secret. When utilized correctly they have proven time and time again to deliver amazing results. But I am not here to talk about them. I am here to talk about influencers that have an even smaller following. 

As a student it would be unheard of to find a peer without social media. Student's personal accounts range from 200-5000 followers on Instagram. If brands can utilize these small users they will own Gen-Z. 

When young people observe their "irl" (in real life) friends posting and discussing products they are infinitely more likely to look into getting involved with that brand. In my experience they feature a much higher conversions rate than all other forms of advertising. Social media conversations are an amazing tool that can be used to break down the social barriers that stop students from purchasing products. 

How do you start this conversation? 

Aside from distributing monetary compensation getting your brand under the spot light can be a very daunting task. You must make your brand "cool". The number one factor in the eyes of Gen-Z when picking a product is what their peers will think of them using it. That is why kids pay $100 for a tee shirt. Those brands are idolized by young people. 

As Gen-Z ages and matures I am sure that their purchasing habits will reflect more practice values but we have a few years until that happens. Take advantage of the "cool" factor while you can!



MAN Team at PR Week Swipe Right by Brendan Maher

This past Thursday, 3 of our team members spoke at "Swipe Right" a marketing conference in New York that was hosted by PR Week. PR week is the largest marketing publication in the world so this attracted some very big names. Not only were they able to get out of 3 days of school but they had a great time as well. Some of the other speakers were the CMO of Facebook, the CMO of IBM, and the CMO of Tinder, along with many other internationally acclaimed people.

Being the youngest people there (by far) allowed our team to really help shed some light on what being a member of Gen-Z is all about. One of the highlights of the conference was when the CMO of facebook, Gary Briggs, told Jake to "go to his room" after Jake asked him a particularly engaging question about parents forcing teens off of social media.

Jake, John and Brendan all brought some very unique and innovative view points to attention. Our team wants to extend a very big thank you to Gideon Fidelzeid for giving us this amazing opperrtuinity! 

"Older Millennials have a tendency towards aspiring to more abstract goals in their career i.e. 'internal peace, working for a company with a mission, spirituality' whereas Gen Z may lean towards more concrete material goals such as 'Bigger homes, newer cars, and more expensive clothing.' this is a crucial differentiating factor.." - John Maher

" Brands missing mark using phrases like 'on fleek' actually offensive to Gen Z.." - Brendan Maher 

"Gen Z consumers consistently seek friends' approval of brands/purchases" -Jake Skoloda


Marketing to Gen-Z by Brendan Maher

On July 18, 2017 our President, Jake Skoloda spoke at the Marketing to Gen-Z conference in New York city. This was an outstanding experience for him to learn as well as to bestow some of his unique market insight to all of the business leaders in attendance. He dove into how businesses can attempt to connect to GenZennials and take advantage of new-emerging social channels. Special thanks to Nan McCann, Google, Ketchum and all of the other generous sponsors and creators that made it a reality.

Jake: I hope everyone enjoyed the conference and leaned a ton. It was a truly great experience for everyone involved. I am already looking forward to next year and hope we can get a larger audience because the more people there, the more knowledge that can be exchanged. It is truly a great tool and a must-attend. I want to give a special thanks to Gregg Witt, who really embodied what this conference was about.