Sony Canada gave up on television commercials about five years ago, opting instead to shift its marketing efforts to web icons such as Google.
But social media sites felt like new territory to the electronics giant. Then last fall, the company ran a Handycam contest on the Yummy Mummy Club website, which is headed by former MuchMusic VJ Erica Ehm.
Executives were initially skeptical but the contest was a hit with camera-buying moms. “We could clearly measure the sales,” said Ravi Nookala, senior vice-president of marketing for Sony Canada.
Nookala and other senior marketing executives shared their insights on the challenge of new media during a panel discussion in Toronto on Thursday.
“I think it’s tougher to be a marketer now than it has ever been in our business,” Brett Marchand, Cossette’s president and chief operating officer told the breakfast crowd. Marchand is best known as the driving force behind Molson Canada’s “I Am Canadian” campaign. “Now it’s much more complex.”
Marketers are struggling not just with a lukewarm recovery following the worst recession in decades, but also to understand the new crop of consumers.
The under-30 generation, known as millenials, are completely comfortable with the latest technology, are expert multi-taskers, devoted to environmental and community causes, and prefer to spend their time online with mobile and social media, rather than with television.