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NSAA Report: New Marketing Ideas for the Millennial Generation

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This week I’ll be reporting some of the marketing goodness that came from this year’s NSAA National Convention and Tradeshow. It was great to meet many of you and many thanks again to NSAA for providing a press pass on such short notice.

Thursday was a solid day. After an economic forecast that painted a fairly gloomy picture of the world economy, it was off to the “Smells Like Teen Marketing: Appealing to the Millennial Generation” panel featuring Tim Reed (ESPN), Todd Richards (Pro Snowboarder), Jake Fields (Treeline Interactive), Annie Fast (Transworld Snowboarding), and Chad DiNenna (Co-Founder of Nixon). The focus was on the millennial generation, or those born from 1977 – 1997. A group that is independent, socially conscious, clever, and highly aware of marketing. Here’s are some of the key points:

Chad Dinenna
-Put your product first. You can’t have a good brand without a good product. Making your product amazing is the first key to having an amazing brand.
-Don’t fake your brand. This kids can spot stock footage / images very easily. Millennials are very aware. Tell an honest, real, story about your brand.
-When choosing skiers/riders from this generation to represent your resort, make sure their views and attitudes are inline with your brand.

Todd Richards
-If choosing millennials for your resort team, find kids that are great skiers/riders, but more importantly, find kids that are good in from of the camera and can promote your mountain and brand.
-There is a lot of power in showing millennials behind the scenes stuff. Todd-cast (successful video podcast) is Seinfeld-like in its plot but kids love being able to be backstage at the X-Games or contests and see riders are just normal, goofy kids.
-Kids are already filming each other on your mountain on a daily basis. Use the resources that are already there.

Jake Fields
-New technologies that the millennial generation uses are about one thing: empowering customers to share message about your brand. Give your customers tools to share with the world the simple message that they are having fun.
-The future of marketing to this group is “where”. Providing relevant messages based on their location.
-Be careful not to think of social media as just marketing. It’s also PR and customer service.

Annie Fast
-Video content is huge. You don’t have to pay to have it created. Tons of kids are riding your mountain already who make awesome edits every weekend. Trade them a season pass for a weekly video.
-If you have team riders for your resort, spend the extra effort to do a photo and video shoot every season so you have content to provide to outlets (like Transworld) that reach this generation.
-Be careful not to talk just to skiers in your marketing.

Tim Reed
-The key word for this group is “integrated”. Let the content they are always generating be the same content that creates the buzz for your event.
-Online video is huge. ESPN is putting a huge effort into streaming high quality live footage.
-Go where this group is, find out how they communicate and follow their lead.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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