Or the newest Gen Alpha?
One thing is for sure that it’s going to get tougher. As a marketer, I’m entering this world at the most volatile time. Exciting as it is, it is also a make it or break it point for us. Traditional marketing is fading quickly to be disrupted by digital. The old rules no longer make sense, and very few know what the new rules really are, if any that is.
I was working at Starbucks this afternoon when a few 12 year olds came and sat at the same table, all on their iPhones, talking about what’s hot on their social media. I couldn’t help but observe them, so engrossed in taking Snapchats and discussing “stories”. This Gen Z demographic is changing the face of interaction on an exponential level. Here we are, talking about Snapchat and how it’s a game changer today, where in reality, this generation is already exploring Musical.ly.
I had to strike up a conversation, and they are more than willing to act all grown up and share! Snapchat and Instagram are still hot. These young girls have over a 1000 followers already. In the 20 minutes that I spent observing them, they had spent majority of it snap-chatting, instagram-ming, and making videos on Musical.ly. They have a hundred apps on their phone, but what they don’t use is Facebook. I am amazed at how digitally forward these youngsters are. They talk about Apple Pay, tell me how to see the app used most by the battery percent it consumes, and as we talk about some general stuff, google up facts to share with me. Big takeaway: They really care about what their fellow generation thinks of them and they invest in building their brand.
As they leave, I can’t help but wonder how important it is today to understand this new customer persona. We can no longer use best practices to strategize our next move. In fact we have to BE there, ahead of the curve, understanding the working of this digital age, predicting trends that are the future. Those who do understand this will survive this changing face of marketing. If not, well it’s only becoming too easy to be forgotten by the Gen Y, whose attention span is, trust me, way less than a goldfish. Whoever wins their attentions, wins the game. Good luck!