Marketing your business for the internet generation

There is a generation of kids growing up that has never known a non-digital world.

They’ve been called everything from Gen Y to digital natives – and connecting with them is simultaneously increasingly important for businesses and increasingly difficult.

In an attempt to pin this group down, one author has even gone so far as to identify eight characteristics of the Net Generation and what they expect from the businesses and brands they engage with, namely: Freedom, Customisation, Scrutiny, Integrity, Collaboration, Entertainment, Speed and Innovation.

So if part, or all, of your audience is likely to have been born in the twenty years after 1977, then you might need to spend some time getting to know them a little better.

And even if that’s not your market right now, it soon will be. As the biggest baby boom since the Baby Boom, the Net Generation will be transforming an industry near you soon.

Of course it’s not just Net Genners whose expectations have changed. The Internet has affected all of our expectations in one way or another – and smart companies need to learn how to respond to these new expectations if they hope to succeed online.

Marketing to Generation Net

Smart marketing means connecting with your audience. But it’s becoming increasingly obvious that today’s audiences don’t connect with advertising and marketing in the same ways.

The problem is partly down to countless new media channels that divide up all our collective times, but it’s also the case that by combining transparency, infinite choice, immediate responses and personal interactions all in one place, the web has taught us all to expect a different kind of interaction.

More than ever before, we now have the tools to scrutinise the businesses and organisations around us – and we no longer believe the hype. We research products and services online before making buying decisions and we’re as likely to trust the collective recommendations on TripAdvisor as we are the travel section of the weekend broadsheet.

Companies are being forced to create detailed content – rather than sales pitches – which is free from slick marketing messages and hyperbole.

That combination of ‘scrutiny’ and the importance of integrity and authenticity, creates an obvious opportunity for smart businesses to really be themselves and engage online – and in doing so, appeal to both the Net Genners and the rest of us.

So how do we go about doing that?

Well trial and error is certainly a part of the answer – as is a willingness to simply get ‘stuck in’ – but in general terms here are a few quick thoughts:

  • Creating informative online content allows consumers to make their own decisions and positions your business as a trusted resource. Go beyond the sales pitch and provide truly useful information.
  • Consumers hold all the cards and will choose to consume (or not) information on their terms – so we’ll need to give them something they want. Ask why someone would want to visit your website or connect with you in Facebook – what are you offering?
  • Your marketing must become more about entertainment and education than slick sales pitches.
  • Your marketing efforts can create an immediate communications channel, helping you to respond far faster than was ever possible through broadcast media. To do this you need to engage and be active, not simply sit back and wait.
  • Good online marketing increasingly lends itself to collaboration and can even encourage consumers to customise, remix and otherwise transform what you create into something relevant to their own particular needs. Give them the space and help them do this.
  • In the same vein, smart organisations are creating spaces where consumers can create their own content and make connections with others. Hosting the conversation rather than running it.

More than anything, good online marketing is about creating a consistent voice for your organisation – and if that voice is authentic and trustworthy, the Net Generation has shown itself to be ready and willing to help you spread your message.

Posted in Marketing, Promoting Your Business Tagged with:

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to Our News, Tips and Offers

Subscribe Now !

We send occasional newsletters out, usually around once a month which you can unsubscribe from at any time

We're an Approved BusinessWe've been approved by
Online Payments by Stripe


Mobunti Limited.
1 Chapel Street,
CV34 4HL
Tel: 01527 518 555