If you think the rate of change in the marketing industry is fast, strap yourself in because the Millennials are taking charge and in five years time, they’ll have taken over the C-Suite.
Matt Britton, expert on all things Millennial and soon to be speaker at the ADMA Global Forum reckons the clock is ticking. Soon the digital natives will be CMOs.
“You're going to have people who are CMOs that grew up with the internet in the household, and they're going to be the people who themselves have never watched a TV spot in the last five to seven years. They're going to say, ‘Why are we giving all of our money to these TV networks? People can skip over the commercials. They're watching all their content on Netflix or Apple TV or Amazon. What are we doing here?’”
As Britton rightfully notes, that’s going to be a big change.
But in the meantime, the consultant and author of YouthNation is helping organisations to rethink their strategies to appeal to this often talked about audience which Britton insists is different from any generation that has come before.
“The difference between Millennials and Gen-X is the biggest difference we've seen in history in terms of a generational shift. That's because Millennials were the first generation that grew up with the internet in the household. Because of that, their brains are wired differently and they're essentially a different species than all other generations that came before them,” he says.
There’s been so much written about Millennials, it’s hard to keep track but one Australian study that’s worth noting is a Yahoo7 report that last year found Millennial media consumption habits aren’t really all that different from those of Gen-X. They’re not even that massive a departure from Baby Boomers.
Britton believes the relationship Millennials have with the internet is not to be underestimated and when questioned what else is different about Millennials, he says: “That would be like asking a fish, ‘What's different besides you having access to water?’ It has changed life in basically every way possible. It has changed the way young people access information, so any piece of information that this generation's ever wanted, they've had at their fingertips. Because of that, their expectations for receiving information and the way they're empowered to research, learn about new things, buy products, etcetera, has changed. The way they communicate with one another has changed. And it's changed their social habits and their view of relationships.”
Because of that, Britton says things that are intuitive to this generation just aren't intuitive to generations before them.
“That has to change the way brands start to communicate with this audience and build businesses with them in mind,” he adds.
With the pending arrival of Amazon on Australian shores and the flow on effect this will have for online businesses, Millennials are poised to be a driving force in the shift to this new world order of digital service experiences.
Having them as part of the C-Suite is certainly going to assist in that process.
Listen to Matt Britton talk about all things Millennials at ADMA Global Forum 2017.