I have worked in marketing now for more than 12 years. There have always been demographics, which in my opinion need taking very seriously. But over the last few years the most important demographic has appeared and it’s one that is shaping our future as marketing professionals.
The 5-16 year old community will, over the next few years be entering our workplaces. Their use of communication is very different to mine when I was their age. Yes I had email (just), the Internet (just), a telephone, a fax machine and I think at one point the groundbreaking pager. These 5 tools were the same as those being used in offices all over the world so guess what, I slotted right in.
What we have now though is a demographic that communicates differently. The Facebook Generation. They don’t know what a conference bridge is despite holding 10-way ‘conference calls’ through their XBOX every night. They would rather catch up via BlackBerry Messenger than pick the phone up and speak to their friends. And why would they tell their Nan’s what they have been doing? Shouldn’t she be keeping up to date on Facebook and following them on Twitter?
As businesses we need to adapt and welcome this demographic rather than fight it because the tools they use are here to stay. It has made a lot of technology companies stand up and listen too. Take Cisco’s SocialMiner tool for instance, an integrated module of their contact centre offering that actively searches social media channels for comments on their brand, products or defined keywords and presents them back to the company. Here is a video showing how it can work.
Try it for yourself. Mention your poor customer service at one of the leading UK supermarkets for example and wait for the phone to ring from their customer services team or a reply to pop up in your Twitter feed.
The point here is that both personal and corporate communications are changing, quicker and more dramatically then ever before.
Take a look at your business as ask yourself this – Is it equipped to take on these new employees and more importantly are you ready to tackle them as customers?