Millennials, the under 40, Hipsters, … youth, youth, youth. You name it: all spells young audiences in media. Everyone of fixated at serving people that are young and likely less than 30 years old. And then you wonder, why you are not making money or landing a hit. Because you target the wrong audience segments. If you are doing it now and only offer TV content that focuses on the classic 14 – 49 age bracket, you will be doomed in the very near future. If your target is even male-oriented, young audiences, then you better stop your business now: it will not survive.

The world is ever-changing; and ever-developing as well. Creating successful content that works now and maybe even a few years down the road seems more lucky chance than a scientific exercise. But what if I can predict – with the help of science – what content will be in demand over the next few years? Wouldn’t that be swell? Wouldn’t you want to pay me a handsome sum of money for such privileged insight? 

Well, it is your lucky day: you get this information for free – it only costs you a bit of time to read through this newsletter today. This is a little time compared to the one that I invested in reading books and trend reports, to come to my conclusions on how the future content markets will develop. I mainly draw on the book “2030: How Today’s Biggest Trends Will Collide and Reshape the Future of Everything” from Professor Mauro F. Guillèn (Dean, Cambridge Judge Business School) , who expertly predicts how our world will look like in … ooops, already eight years from now.

Women Power

You are missing out royally if you do not target women. Of course, you know that, and you likely started to offer more content that entertains the average housewives. But hold on: your average woman in the near future will not be a housewife. She will likely be a boss, an entrepreneur or having a managerial role. Even more importantly, she likely has more disposable income available than your average male consumer. 

As a creative company you should now think, how can you honour this new type of women power in role models in your content. If you want to depict ‘real women’, you must acknowledge that they are playing a major role in the future workforce and are proud, self-assured and successful leaders of their own life, of their family, community and businesses. The traditional stay-at-home mum role is backwards thinking; you must show more women as the breadwinner of the family, as the entrepreneurial powerhouse of their community, who calls the shots. 

Do a very critical review of your organization: where are the women?

Talking about women in the workforce: Have a critical – and I mean real critical and thorough look – review of your own organisation. How many women do you employ? How many of them have a leadership role? Is your business even having a female CEO? I likely doubt it. We always pride ourselves in the media industry how progressive we are: But the matter of the fact is, that we are not as advanced as an industry when it comes to equality as we pretend we are. Most businesses in media are still run by male leaders. Look around at your industry events and gathering: How many women are there? More than 30% ? Well you are already way advanced. 

Consequently, as a future-proof company you MUST invest in your female workforce. No debate about that, no discussion – just do it. Encourage the women in your company to take on managerial roles and rise to the leadership; foster their engagement and establish policies that support this endeavor. It takes a village to raise a child and it takes the willingness of an organization (and most of all of its current male leadership) to emphasize the importance of women in the team and that they take on the lead. 

It will dramatically enhance your attractiveness as a business for new employees. And do we not all fight for good talent these days, don’t we? It will even be a more competitive workforce market soon, believe me. You want to be positioned well to attract the best talent in the market  – and the best talent will be (you guessed it) female employees.

Knowledge in all aspect resonates with female audiences

If you have female leaders in your business, it surely will guide you instinctively to creating good content; that resonates with female audiences. If you are unlucky and not having that internal sounding board, you must read further. I have a few ideas for you, what content you should look at to target women of all ages: it mainly is about knowledge and education, health and well-being, safety and financial freedom, independence and self-actualization.

In more detail: women are very much interested in growing their own knowledge and expertise. They are willing to invest money in education; both their own and that of their family or close friends. Same goes for health, safety and well-being. These are issues that they care about and that they want to learn about, get new ideas, gain insight and yet be also inspired and entertained. If you find creative ways to combine educative and illuminating content with an entertaining spirit, you hit the target. You also want to raise the bar in what you deem ‘knowledge’: go beyond the basics and challenge your audience. Help them to launch a business by providing training on entrepreneurship, financial literacy, economics and sociology, etc. Go deep on health issues and specifically prevention of diseases and medical risks. Make women leaders and not followers. 

Provide a sense of Community

In this context I cannot stress more than I usually do the importance of creating ‘digital tribes’ – aka communities. When you create content, think more than one-way broadcast. Think of launching a whole (online) community around it and how you can foster that sense of community. Do not patronize though, but rather offer a place of shared wisdom, a place that people can gather and exchange ideas, thoughts, problems and assistance. Make it a warm, welcoming place and not the typical male forum with screaming, fake news and hate speech. 

One more thing: do not fall into the old programming trap and target young women only. You must have women of all ages on your radar. Especially the age group above 60 will be an important market segment in the very near future. Did I mention that a large group of people in the Western hemisphere will be over 60 by the year 2030? Have you ever reflected on the fact, that you might miss out on this immense market segment by dancing around the Holy Gral of Youth instead? 

Millenials: a waste of time

What if I tell you that you are wasting time and resources on the younger audiences – because they do not have money and will not have ever as much as their grandparents have now? Think again: you want to make money with your content, don’t you? You must hence target audiences, that are prosperous and with high disposable income, right? So, who you think will spend money on education, on quality goods or on health matters: the 18 year old college girl or her grandmother? I guess, you know the answer.

Did I mention that Prof. Guillén argues that you must find ways to target the 60+ segment otherwise you are forced out of the market by 2030 -and naturally he also argues you must accept women power as one of the key drivers of growth in the future? And did I mention, that Prof. Guillén said in a recent interview he must change the title of his book and it should say “2028” instead of “2030”? 

If you need guidance to develop your future-proof strategy for your TV, media or content business, do contact us now… and not in six years!