I had the opportunity to guest lecture a class of bright minds on Thursday at George Mason University. I’ve learned to make lectures two-way conversations, and those marketing students taught me this:
They can think about multiple marketing channels at the same time.
They consume prolific amounts of data and their devices of choice are extensions of their personal and professional lives.
They are faster online then anyone who grew up without a mobile device, and they use those devices for everything.
Email isn’t their killer app or even their go-to form of communication. They live in an instant-on/always-available world.
They KNOW that none of this is free. Faced with situations about organizations working together, they instinctively asked about the money trail. That is rare in some meetings of business leaders.
This class was so digital-centric that I had multiple LinkedIn invitations before I arrived home. They will be working for you in the next year or two, but before then, they will be among the audience your organization tries to influence.
More than 90% use Snapchat. Facebook is popular too. Hardly anyone uses Twitter. Their devices have 4″-8″ screens. Sure, they have big monitors too, but NOT for seaching, texting, and other communication utility. If you want to engage them, you’ll need to be where they are and communicating in the way that they access information.
At least four class members were either running startups or working in marketing for an organization. And they were all undergraduates.
Technology has changed how information is accessed. But it has also created an ever-younger group of savvy consumers and marketers. If you are an organization or community leader who thinks 2007 wasn’t very long ago, then you should reach out to marketing students like these today and listen to them.