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Agricultural News

Innovative Communications Necessary to Successfully Engage Millennial Generation Beef Consumers

Mon, 11 Nov 2013 12:24:24 CST

Innovative Communications Necessary to Successfully Engage Millennial Generation Beef Consumers

The beef industry is heading in new directions when it comes to advertising designed to reach today's beef consumers. Helping lead the charge is Michelle Peterson Murray, senior executive director for innovative communications with the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. She tells Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays it's a big job.

"On behalf of farmers and ranchers around the country we help tell the story of beef to consumers in a relevant way. What we've been doing in the last six months is really reshaping our communications programs and really thinking through what matters to consumers and how do we deliver that story to a Millennial through online."

She says reaching out to the younger generation in non-traditional and new media is a challenge.

"It's a brave new world for beef. It truly is a brand new environment. It's a new way to communicate, but, it's also exactly what we've been doing for years-providing great products to Americans and resolving the questions they have about what they're going to have for dinner tonight or putting them closer to America's farmers and ranchers and how we produce beef every day."

She says new media provides the opportunity to specifically target segments of the Millennial audience with messages appropriate just to them unlike traditional media such as radio, television, print, billboard or television. She says it allows the targeted audience to be reached in real time when they are asking specific questions.

She says the Millennial generation is extremely important in the future of beef marketing.

"Millennials are important in size and scope. They have a tremendous influence over what others think, not only in their generation but also in their connections to their family members. Their parents, for instance, are Boomers, so there are about 80 million Millennials. They are basically in their twenties and they are starting to set life-stage patterns. We know from research that at about 25 years old is when a consumer goes from a ground beef consumer to a steak consumer. And we want to make sure that of those Millennials that are thinking about what they want to have for dinner, they think of beef first."

She says one of the big challenges they face is that 70 percent of the parents of Millennials prefer to serve chicken to their children versus beef.

"So that is what we are very centered on-how do we shift that pattern of thinking?"

Murray says that most Millennials are looking for some quick, simple, and easy to prepare.

"We know that half of Americans don't know what they're having for dinner tonight at 4:30 in the afternoon and a lot of them go to chicken because it may provide something quick and easy that all of their family will like and that they will only have to make one meal. And what we know from a beef standpoint is that we deliver on all of those things. It's about being in front of consumers and providing a new nudge towards something new that they can provide so they don't just think about beef as a weekend meal or a grilling meal, but they think about how it fits into their everyday lives."

She says using a variety of media platforms really helps them target consumers with the specific information they are looking for. For example, people go to Youtube for instructional videos, so the NCBA Youtube channel specializes in short instructional videos on how to prepare simple beef dishes. She says they use Pinterest as a way to inspire consumers and Facebook to build a community of beef lovers. Their website is used as a compendium of beef recipes.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.



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