When GenY rules the world…or at least the marketing agencies

23 February 2009

On my never-ending crusade to observe and soak up as much as I can like a little sponge, last week I attended The Digital Tipping Point: The Future of Branding and Social Media, presented by Adknowledge AU (thanks @laurelpapworth for the head’s up on twitter). [NOTE I am editing after post to include Laurel Papworth's correct info, sorry for the slip - it is @silkcharm]

While overall I found many topics intriguing and some really interesting insight was shared from all over the world, I have to admit I was a little taken-back by the focus on “advertising” in the room. I know, I know – I was at a marketing function – I shouldn’t be so naive. I guess my concern isn’t that the tactics and strategies seemed dated like the term itself – they weren’t – it was the overwhelmingly use of it that threw me off.

Maybe I am focusing too much on the word, and missing the context. However i think this fundamental shift that we are all facing is much broader then advertising, PR or any type of marketing – it is a shift in the way we deal and communicate with people. This cartoon I saw recently sums it up best:

What’s my point — maybe we need to change the language of marketing and in turn the nature of it will follow. Not just buzz words, but actually change it. Have we thought how important it really is to open a dialogue with consumers, to engage – that’s pretty deep….and to me very exciting….and very not “advertising” as there are no ads involved.

The conversation that we non-GenYers are having about how to best target youth consumers will soon be irrelevant. When GenY starts running agencies, marketing departments and – gasp! – major corporations, that is when wistful dialogue of the possibilities will transition into business strategies and models — and then we shall see what the real effects this shift have had on brands and consumer marketing.

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8 Responses to “When GenY rules the world…or at least the marketing agencies”

  1. Laurel Papworth

    Hi, saw your link on Twitter (btw, @silkcharm is my name on there) :)

    Y’know, we build bridges from what we know. Which is why you see agency people complaining that Facebook doesn’t have a good ROI on advertising. No kidding – but it’s not FB’s fault!

    I’m starting to notice more and more virtual world stuff creeping into traditional media advertisements. Avatars and stuff. They don’t even realise -it’s just part of their world.

    Advertising is very different from marketing when it comes to socializing media – which is why VRaw was so different from the other presos, no?
    Anyway, thanks for the hat tip :)

  2. Meghan Stuyvenberg

    Hi Laurel, thanks for the comment, very exciting entering the blogging world from this side :) I quite enjoyed your presentation as well, especailly after I let a few things soak in. Very interesting…

    Yes, I agree the VRaw case study felt different and clearly demonstrated some best-practice policies when engaging via social media.

    Your comment re: marketing v advertising brings up an interesting point as well about the line between the two. Do consumers know/care where the brand comms come from? Possibly they do by the nature of the message. Anyway, the lines seem blurred at the very least.

    And please note I updated my slip with your wrong info, silly mistake on my part, please accept my apologies!

    Cheers

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