Last Updated on September 2, 2020 by Sal Hakim

Written by: Marley King, Executive Assistant

The title of the blog may be off putting, but it’s certainly the truth. My name is Marley, I am currently an executive assistant at Front Runner Films, and up until I began working here, I have had zero marketing experience. Yes, absolutely zero. I have been a film and theatre major for my entire college career, and have never once taken a business class.

Because of my age and experience with marketing, my demographic is currently the largest group in the job market, and the largest generation in history: Millennials and Generation X. We are a weird and mysterious bunch, and our attention span is notoriously short, so how do you even begin trying to grab our attention with your marketing campaigns and branding?
I’ll be speaking from first hand experience here, when I say that the number one thing that will instantly make me dislike a brand is their stance on moral issues. Most of the time, brands don’t state their political opinions, and to me, this feels safe. But when brands take a stance on things, there are only two ways it can go: Immediate respect, and compulsion to buy from that brand, or an instant dislike and a swift block on all social media platforms.
With it being said how risky this move is, I almost always buy from brands that show they care about things outside themselves. Businesses that donate, or send aid to organizations that I care about are much more likely to have me return to them and put more money in their pockets. I think that’s something a lot of other college kids like me can relate to. We want to contribute to society in whatever way we can, and if we can do it as easily as with our daily spending dollars, then hell yeah we’ll do it.
This also goes on to a brand’s honesty. Clickbait drives me absolutely bonkers, and makes me distrust a brand in the future. Current college kids have grown up in a generation full of lies and misleading headlines, so we crave that kind of truth in everything, including the brands we support monetarily. Give us data-driven, and fact supported advertising, and show us real statistics that your brand is as legit as you say it is.
So, that’s kind of what not to do, but what is something that catches our eye? Personally, I like story, because that’s what I have invested my future and my career in, is storytelling. You can information vomit your testimonials and product reviews all you want, but at the end of the day I am going to gravitate more towards a compelling story of how your product brought a family together, helped build a home, or make a kid’s day. Even more so, if that story can be told directly from the person it affected.

Some extra things that I love to see are lots of color! There’s so much bland and blah content on the internet that I want to see something dynamic, visually appealing, and incredibly colorful. But be careful with dynamic visuals because that leads directly into another hot-button topic:
Consistency. This goes for videos, images, written work, and anything and everything in between. There should be a clear voice and vision with a brand. Say I buy some shoes from a store, and I really love those shoes! They were exactly what I wanted, so I decide to go back to the store and get another pair because I liked what they gave me. Can you imagine how disappointed I would be if they completely rebranded, and nothing similar to the shoes I had gotten once upon a time were available? I wouldn’t want to go back. Another example: Say I see a video for an influencer on Instagram, and I love this video, so I visit their page. If I go to that page, and there are no more videos like that, I won’t want to follow them. But, if their content is consistent, and they continuously post content like the one I enjoyed, then I will follow them so I can potentially see more of the stuff I like.
It’s a delicate balance, and you might not always get it right, but it comforts me to know that brands and businesses are owned and ran by humans, and not just a bunch of robots with a programmed algorithm.
So, that’s my opinion! You can take it, or not, because it’s just an opinion. I would like to imagine that it is a well-informed opinion though, and that I might’ve been able to steer you in the right direction on future marketing campaigns. And hey, maybe that’s another allegory for branded content, that sometimes the marketing expert doesn’t know what’s best, and instead, it comes from your friendly, know-nothing film student.