Generation C : jakepearce.com

By: Jakepearce  06-Dec-2011
Keywords: Marketing

Welcome to the third in our mini series exploring how to influence Generation C – ageless, digital natives.

In Mini Series “1″ we explored Malcolm Gladwell’s “Tipping Point” as a way to get a few influencing ‘the many’ with Mavens, Connectors and Sales people.

In Mini Series “2″ I identified that Connectors are only half of the picture when it comes to broadcasting a message – you also need Conductors,which I define in overview.

In today’s video, I break down the 4 types of Conductor that exist to explain how they can influence people in their sphere in different ways.

The video is about 4 minutes long…

What kind of conductors have influenced you to take action in the last 3 months?

Until next time….

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In this video (the second in this mini series on digital influencers) I identify and explain the difference between Connectors and what I call Conductors and why the latter are critical in solving how to influence Generation C – namely, adopted or born ageless digital natives.

Check out the video – it’s about 4 minutes long.

Who are your Conductors and how have they influenced you to take action in any sphere of you life?

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After a wee delay, I’m back.  I’ve been overseas and then got sick, so I’m very sorry I haven’t been blogging regularly – however it’s back to normal now!

So, today I begin a ‘mini series’ of VLOGS talking about Digital Influencers.

Why? Well, Generation C is a psychographic, ageless generation which is typified by a love of the digital media (whether that is full on internet involvement or just texting) and a desire for control in the digital environment. And to discover how to engage Generation C, digital natives, we must understand how to identify Digital Influencers to help achieve that engagement.

To begin this exploration I sum up Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘The Tipping Point’ which showed that you don’t need many people to grow a movement/influence lots of people.

Check out the video - less than 4 minutes…

In summary there are 3 types of people necessary to spread the word on any particular matter per Malcolm Gladwell:

  • Mavens : these people know loads of stuff about areas they are interested in and really enjoy passing on information e.g. where to find the cheapest deal on a car, whether the new release from Microsoft is any good.  Then Mavens pass on information to…
  • Connectors : they are people who are socially very networked and can be famous, and/or thought leaders and/or just very well connected in a wide range of spheres. And Connectors know…
  • Sales people : these are very persuasive people who are great at passing on information in a highly engaging way that ignites action in the people they tell.

While this is a very powerful overview of how the few engage the many, it misses something vital which we will be exploring.

Namely, that Connectors have huge networks and usually don’t see/connect with all those people in their huge networks regularly. So how do we get the word out to people more regularly that Connectors can?  Who do we need to influence Generation C – digital natives more immediately/immediately?

We’ll start to look at that next week J

Do you have a system to find Maven’s, Connectors and Sales people? If not, why not?  What tools do you need and do you want some help

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Here’s video 2 of of Abe Dew talking about Generation C – more thought provoking stuff.

To repeat a key quote from Abe:

“We in advertising love things in boxes…it’s incredibly dangerous with Gen C it’s the fringes that are important…you see wave after wave of new ideas coming forward and it scares people witless… Marketing will move to be more like jazz and less like precise orchestral piece.”

Abe’s 2 videos are real thought twisterd and really makes you think, here are some key points.

Here’s the key points from Video 2 of 2:

  1. Community is the content – all technology is an extension of the human mind – community is the need behind technology.
  2. People are more complex than ‘boxed stereotypes’ – we need to engage community to ‘get people’ properly again.
  3. Academic studies show that the more collective a culture is the less they go online – so social media’s explosion is a function of less happy societies!
  4. If Generation C want control we need to surrender it!
  5. Apple get this. Apple’s new apps – only 5% survive – they rely on open source creativity to provide new apps and the street to weed them out – in other words they let go of control.

Do you think you’re brave enough to let go of control when marketing to Generation C?

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Sorry folks – been overseas and my blog plan melted badly!

So – I’ve been meaning to share this video of Abe Dew on Generation C – there are some great thoughts here.

“We in advertising love things in boxes…it’s incredibly dangerous with Gen C it’s the fringes that are important…you see wave after wave of new ideas coming forward and it scares people witless… Marketing will move to be more like jazz and less like precise orchestral piece.”

Abe’s 2 videos are real thought twisterd and really makes you think, here are some key points.

Here’s the key points from Video 1 of 2:

  1. Déjà-vu now vu-jade – representing existing things You Tube really aggregated things that were all there.
  2. Marketing will move to be more like jazz and less like precise orchestral piece.

How do you think we should market effectively to  Generation C?

In summary Sarah covers:

  • A clear rebuttal of the ‘selfish’ label for Generation Y
  • An exploration of how Generation Y is a product of its upbringing – e.g. embracing a more balanced life where work is less important
  • Generation Y are not ‘all into digital’ media

My thoughts are:

  • I have a different view on the social implications of Generation C
  • Essentially Generation C have become the ‘leaders’ of Generation Y in terms of an online opinion and have a significant social and marketing impact on our world.
  • Technology is a key factor in Generation C’s profile and leadership is a defining characteristic, hence Generation C is the 10% who leave a comment etc

Thanks again to Sarah Newton for taking the time to do this video for us – we really welcome the conversation.

So – what do you think are the key differences between Generation Y and Generation C?

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Tony Gardner – Head of Saatchi and Saatchi Digital New Zealand talks about the future of communication.

Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi&Saatchi has a particularly high regard for the quality of thinking coming out of New Zealand – so much so that Procter & Gamble have a special innovation unit based with Saatchi&Saatchi in New Zealand.

Tony  makes the following points:

  • There is a lot of ‘stuff’ on the internet – and a lot of it is ‘rubbish’
  • However it is crucial to stress that one man’s rubbish is another man’s gold
  • Corporates in particular risk making value judgements over what they ‘regard’ as rubbish
  • Tony stresses the need for change – in particular the existing slow and drawn out process of generating communication (campaigns etc) which is not suited to the fast paced, ever changing modern world which we all live in
  • In a fast changing world, more than ever – brands need a ‘lighthouse’ idea (per Kevin Roberts) which is a guiding principle for internal behaviour and external communicaiton

My thoughts on this issue

I agree with much of the above with one key issue – the concept of a lighthouse idea faces a number of key challenges due to the nature of Generation C.

  • Historically, agencies have been paid to come up with the ‘big idea’
  • Culturally,
  • And clients have wanted to ‘control and manage the ‘big idea’’
  • The challenge we have in relation to the light house concept is one of origin:
    • In the future the ‘big lighthouse idea’ needs to be co-created between customer and brand
    • This flies in the face of how both agencies and clients traditionally have operated
    • And the fastest growing generation – Generation C – value co-creation because they are motivated by control.

We’ll come back to the future of communication – next week we’ll be looking at the future of banking, music and targeting Generation C influencers.

So – is a lighthouse idea enough – yes or no?

Today we are talking about the motivations of generations and talking about why it’s important to look at what motivates a generation (as human beings) rather than what their behaviour is (as human doings).

This video is 3 minutes 46 seconds long and covers the following:

  • A quick definition of Generation C
  • Why we need to understand the motivations of different Generations – Baby Boomers, Generation X, Y and C in order to be target generations effectively
  • A summary of the motivations of Baby Boomers, Generation X, Y and C

What do you think are the motivations of these generations and does it matter?

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This week I’m looking at why generational stereotypes are incorrect.

Generational studies usually focus on a demographic or age based analysis and define each generation by what they do.

For example when thinking about the Boomer generation, they talk about their activities – music, protests, hippy movement etc.

The key is that they are missing the point – to understand a generation the key is to look at the motivation that defines them. After all we are human beings not human doings

For Boomers it’s all about freedom or being free and they demonstrate this by the music, hippy movement, political protests that their generation are noted  for.

So Generation C isall about Control and show this by wanting to have the power to choose how to define their environment, be heard and share with other people in the digital world.

The video is 3 mins 48 seconds. Hope you find it useful.

How do you think generations should be defined?

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This video is 4minutes 30 seconds long.

There is a lot of confusion over the the differences between all the different generations and how Generation C fits with them.

To start defining them, I look at the demographic/age based generations briefly, Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y and Generation Z. Unlike Generation C, which is a psychographic generation that is ageless, the following generations are typically defined in generational studies based on common experiences in their late teens/early twenties.

A quick and useful start to check what generation someone belongs to, is to ask them what their formative music format was

  • Boomers – Vinyl was their format 33’s and 45’s
  • Gen X – Tapes were dominant format
  • Gen Y – CD’s for older Gen Y
  • Gen Y – mp3’s/itunes for younger Gen Y
  • Gen Z – Work In Progress as they are ‘generationally’ born from 2001 onwards and haven’t hit late teens yet!

Generation C is the global, ageless Digital Generation – no accident then that they love Twitter

In short, Generation C is more important than any other generation because it’s not defined by a narrow demographic – do you agree or disagree?

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Keywords: Marketing

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I identified that Connectors are only half of the picture when it comes to broadcasting a message – you also need Conductors,which I define in overview. We had Christmas and defined the map of human networks as looking like an airport with particular strong hubs of influence that are irregularly placed. I broke down the four types of Conductors briefly to start to understand how they can influence people – naturally including Generation C.


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We in advertising love things in boxes…it’s incredibly dangerous with Gen C it’s the fringes that are important…you see wave after wave of new ideas coming forward and it scares people witless… Marketing will move to be more like jazz and less like precise orchestral piece.. This week (video of 3 mins 55 seconds) we are looking at how to use these links to speed the passage of information and what that means for us a marketeers.


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Yet the key issue that Frucor and many other organisations haven’t fully addressed is Generation C’s requirement for involvement which demands companies engage directly with their customers rather than using more traditional methods of’push’ comms like traditional advertising.


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Podcasts : jakepearce.com

The implications of GenC are, in our view profound – it means in the future people will have a both psychographic generation and a demographic one – in other words, DUAL PASSPORTS. GenC – digital natives – is a psychograpic generation (like gen-i) and it is growing as people get into living digitally. Generations – It goes Boomers, Gen X and then gets as confusing as drunken bird song.