The Influential Digital Subcultures: Youth, Women, and Netizens

With the ever-increasing digitalization of the world, some specific customer segments are becoming more distinctive and influential. The recent research shows that three of them, namely, Youth, Women, and Netizens (YWN), have differentiated themselves as influential subcultures by a significant increase in their power to influence the other segments towards (or away from) brands.

In the past, those three influential subcultures (YWN) were considered as minorities, and the power to influence used to belong to seniors and men. This fact was due to the higher income and purchasing power that seniors and men have had. However, over time, by becoming out-of-the-box thinkers, YWN has begun to influence the mainstream culture.

Youth

Around two billion of the world's population consists of people between the ages of 10 and 24. It is reported that these two billion people have great power and influence in setting the trends – not only for themselves but also for their seniors.

Seniors often do not have the time or energy to explore the changes (especially pop culture fields such as music, movies, sports, food, fashion, and technology) and tend to follow and rely on youth suggestions. This fact is also because the younger generation is not afraid of experimentation and has become the first to try new offerings that older segments find too risky to try.

Youth are early adopters, meaning that they accept an offering before everybody else. And when they receive a new offering, this offering usually reaches the mainstream market successfully.

Women

The female market is not only large but also has a very distinctive segment profile as women play the roles of “information collectors," “holistic shoppers," and “household managers."

Women function as “information collectors” as their decision-making process does differ from a man's. Whereas men's path-to-purchase is short and straightforward, women typically spend hours in stores reviewing quality and comparing prices as well as hours researching online. To find out the perfect offering, women seek assistance from others and get the opinions of their friends – primarily other women.

Women are “holistic shoppers” in the sense that they experience more touchpoints in their path-to-purchase, and they are more likely to consider everything — functional benefits, emotional benefits, prices, etc.—before determining the actual value of an offering. Also, for specific household categories, women consider products' value to themselves and the entire family or household.

Women are also the “household managers” as they generally dominate the financial decisions of households. They serve as a chief financial officer, purchasing manager, and asset manager of the family as they are the buying agent of the family.

Netizens

Netizens (or citizens of the internet) are the people who actively work towards developing the internet for the benefit of the world. Among billions of internet users, only a certain percentage can be considered netizens, as netizens are very savvy in connecting and sharing information with others online and are usually very aggressive inıpölölşllexpressing their opinion.

Netizens are social connectors whose role in influencing others is related to their desire to be connected and contribute. Under anonymity provided by the internet, netizens have fewer risks and are more confident when interacting with others and participating in online conversations. As netizens who are more high-profile than other internet users, they yield a considerable influence, often having many followers, fans, and friends.

Netizens are also content contributors. They provide product ratings and reviews on the internet or create new content in web pages, blogs, articles, whitepapers, e-books, infographics, graphic arts, games, videos, and even movies.

References

Kotler P., Armstrong, G. 1991. Principles of Marketing, 5th Edition, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, USA: Prentice-Hall Inc.

Kotler, P., Kartajaya, H., & Setiawan, I. 2017. Marketing 4.0: Moving from Traditional to Digital, Wiley, Kindle Edition.

Kotler P., Keller, K. L. 2009. Marketing Management, 13th Edition, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, USA: Pearson Education, Inc.

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