There's a name for those of us who spend a lot of time on the Internet and social media. The Connected Generation.
It's a very useful name. All of us in marketing and advertising can use it as a constant reminder.
First, it can remind us that there's far more to get involved in than shiny magazine ads and dramatic television spots. Our audiences are connected to social media and the Internet with a passion we never had toward TV and print. This passion is what creates the Digital Divide, between those who embrace the new media and those who don't.
Second, it reminds us how the people in our markets are connected to each other. They consult, compare, request, personalize, and demand. Their strength is in numbers and know-how. No longer are people at the mercy of sellers to meet their needs. The Connected Generation helps each other in ways that could never be done before.
If you offer them something valuable, word gets around fast. If you don't, word gets around even faster. Restaurants with mediocre food or service have been killed in days. Manufacturers who trim corners on quality or don't keep up with the latest innovations are dumped.
Add to this the pace at which things are changing these days and you can see why it's essential to push the refresh key on your marketing so often.
Change isn't easy on anybody, the marketers or the customers. That's why, for example, supermarkets know that if they reorganize the store too much they'll lose customers. And manufacturers know if they change the package without warning, people will think they changed their favorite product inside.
When new things such as new media come into the picture, those who understand them first become the experts and specialists. That's what happened with television in the '50s, and is happening today with social media. Soon more and more people will climb aboard and we'll again have an army of generalists.
So much to learn, so much to do all at once.
It's a good thing we're the Connected Generation, with plenty of relationships and support.