April 5, 2011

The Generation Gap does exist … even online

At the end of my last post, a link to a quiz was available to find out what generation you belong to. The results from the quiz showed that the generation you belong to has more to do with the cultural events happening between birth and the teenage years than it does a specific age.

Which generation do you belong to?

So what does this have to do with emerging media?

As emerging media develops and grows is use, marketers need to understand what online methods work best in reaching each generation. Every generation has preferred ways of communicating and communication obstacles that could prevent a marketer from gaining a new customer because their online method of marketing didn’t work for that generation. The information below is from A Company Divided: Bridging the Generation Gap at Work Through the Power of Communication. The table lists each generation along with communication preferences and obstacles marketers will face in trying to reach a particular segment.

Communication
Preferences
Communication
Obstacles
Traditionalists
1925-1945
Face to face communication
Formal typed or hand-written letters
E-mail
Fax
Cell phones
(most use cell phones for emergency only)
Text
Social networking sites
Baby Boomers
1946-1964
Telephone
Face to face
Fax
E-mail (and a lot of it!)
Group/team meetings
(and a lot of them!)
Cell phones for talking
(not necessarily for texting)
Social networking sites
Blogging
Texting
Technophobia
Gen X
1965-1978
Let “me” choose my communication and how often I do it
E-mail
Cell phone
Text
Blogging
Instant message
Online forums
Face to face communication
Formal letter writing
Team discussions
(better one on one or alone)
Difficulty with communicating up or down a generation
Some barriers with social networks
Gen Y
1979-1997
Text
Online social networks
E-mail (but only for work or school) Instant message
Face to face conversations
Telephone conversations
Professional or even casual letter writing (what’s that?)

The video below, uploaded by TelecomReport on Sep 4, 2009, looks at the growing gap between the older and younger generations and how that gap is affecting the media industry, particularly the distribution of newspapers in online and print form.

My next post will focus on research that shows the online activities of each generation and how those activities affect marketers and their approach to emerging media.

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March 21, 2011

Boomer, GenX, GenY … Oh my!

Welcome everyone to my very first blog and blog post. I have to admit I read tons of blogs (mostly political and technology related) on a daily basis, but have never posted an entry. I’m just a lurker… I’ve never gotten up the courage to post an entry of my own. I’m not exactly sure why, but now that my grade depends on me blogging on a regular basis, I suddenly have this urge to be courageous.

This blog will be where my classmates and I will discuss emerging media in the market, why it matters, how we interact with it, and how it influences our lives daily with the products and services we use.

As I sat down to write this first entry, I started thinking about how I use social media, just a fraction of “new” media that has taken over the internet in the past few years. I have to say, I don’t use Twitter or Facebook for personal relationships much at all. Oh I have a couple hundred friends or so (not that I’m checking), but I don’t log on every day to see what everyone is doing or to change my status. I really don’t want people knowing what I’m thinking or doing at any given moment of my day. I mean who cares what the cat did on the carpet this morning or what I had for breakfast??? Maybe someone does, but usually by afternoon I don’t remember much of what went on that morning anyway. I use Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what’s going on in the design industry, new technology gadgets, March Madness, and of course “what’s on sale”!

So, I wonder… am I an anomaly? Do people my age feel the same way about social media or does it depend on one’s personality? How do people of other generations use social media? Do Baby Boomers change their Facebook status every day? Please, let me know your thoughts…

In my next entry, I’ll add some research I’ve found on how the generations differ in their use of emerging media and what effects that might have on the way businesses approach their customers online.

Which generation do you belong to?