Jessica Miller-Merrell | , ,| By
Equipped with over 200 billion dollars in buyer power per year, Gen Y is the next generation that marketing professionals must focus on to sustain business. This birth of Gen Y creates a new form of marketing that no longer aims towards Baby Boomers or Gen Xers. Supercilious marketing gimmicks no longer engage us. We want real time, convenient, simple, and reliable customer service. No longer is it feasible for a company to limit its marketing strategy to the normal 8-5 schedule.
A Brief History of Generation Y
So who are theses Gen Yers that are forcing companies to take on new strategies, funnel millions into new ideas, and market to a generation that no longer rely (or trust) on simple advertisements. Its up in the air what age range commits to the tech-savvy Gen Yers. The general consensus is that anyone born anywhere from 1983 to 1997 can be considered Gen Y, give or take a few years.
A few weeks ago a featured question on #jobhuntchat, a twitter-based job hunt chat co-hosted by @Cornonthejob and @blogging4jobs, dealt with the topic of Gen Y being an age or mindset. Technically I believe it is an age group, but with the advancement of technology and the ability to be connected from anywhere in the world, it has transformed into a mindset. Being a mindset, companies are able to promote their business in a more attractive manner relative to a broader spectrum of consumers.
Gen Y grew up around the Internet, cell phones, iPods, video games, and cell phones. They are tech savvy, multitaskers in the greatest sense of the word, able to talk on the phone while surfing the Internet and watching television at the same time. Facebook is littered with groups similar to You were born in the 80’s If…. I’ve compiled my own very condensed list that references Gen Y.
You know you are Gen Y if…
T.V. is a background noise I’m not saying you don’t watch television, but besides a few favorite T.V. shows, you are more in-tune with your friends recently updated Facebook status, twitter update, or taking down those pictures your friends put up after you got wasted and puked on yourself at the bar last night.
You€™re Socially Conscious Whether it be political, social, or environmental, you are always looking up the latest gossip on who Paris Hilton slept with this time or which White House scandal happened this time around. For me, I am more environmentally conscious. When topics such as the BP Oil Spill go viral and Gen Y unites together something needs to be fixed because Gen Y is able to cripple a brand.
You value the opinion of your friends over ads – When you see an ad online for the newest gadget, you don’t always believe what it reports. You’ll check out your friends to see if it’s something you really like. Have you ever seen an advertisement for an iphone application that costs 99 cents and before you buy it, you want to try it out first? On a friends’ iphone? This is the same principle. This generation doesn’t put a lot of trust in advertisements. They’ve lied, cheated, and bent the truth in the past, so why believe them?
Since the buying power has shifted from Gen X to Gen Y, marketing professionals will now have to build trust and become more reputable in order for this generation to take them seriously. The Gen Y portion of blogging4jobs.com will focus on marketing trends and techniques that have worked. It’ll incorporate connecting with the generation in real time and through the use of branding and advertising campaigns.
If you are in marketing, public relations, business, or any industry that has changed the way you operate due to the shift in generations, what’s one thing that has changed? If you don’t realize the shift in buying power, I don’t think your company will be in business much longer. Look at Blockbuster? They weren’t quick enough.
Blake McCammon, is an intern at Xceptional HR and is also our Gen Y twice monthly blog contributor. Connect with Blake on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Blake is a recent grad of Northeastern State University with a degree in Business Administration. During school he created and managed his university’s social media strategy while also spearheading a university “Go Green” campaign.