Tourism, Millennials and Pokémon Go with Suzanne Nguyen
Welcome to Tourism Upgrade the podcast unpacking marketing trends from travel, tourism and marketing leaders. I’m your host Holly G and we welcome digital consultant Suzanne Nguyen as our guest. On the podcast today we’ll be chatting Millennials, Snapchat and a bit of Pokemon Go.
Holly G: Welcome to Tourism Upgrade the podcast unpacking marketing trends from Travel, Tourism and Marketing leaders. I’m your host Holly G and today we welcome Suzanne Nguyen or as she known, String. Today on the podcast we’re talking Millennials and Tourism Marketing and a bit of Pokémon Go. Yeah, you heard that right. Now, I cannot talk to you without talking about Pokémon Go. What a phenomenon that’s been, what’s going on?
Suzanne: Well, it’s like it’s been less than two weeks then everyone’s going crazy for it and they just released it out to Japan so the mayhem is going to go up on another level when you think about it. Pokémon Go is, just to let you know is a augmented reality exploration game for your mobile phone.
Holly G: And one of the things is it is on mobile so it’s so easy, it’s free to get involved. And is it like one of the first big apps that have used all augmented reality?
Suzanne: No, I think Snapchat has done that with the face lenses and with its Geofilters, I think Snapchat has made it main stream but it had to put in the timeline to show augmented reality, Pokémon Go would definitely be up there.
Holly G: Yeah, so why is there so much buzz around Pokémon Go?
Suzanne: I think it’s because it’s just an easy game to play plus it has the branding behind it. It’s been, Pokémon Go has been there since I was a kid and I remember playing it. And of course I got to try it out and tested it out. And then all my friends started playing on toward and you see people like, I was walking my dog and I walked past 100 people playing Pokémon Go at 9:30 PM. The winter of the night that you kind of know but it’s getting really serious and now walking was, I actually went out of my way to go home the long way so I could pick up some Pokémon on the way and I was talking to kids about it. So, it’s like this thing where people are engaged and interactively and where it’s a bonding experience that has gone in people’s mind. Because it’s like no one’s picking you up, you’re just like a really “it feels good” kind of experience and interaction. It was like, “Are you playing Pokémon Go? Which Pokémon are you catching?” It’s kind of doing that and plus it’s just a new different way of doing apps like I see all people playing down the streets of it. It’s pretty ageless when it comes to people or games that are playing it at the moment.
Holly G: Yeah, you see it seems like that. Also I guess because we don’t often see a lot of gaming because they’re in their bedroom or in their house but to see it out and about as well it’s quite different.
Suzanne: I think what’s really done well is that the Geo technology it’s making people go out of the house like you said, going out of their rooms to play this game which is the first of its kind, actually second of its kind.
Holly G: Yeah, so there’s a bit of about it in the travel and tourism circles. There have been some articles published in like Travel and Leisure magazine and Tnooz news and a few different things. I mean it’s probably a ridiculous question to ask but do you see a place for tourism destinations or businesses using Pokémon Go?
Check out some articles here about Travel & Tourism and Pokémon Go
Playing Pokémon Go on the Road? A Website Can Help With Rooms via New Your Times
Pokémon Go Has People Exploring the World in a Whole New Way via Travel + Leisure
How Pokemon Go is transforming travel via News.com.au
Your biggest Pokémon Go questions, answered via Polygon
Suzanne: One of my friends sees the massive game and he’s like saying, maybe if you, this is ongoing joke that you find one rare Pokémon on top of Mount Everest. So, imagine like these rare Pokémon you have to go out of your way to find. That’s what I think it would be but there’s this other side like I hopefully they’re not putting it into dangerous areas because you don’t want those rare Pokémon on dangerous spots because I think fanatics would go out of their way to just catch that.
Holly G: Yeah, one of the things that I think is interesting when we look at Pokémon Go is the whole augmented reality technology. And once I saw that I just thought of all these opportunities that hotels and the like could add a whole layer to their business by using augmented reality technology.
Suzanne: Yes, I’m really excited about it as well because that means like people are seeing the potential for it. At the moment what was happening was that they didn’t see anything that could add value to. I think Snapchat has made people realize the potential for it and now Pokémon Go has shown that you don’t need to do anything crazy, you just need to put these cute cartoons into real life situation. And that’s kind of a blur in the lines between real and virtual so that’s why augmented reality is really exciting.
Holly G: That’s what I think is really exciting. I think it’s that I’m being able to layer augmented reality over reality to create a whole another experience.
Suzanne: I think one of the challenges also that you have to make sure that people know that it’s AR. If they make it too real then people won’t know the difference yet with our capacity for that kind of technology haven’t been up onto that level or the knowledge hasn’t been gone through that level yet. But if he make it like super cute the way that Snapchat did or super cute the way Pokémon has done it then people will catch on. People like cute things, the Japanese got that right. They know that people like cute thing.
Holly G: Yeah sure! Now, we’re here not just to talk about Pokémon Go. You’re quite passionate about Millennials and communication with this segment. Can we talk a little bit about Millennials and what defines a Millennial?
Suzanne: If I have to say what the Millennial is, it’s probably the digital natives. People always talk about them between the ages of 25 to 35 but I met 40 years old with that mindset of a Millennial. That’s probably what it is.
Holly G: Yeah, because I was going to say like people talk about Gen X’s and Gen Y’s, but how does millennial fit in but it’s more of like a mindset?
Holly G: And what are some of the typical things people describe a Millennial less?
Suzanne: You know, I was actually talking to a baby boomer Gen X while I wasn’t driving, he was my Uber driver and he’s like a dad and his son is a millennial. And he was talking about those two differences and he said he feels like baby boomers or Gen X is very pragmatic whereas Millennials tend to be fanatics. And I have to say that I think Millennials wouldn’t be able to appreciate this kind of technology without the help of the baby boomers or the Gen X who built the foundation for this technology in the first place. So, that’s what my thinking is in terms of that I do think like we have more things on our fingertips. We could go out and travel more. We have information through our mobile phones the internet different than baby boomers and Gen X to have that kind of technology. So, they had to work harder so that’s why they think we’re lazy though. I think we’re just working differently and more efficiently because we have information in our hand.
Holly G: Yeah, because one of the traits is about being connected to technology and all that sort of thing. But it’s not necessarily saying that these people are a particular age. I’ve heard stats that about 50% of Millennials are married or already have children. So, we’re not talking about a particularly young side demographic, it’s more about some of their behavior about wanting to be connected and that sort of thing.
Suzanne: It’s a love or hate relationship I think because we’re connected more than ever. People say we’re picking up bad habits as well, we’re not socially interacting, you know when we have a dinner or something like that we’ll be on our phone. I find that a little bit rude, we do pick up bad habits sometimes.
Holly G: Yeah! So, what are the key things we need to know as tourism destinations or tourism businesses regarding looking at our product if we want to say attract a millennial market.
Suzanne: Be where the Millennials are, which is where Snapchat is. They still use Facebook but Facebook adds to make the most of it. I do think no one is leveraging off Facebook live as of yet. And the other thing is that maybe Periscope is not where the Millennials hang but music will potentially be new thing as well. So, all these tools around us it’s just you need to have, if I have to recommend anything it is just finding the right person to discuss these tools like how would you use it or maybe you create your own TV show within these tools like Snapchat or Facebook Live and put it onto your platform. It’s actually much cheaper than to hire videographer actually.
Holly G: I know you use Snapchat really well and it’s almost like a TV show the way that you use Snapchat. Do we not necessarily need this sort of slick production and that sort of thing that maybe some of the other segments are used to when we’re dealing with Millennials?
Suzanne: Millennials, they have what I call a B.S filter. And if they see something that they don’t feel like they connect they will turn off straight away. They are looking for authenticity and these tools happened to give that.
Holly G: Yes! And I’ve heard you talk about authenticity before when I’ve listened to some of your snap videos and things like that, which is something that can work well in travel. Because there’s so many passionate travel providers and things like that. So, it’s about really, I mean we do get a little bit sick of the word authenticity but…
Suzanne: Yes! I think what’s great about Snapchat is that it’s providing humanizing aspect to a brand. But if you’re talking about tourism specifically, you don’t have to hire a strong influence up. It’s actually more affordable if you go to Tier C and higher potential because like, do you know how many Millennials you want to be a digital nomads or one that would travel around the world without blocking in themselves. If tourism provides that avenue and I want to hire you and groom you to be the next you know; these tourist spots for us and we pay a pocketful of other expenses for traveling, our accommodation or anything like that. Do you know how many people would like to say, “Me, me, me”, “I want to do that”, and you don’t have to have major influences but there are a lot of people willing to do that. So, if I have to spend money in that, I’ve probably spend money in funding campaign on finding a person or a young millennial to say would you travel around for six months.
Holly G: Yeah, finding someone and grooming them because I think that is really realistic as so many people have the skills to be digital nomads and fantastic content producers but might not have just yet build up the audience or can’t quite afford to do that on their own. But may be working with a brand or destinations could be a good option.
Suzanne: Yes, then you get to have people have an intimate conversations like, how did you do that or why you’re traveling there. And then you have these real and Q&A kind of experiences where they would like to set up a show once a month like, “Here’s this place that I really thought, do I have a good experience? Yes. You had a bad experience? No.” And then you have a real time conversation if you want to say it like that.
Holly G: Are there people out there or brands out there who do market well to Millennials at the moment that you would say?
Suzanne: Nike, I’m talking about the sports company that I feel like a PR company.
Holly G: I haven’t really seen much of this stuff so maybe I’m not in that category that I would definitely have a look at that.
Suzanne: They segment really well, if they want to focus on women then focus on women, if they want to focus on basketball then focus on basketball. But then again, they do have the budget for it.
Holly G: Yeah! Is there anything else you want to share with us when we’re thinking or talking about Millennials?
Suzanne: No, but we have pretty much covered all. If anything, if you’re looking for someone to hire from Millennials, I recommend that you should get in touch with me.
Holly G: Yeah! Well that’s a good link into our next bit, how can people find out a little bit more about you and connect with you?
Suzanne: If you’re really interested and you want to know how to use Snapchat, I recommend that you follow me on String Story. And if you want to check out my website you could go to stringstory.co
NB CHECK OUT STRING STORY’S SNAPCHAT ANALYTICS SPREADSHEET
Holly G: Yeah, and I would definitely recommend following Suzanne on Snapchat. She does some great weekly video talk, sort of tutorial sort of things but in a very different way. Yeah, they’re very much worth checking out. And I think it’s important what you’re saying about that it’s a different communication style using Snapchat and that real Q&A and that sort of thing. Now, are you up for the bonus question?
Now it’s time for our thousand dollar bonus question!
Holly G: If you only had one thousand dollar marketing budget, what would you spend it on?
Suzanne: An animation series to talk about my branding.
Holly G: Ah, cool! Okay. And what if you only had a hundred dollars?
Suzanne: I’ll spend it on Snapchat Geofilter and further into an event like inventory market, night market on Wednesday.
Holly G: Great answer and for those that don’t know what a Snapchat Geofilter is, they should definitely be, I’m following you to find out what that’s all about because it is a pretty cool feature of Snapchat I would say. And it’s something that brands an event, I might really find valuable.
Suzanne: Especially if you want if you want to target Millennials.
Holly G: Yeah, you can create like an event could create a Snapchat Geofilter, couldn’t I?
Suzanne: Yeah, they can but you only have like about 10 seconds to convince a Millennial like doing your things that you have to have the right design for it in the first place.
Holly G: Yeah and so do you work with Snapchat or how do you get a Geofilter uploaded? That’s your tricks of the trade, isn’t it?
Suzanne: It is a little bit but sometimes like I do get businesses talk to me about how to use Snapchat or their own gain that’s why I get hired as a consultant. It’s just a matter of finding what is your end game, what are you putting Geofilter in the first place. Is it a brand new awareness or do you want conversion with like anything else. Then you create a design and upload it and put it into a location and set a time that you want people to trigger it.
Tweet me with any comments or feedback @hollygalbraith or email is good too holly (at) hollyg.com.au
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