Saturday, August 04, 2012

Extrapolating your opinions to represent those of your age cohort

When people start making bold statements about ‘their generation’ and how it changing the world  - how much it knows – why it is /has been the brightest – etc etc then you know that enthusiasm and bigotry has gotten the best of reason and intelligence. It doesn’t matter if it is a Boomer prattling on about their generation or Gen X/Y/Z  they are all boring.

There is an article in the Fast Company from somebody telling the tale about Gen Y and its values and how to ‘connect’ with them.

The writer falls into trap of extrapolating her own views and experiences to the universe of her age cohort. It is a common mistake that we all make.

What is interesting is the three ‘rules’ the author provides for connecting with Yoof are bang on the money. Cutting through all of the psycho-generational babble the advice is: 

1. Define your space: You're never going to please everyone, so don't waste your time and resources trying. 

2. Be completely authentic:  As long as you're being honest and truthful, the demographic that you resonate with will find you. Not totally true but has some wisdom

3. Ask for action:  So how do you go from online impressions to real-life action? Ask! If your campaign, movement, or organization doesn't have a call to action, how can you expect a response? 

You might say that these are pretty much the basic rules of marketing. They are but they still get ignored. I bet the writer doesn’t know that she is preaching the messages that have been around for the last 40-50 years. Still, great to see that the rules still have a resonance with today’s marketing hotshots. Dick Stroud

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