June 15, 2022
BY BEAU BECRAFT
Amid a generational shift across multiple industries, companies are rethinking their strategy as it pertains to marketing their products and services to the next generation of decision makers. As older millennials and Generation Z begin to take the reins and assume positions of prominence, how can they maintain relationships with long-term customers while also marketing to younger prospects whose consumer habits are notably different from those of their elders?
Tyler Coverdell serves as an outside sales representative for Knapheide Truck Equipment Center in Kansas City, Missouri. As a young sales professional, Coverdell is tasked daily with maintaining client relationships with existing customers who have relied on Knapheide for years to meet their demands on the job. But, he also understands that there’s a lot of untapped potential in the “up-and-coming” generation. With that in mind, Coverdell is finding ways to reach that audience and help carry a very traditional industry into the 21st century and beyond.
While the established practice of the face-to-face deal is not lost on Coverdell, his being tuned in with his generation and the one to follow puts him in a unique position to market to both sides of the spectrum. In an effort to cater to both audiences, he has turned to social media.
“With more and more millennials rising to the top of the corporate ladder and into decision making roles, marketing across social media platforms has become really important,” Coverdell says of the strategy for marketing to young customers.
He is keen on using methods that fall more in line with “guerilla marketing,” which is defined as “using innovative, unconventional, and low-cost marketing techniques aimed at obtaining maximum exposure for a product.”
“I’m a true believer that guerilla marketing and similar approaches get more of a response,” Coverdell says.
Looking to build his presence on the platform to reach new audiences, Coverdell recently posted great drone footage of Knapheide Truck Equipment Center in Kansas City, a simple but effective piece of content that can be shared across both TikTok in addition to other social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
“I believe platforms like TikTok are a great way to utilize the fundamentals and concepts of guerrilla marketing to expose products to a younger audience,” Coverdell notes. “In addition, the tools these platforms are offering now to make basic videos with sound, voice overs, and various effects without the knowledge of using a really involved editing software make it easier for the average person to create content.”
TikTok, which remains one of the more recent and arguably most popular social media platforms currently, is home to an estimated 80 million monthly active users in the United States. 60% are female, 40% are male. 60% are between the ages of 16-24.
So how can you use the platform for your business? This article from Sprout Social does a great job of outlining some key strategies for using TikTok to expand brand awareness, including strategies for when, how often, and what to post, sharing content from other users (such as those who are highlighting their use of your products), and more.
Coverdell also mentions that there are active communities on other social media platforms devoted to work trucks, truck bodies, and other industry-related topics that are primed for promotion.
“I know of a KUV owners/operators Facebook page,” Coverdell says. “On a funnier note, there’s also a group called ‘Sexy Service Trucks’ with 33,000 active users. That group is focused on crane truck builds. They also have people send in pictures and make a yearly calendar of the ‘sexiest service trucks.’”
With that amount of users on a free-to-use platform, there remains a lot of opportunity to reach demographics that companies may have previously had difficulty marketing their products to. The ability to create original content that creates brand awareness and generates leads has endless potential. More importantly, the rise of social media “influencers” provides the opportunity to create partnerships with some of the most highly visible users to help promote your products to their loyal base of followers.
And while he may be taking a “new age approach” to how he markets and sells to multiple generations of customers, he operates under a timeless mindset of “being treated as you’d like to be treated,” which he says goes a long way in forming relationships with customers of any age group.
Young professionals like Coverdell are a great example of the next generation moving into prominent roles within established companies and feisty startups alike. These professionals are in unique positions to market to multiple generations and are eager to shift their strategies to reach each group. That adaptability can assure that the futures of companies remain in great hands and are poised for continued stability and growth.
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