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Does your staff reflect the next generation of customers?

I was having lunch the other day with our IT guru and our summer hire, my son. And while we were talking generally about the huge changes the IT world has imparted on the security industry, it occurred to us that social media has also had a huge impact on so much around us as well.


June 16, 2010
By Ivan Spector

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Take my IT Gen X person — even he has a generation gap between his peers his age and my son’s age group and they are only five years apart. So even amongst young people there are differences in how they relate to things such as products and music, and how they communicate amongst their own friends and age group. High school kids today consider email as passé — they interact via Instant Messaging, BBM and Twitter.
 
Take a few minutes  and ponder these facts:
• Over 50 per cent of the world’s population is under 30 years of age
• Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S.
• Number of years to reach 50 million users:
Radio: 38 years, TV: 13 years, Internet:  four years, iPod: 3 years. Facebook added over 200 million users in less than one year!
 
We are living in a changing world that most of us can barely grasp.
Have you looked at your local newspaper lately? About 24 out of 25 newspapers have experienced decreasing circulation. And have you looked at the ads in those same newspapers? They are looking pretty slim — because many companies are allocating their advertising budgets elsewhere, like websites and viral marketing campaigns.
Take a look at your local news, which in many areas does not even exist any longer. Feeds are being done on a national basis since local advertising dollars are being diverted and are affecting the ability to deliver local news. And for the first time last Christmas eBooks outsold regular print editions.

The way in which information is shared, disseminated and absorbed is undergoing a tremendous transformation. That obviously impacts how buyers view your products and services and how they will buy those products and services. Traditional means of reaching out and touching potential clients is undergoing a huge transformation.

  
And it is not only what is being said — it’s what is being said about your company, your product, your service.

Will this have any staying power? I recall the collective gasp when we cut back on our Yellow Pages budget years ago.

And I also remember the Y2K “experts” that crawled out of the woodwork a mere 10 years ago.
 
Consider the number of people that are in the process of disconnecting their land lines, and how traditional means of sending signals to the monitoring station is dying a slow death.
This buying and interacting shift is an entirely different animal, and if you don’t have any Gen X and Y people on staff prodding you in the right direction, you had better start finding them and getting with the program, to find out how you can channel this energy and be a part of it. Lead, follow or get out of the way!


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