NEW YORK, Sept. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Marian Salzman, one of the top five trendspotters in the world and CEO of @erwwpr, presented her insights on lifestage marketing in a live Q&A that served as a keynote address on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012, at the International Retail Design Conference in Chicago. Salzman believes that a primary challenge facing the retail industry is navigating the widely ranging ages and stages of today's consumer.
Under Salzman's lead, @erwwpr has grown into a retail-marketing powerhouse, with more than 100 industry awards under its belt and a consumer practice characterized by a boutique-agency feel with global network resources. From 2010 to 2012, the communications industry recognized the creativity and effectiveness of @erwwpr's work with Sears Holdings to the tune of nine national awards for six programs or campaigns. The winning programs, honored by Bulldog, CLIO, PR News, PRSA, PRWeek and SABRE, resulted from a combination of innovative campaigns, cutting-edge social media tactics, and good, old-fashioned storytelling.
"The winning awards submissions speak for themselves—our retail-marketing team is tops in its field, and we make it a practice to stay ahead of the curve on what is happening in the retail sector," said Salzman. "My immersion in looking for trends in retail has taught me that in this tough economy, retailers and marketers can't afford to ignore the differences between boomers and Gen Xers—and of course it's imperative to engage and connect with the up-and-coming uber-generation, the millennials. It was exciting to speak to such an informed audience about how retailers and marketers can navigate ages and stages—we enjoyed a lively discussion on this important topic."
Highlights of Salzman's findings on generations and retail include:
- "Lifestage" marketing is where it's at. These days—when 45-year-old women are having children and 80-year-old-men are jumping out of planes—people are no longer limited to what they can or can't do, shop or not shop for, based on age.
- Social shopping will really come of age with the millennials. Social shopping is a wide-open field; no one has conquered it yet. So retailers would be wise to appeal to millennials in this area, since they, and future generations that are tech savvy from the moment they're out of the womb, are going to pioneer this movement given their high propensity to anything social.
- Teens have gone mobile. Teens live and breathe on their smartphones—and they're smarter about making their dollars go further by using mobile apps to research prices. The more retailers enhance the shopping experience on products, clothing, technology, apps—anything that matters to teens, they will buy it. They will come.
- Baby boomers want to be courted. Boomers don't want to be forgotten (as they often are); they want persuasive marketing that makes them feel good, hip, smart, sexy and hungry. They now have disposable income—and just need a place to spend and enjoy it.
- The "conscious consumer" should be top of mind for retailers. A recent study from Euro RSCG Worldwide revealed that 64 percent of Americans say it's more important now to feel good about the companies with which they do business. The conscious consumer is looking for alignment with social causes to make them confident that they're making the right spending choices. The challenge for retailers is to make consumers feel that what they're buying is ultimately helping them to help others.
Salzman, who has made a career of identifying consumer segments that are rising in relevance—such as the "metrosexual," a group she popularized when doing research for an import beer, of all things—first addressed the concept of "lifestage marketing" in the latest installment of her highly regarded annual trends report. That report, called "The Big Little Book of Nexts: Trendspotting for 2012," is Salzman's most extensive look at trends to date.
The International Retail Design Conference is the premier educational and networking event for the store design and visual merchandising community.
About Euro RSCG Worldwide PR
We call ourselves @erwwpr; we're the North American earned-media and buzz boutique (#bethenews) within French holding company Havas. Headquartered in New York City, with Pittsburgh and Chicago offices, we've seen rapid growth in the last two years and stacked up a huge trophy chest (our CEO is PRWeek's PR Professional of the Year 2011 and our head of strategic planning is on PRWeek's "40 Under 40"), including awards for #wyclefforpresident (global scope), @theywinulose (Campaign Money Watch; against big money in elections), the first-ever teenage girl SoMe lab (The Sisterhood; industry innovation), Ford's Warriors in Pink (#welovecause) and Urban Zen and Mary J. Blige (#celebritiesmakenews). We're grounded in media, strategy, client service, trendspotting and community to ensure we message in straight talk and real time.
SOURCE Euro RSCG Worldwide PR