What else are you doing while reading this blog? The answer likely varies depending on your age bracket. The most senior readers of the Soundview Blog probably devote the majority of their attention to the piece, maybe stopping for a phone call or a sip of coffee. The readers in the middle age bracket are likely using a PDA to check e-mail and may or may not have a stock ticker widget running on their desktops. However, the youngest readers are reading this while sending instant online messages, texting on their phones, and listening to an mp3 player, all while a television flickers in the background. The youngest generation is putting a new spin on the term multi-tasking, and according to author Don Tapscott, the “old” among society had better adapt before being left behind. In his new book Grown Up Digital, Tapscott reveals how the generation that’s been plugged in from birth impacts the world in every area, from family life to education to business. The book is the robust product of a $4 million research project that seeks to probe the psyche of a group that can’t sit still long enough to be categorized. Much of the author’s inspiration for the book came from observations he made right in his own household. His children, Alex and Niki, provided Tapscott with repeated examples of just how wide the gap had become between the pre-‘Net and post-‘Net generations.
Grown Up Digital forces readers from other generations to see the world through the eyes of a group they may not understand. The only way businesses will be able to capture this key demographic is to make an effort to reach the audience on its own level. This is not an easy task, as the Net Generation is used to constant innovation. Consider the fact that the first third of this group listened to music on cassettes in middle school, CDs in high school and mp3s in college. Combine this with the fact that they demand customization capabilities with every purchase. Readers will learn Tapscott’s Net Generation norms and what that portends for companies that want to stick to traditional production and marketing methods.
Any executive who counts clients age 30 and under as a primary target market would do well to study Grown Up Digital. The statistics and studies that fill its pages should be read with an open mind, especially when one considers the number of people that fall under the label of Net Gener.
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