They are called “Digital Natives”, a term coined in 2001 by researcher Marc Prensky to describe people born after 1980 when social digital technologies such as Usenet and bulletin board systems came online.
Digital Natives are characterized as having access to networked digital technologies and the skills to use those technologies. Major parts of their lives and daily activities are mediated by digital technologies: social interaction, friendships, civic activities and hobbies. A Digital Native has never known any other way of life and they are marketing products and serviceslike none of us have ever done before!
Digital Natives are primarily Generation Y and Z and to some extent Generation X. These generations who have grown up with the latest technologies use the tools and principles learned from them to market and plan their business success and also integrate their personal relationships.
Boomers are Digital Immigrants in that all the technology and Internet were learning curves for them which took “leaps of faith” and “giant steps of trial and error”. With every new tech tool, software and contact management program that has come about, there has been blind trust from the Digital Immigrants, Baby Boomers, and Silent Generation. That blind trust is equated as something to be feared. But if there were to conquer fearing the technology learning curve, there would be greater time efficiency and increased production occurring.
While the Natives literally grew up with the tools in their hands, the Immigrants took classes and tried out new concepts in the hopes of reshaping their business owrld for the better. In the days of paid newspaper and magazine ads being the only tool truly available, those forms of marketing were costly. Today, by using one’s own software, a good e-marketing task can be done with little money and utilizing just a little more of one’s time.
Digital Natives convey messages quickly. They communicate succinctly by texting and emailing and social media is targeting their prospects consistently. All Immigrants have to keep pace with the fast, efficient, interactive and colorful marketing demonstrated by our Natives.
There are some technologies that are changing daily and all Generations must be in the loop to keep marketing fresh. These technologies encompass the multitudes of communication methods that have been created including text, pictures, humor, video and real time. There are tools such as YouTube which need to be utilized like the Natives utilize to keep marketing strategies from of mind. And, YouTube is free!
The practice of direct mail and cold calling are not to be thrown out to the curb but must be mixed heavily with the myriad of devices that make for speed, humor, effectiveness, and advertising and can be previewed at the leisure of the client.
Yes, the Boomers and Silents built the sales world with their concepts and practices but now the Gen X,Y and Z are building the sales world more efficiently. They believed anything is possible and should be tried. In doing so, innovation is certain.
Rita Santamaria is the owner and CEO of Champions School of Real Estate, which was founded in 1983 and is a five time Pinnacle Award Winning School. The Champions School of Business Etiquette division was founded in 2012 and has grown in a short time to be a leading development venue for individuals and companies. For more information, visit their websites at www.ChampionsSchool.com or www.ChampionsBusinessEtiquette.com
(as published in the January 2015 issue of Small Business Today)