Occupy Impacts Your Marketing

While the impact of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement – http://occupywallst.org/ – has been debated, it has important implications for your Marketing and Service.

Of particular interest are the demographics of the movement. The Associated Press reported in October that there was “diversity of age, gender and race.”

However, it is important to bear in mind that the core demographic is mostly young, and Social Media connected – since they mobilized through social networks.  The average age of the protesters is 33, with people in their 20s balanced by people in their 40s, and they are highly educated.

Gen Y is the leading edge of the movement: A recent informal survey by New York magazine found that the biggest plurality of those Occupying Wall Street are people in their 20s, the Millennial Generation, born after 1981. Though it is hard to find exact demographics about the protestors, other reports have confirmed this is a movement of Millennials.

The New Psychographics

Forbes offers this assessment of  the Millennial Generation’s psychographic profile:

  • Entitled:  “In this case, however, a little entitlement is not bad. This is a demographically enormous cohort, even larger than the Baby Boomers—who are in many cases their parents. They are used to getting their way. They were raised to believe their opinions matter, the world loves them, and they deserve this love.”
  • Community-focused and Connected: According to the book Millennials Go to College, Millennials “are group oriented rather than being individualists,” as reflected in  the leaderless OWS Movement. There is no one spokesperson, and they are wary of those that would co-opt them.
  • Influential: “The Millennials..seek to attain real power, and influence real events. And that is what a revolution actually is. It’s cliché to say the revolution will not be televised. No, the bolder act would be if the revolution remained un-commercialized.”
  • Vocal and Tenacious: “They haven’t backed down as The Man tries to club them into submission. From what I’ve seen of these folks, having mentored several at Forbes, they are smart, polite, hard-working, and tenacious. They’re not going to go away until they feel listened to, and there are a lot of them.

How the New Psychographic Affects Your Brand

Here’s why the Occupy Generation’s mindset has key implications for your Marketing and Service.
Customer service is often the lesser cousin to self-congratulatory brand marketing, and for a long time customers have simply endured this situation as they were effectively powerless to do anything about it.
Now, increasing customer frustration is putting growing pressure on brands to service the customers, as shown in the newly released 2012 American Express® Global Customer Service Barometer 

Social media is instrumental in this shift. Consumers using social media are wielding growing influence, telling more people about their service experiences, good and bad.

Responsiveness is Key

Some of the key facts from the report show the importance of customer service and your responsiveness to the customer in terms of what it inspire customers to say about you across their social media channels:

  • Customers say they’d spend 21% more with companies who deliver great service,  compared to 13% on average.
  • 80% have bailed on a purchase because of a poor service experience vs. 55% overall.
  • Social media users will tell 42 people about their good experiences, compared to 15 non social media users.

The net takeaway of the Report – which you can can download here, is that social media is polarizing the impact of customer service in your business:

  • The better your service, the greater the benefits.
  • The worse it is, the more it’s shared.
Snap! principle of The Occupy Brands Movement: 
Since it’s far cheaper to keep a customer than win or convert one, social media responsiveness is a core piece of the equation.