We have 2 generations coming through to the workplace, one of them (Millennial) are already here, and they're making waves in the brave new world that you call 'Digital', to them it's just what they've grown up with, they are far more comfortable with technology than any generation before them,and they don't call it 'digital', it's either useful, free, easy, or just shit.
The second are what's called 'Generation Z', these are the guys and gals who are in their early teens, still at School or College, and as the saying goes 'if you want to find something for free go and ask Gen Z'.
This is the generation who are growing up with much faster daily developments in (free) technology than any time in history, for most of them FaceBook, Google, Instagram, and other tech platforms are old hat, they're all totally open to new ideas every single day, they are also being courted by the Wall St investment community who want to keep an eye on where the next big thing is coming from.
When they enter the workplace instead of tapping into all that digital savvy thinking, we see so many business try and get them to adopt existing business process and ask them to 'improve what we are already doing' - try asking them what they would do if they could set up a business to compete with you.
You might just find the innovation you're looking for is fresh out of college, definitely not geeky (well, some maybe), they don't all sport a beard and tattoos, but they all understand how the world of content, communication, and technology works far better than you - these are the folks with immense 'Superpowers' that you need to help unlock for the sake of your company's future sustainability, because they are also the customer of today, and tomorrow.
Technology has opened their world up in the same way electricity did for the Victorians, they're all infinitely more digitally savvy than you and me, they are also more globally socially connected than any time in history, the fact they have the opportunity to access content and communicate with people around the world, from anywhere, anytime, and on any device has led us to believe they have a much shortened attention span than previous generations, but this has more to do with myth than fact.
“Today’s world of never-ending technological breakthroughs creates the illusion that jumping from bandwagon to bandwagon is moving us forward, when we are really going around in circles.”
The challenge for brands who still need to get the 'sales' message across is that within a world where 'content' is freely available, and there's lots, and lots of content out there how do you look to stand out not just with Gen Z and those Millennial's, but with the rest of the digitally connected 57% of the socially savvy world where corporate content overload is taking place, and intrusive advertising is just pissing everyone off.
How about adopting 'Story Selling'?
Do they consume ads, of course they do, but they'll do everything they can to find sources that are ad free, because intrusive advertising is part of your world, not theirs, and they're still trying to figure out why you still allow so much of this to be the default currency for their attention.
My advice - stop looking in the rear view 'digital' mirror, because that's where you've already been, start focusing on the windscreen so you can get focused on where your meant to be going...........
If you would like to discuss this topic in more detail, and find out how to deliver brand value within the social media landscape, please contact the author of this blog.
Authenticity is like content. It’s been driven into meaninglessness. In Gen Z’s case, the logic is that their overexposure to media has created some fallacy that traditional advertising and promotion no longer work. We must use authenticity, storytelling and now “storyselling.” This isn’t a generational marker. It’s called being young.