The number of people in the U.S. who use social networks at least once a month will increase 44% to 115 million in 2013 from 79 million in 2008, according to a new eMarketer report. With use already high among teens and young adults, growth will come from boomers, Generation X and tweens.
Innovation is the process of idea management – so, yes, you need great ideas to innovate, but that is only part of it. You also need to be able to select ideas. Once you’ve done that, you need the ability to execute them. While all this is going on, you have to keep people inside your organization enthusiastic about the ideas. And at the end of all of this, you have to get your great new idea to spread. To innovate, you need to be good at all of these things.
The social media revolution has been fueled by the Millennial (born roughly between 1980- present) and X (born roughly between 1964-1979) Generations, but the baby boomers (born between roughly 1946 - 1964) and the Silent Generation (born between roughly 1925 - 1945) are catching on. For the same Americans who may have once watched television on a wooden box, social networking has "nearly doubled—from 22% in April 2009 to 42% in May 2010," according to a report released on August 27 by the Pew Research Center, entitled Older Adults and Social Media.
They see life as a game. They enjoy nothing more than outsmarting the system. They don’t trust politicians, medias, nor brands. They see corporations as inefficient and plagued by an outmoded hierarchy. Even if they harbor little hope of doing better than their parents, they don’t see themselves as unhappy. They belong to a group — several, actually — they trust and rely upon. “They”, are the Digital Natives.
Even as we pull out of the economic downturn, many people are still curtailing spending because a new meaning of "value" is taking hold. This shift is particularly prominent among what we call the "Post-88s" -- females, age 22 and under -- who have grown up with social media. Their story of self-identity and its impact on value is so distinct from the older half of the Gen Y population that they can no longer be considered as one market.
At age 46, Tom Lynch is a trailing-edge Boomer. But he has already made an important shift in his life, from focusing on becoming someone to being someone. It's a shift marketers need to understand if they want to effectively connect with today's older Boomer consumer.
Last fall, Mercedes-Benz ran a competition among business schools like Harvard, New York University, Wharton and Kellogg, in cooperation with NYU, to find out what the next critical market for the brand actually thinks of the brand.
How are BMW, VW, Honda and Toyota bringing in younger consumers? VW of America COO Mark Barnes says it's about product and bringing in a new generation. "The mass media we are using is TV, but we are getting far more engaged in the digital world," he says. "When we introduced the new GTI, we used iPod and iPhone. Our GTI sales were up tremendously versus last year so that has worked very well."
It seems like the American marketing community is poised on the brink of an astounding discovery: the value of the post-war baby boom market! With the upcoming (and much anticipated) Tom Brokaw special, "Tom Brokaw Reports: Boomer$," it seems like everyone is trying to jump on this particular wagon. On March 1, Advertising Age published a fun piece by Judann Pollack called "The 15 Biggest Baby Boomer Brands" in which Pollack attempts to lay out the iconic products and their ad campaigns of her generation. This is precisely why marketing to boomers is in such a state of disarray. Folks are trying to take 20 pounds and shove it into a five-pound bag.
Those entering the workforce now will likely make less and save more—not just in the short term but for the rest of their lives.
Narratives are a staple of every culture the world over. They are disappearing in an online blizzard of tiny bytes of information.
When we started the Boomer Project back in 2003, we decided to focus on what we called "the second question." The first question was, of course, "Why market to today's older Boomers?" Recent contributors to this column have addressed the "why" quite effectively. Our point-of-view from the beginning was that marketers who woke up to the economic power of the Boomer generation, even beyond age 50, would then ask the next question: "How do we engage Boomers now?" We wanted to be there to answer it.
It's likely that the children and teenagers of today will conduct the majority of their shopping online, according to a report from Nielsen. While online shopping accounts for a modest percentage of today's sales, it is growing rapidly. In 2008, online retail accounted for approximately 7% of total retail sales in the U.S., with 1.5% of consumer packaged goods (CPG) spending done on the Web, according to Nielsen's "Building Great Brands in the Digital Age: Guidelines for Developing Winning Strategies."
Welcome to the dawn of Responsible Consumerism -- arguably the most profound shift in American values since the 1960s. We saw this seismic shift coming a generation away. Members of both the G.I. and Silent generations, those now ages 64 and older, led the way by reducing their own consumption of goods and services as they grew older. Their desires shifted as they reached age 50 and then 60: fewer material goods, more enriching experiences. Fast on their heels comes the largest, wealthiest and most important demographic group America has even seen. Boomers, raised in front of television sets, a target for marketers from age five upward, are now reaching 60 at the rate of one every eight seconds.
The kids born after 1980 are often thought of as Digital Natives but age doesn’t always matter as the generation is defined on: access to digital technologies, age, and have the skills to use the skills.