-- Net Generation

Josh GordonDon Tapscott, generational marketing expert and author of Wikinomics, gave a very compelling keynote address that defined what to this point has been a bit of an enigma. Some call them Millennials (including us!), some call them Gen Y. He argues that Millennials doesn't make sense as a name because it's a label that is earned only by virtue of being young at the turn of the millennium. He discounts Gen Y because he says it comes off as if it's a sequel of Gen X. Tapscott calls them the "Net Generation," and he spent an hour trying to prove his point.

Here are some interesting tidbits:

  • Bigger is better. According to his data their is more opportunity with the generation just coming of age. The Baby Boom generation consists of 78 million, while the “Net Generation” is 80 million. He argues that one reason it’s important to market correctly to this youngest generation is because they are increasing in size very quickly.
  • Online is the new TV. This generation doesn’t watch TV like they used to. And, when they do, they skip ads at a whopping 62% rate. While the Baby Boom generation watched TV (and still does, to the tune of 24 hours a week on average), the “Net Generation” is living up to the name by spending that time online.
  • “Website” is old and busted. “Community” is the new hotness. The generation is keen on self-organizing on a grand scale. Building a global community used to take years. Now you can have a global community through a social marketing tool in 24 hours.
  • Be transparent, or be found out. The best, most recent example of this concept is Coke Zero’s failed attempt at viral. They launched a viral campaign of their own accord that they were behind and pushing and once they were outed, there was major brand backlash. In fact, there’s a entire blog devoted to just the attempted campaign.

Last, he argues that traditional 4 “P’s” of marketing are obsolete in the online space. He replaces product with consumer experience, place with ANY place (the fact that everything is global), price with discovery mechanisms (eBay) and promotion with engagement.

Some interesting revelations and argument, particularly on the need for transparency and integrity. What do you think? Are the 4 P’s obsolete for online marketing?

One Comment

  1. Posted September 17, 2008 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Very thought-provoking article, thanks. Am really enjoying this site, well done.

    Helen Leggatt

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  1. […] thought more about this after reading Josh’s review of Don Tapscott’s session at the Annual Summit on the “Net Generation.” Looking at Tapscott’s definition of […]

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