Tuesday, November 18, 2008

when young markets change marketing

Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World looks at what's sometimes called the millennials generation -- young people aged 11 to 31 -- based on a $4 million research effort. Author Don Tapscott has an eight-part series in Business Week that focuses this week on how marketing needs to adapt to meet the very different views of this emerging market, whether you're selling soap, social change or services. Among the insights that set this "net generation" apart from those of us who precede it:

  • They spend little online (most lack credit cards) but do extensive online research before they buy;

  • They're better at "filtering, fast-forwarding, and/or blocking unsolicited advertising than previous generations were" and don't like over-the-top spin;

  • Even so, they influence a majority of family purchases, from cars to groceries to apparel; and

  • They're not "passive consumers of the broadcast model" and want to participate in branding so the items are customized for them.

To catch up with Tapscott, check out Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation, the first book to delineate the habits, likes and dislikes of this important, emerging audience. Whether you expect them to join your membership organization, enroll at your university or buy products from your business, this is essential reading--particularly if you're considering adapting your traditional communications with new and social media options. (Thanks @guykawasaki for pointing us to this on Twitter)

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