POST SUMMARY: Every generation has its story: Baby Boomers, America’s greatest generation; Gen X, the slackers; and lastly Gen Y, the boomerang generation—digital natives, or as they’re best known today, Millennials. For marketers, Millennials are the most important generation to come along in the last 100 years, perhaps ever. This group of young adults is the largest generation by number in US history. Millennials number more than 80 million. That’s a population larger than the Baby Boomers, and it outnumbers Gen X almost 3:1. Millennials came of age in the wake of massive advancements in technology, unparalleled communication access, and media exposure that allowed people to spread information faster to a wider, more diverse audience than in any generation before them.
POST SUMMARY: Very few CMOs have made much progress in building a robust digital marketing capability. Only 20 percent have set up social networks for the purpose of engaging with customers, for example, even though online input is a crucial part of the dialogue between a company and its customers. The percentage of CMOs who have integrated their company’s interactions with customers across different channels, installed analytical programs to mine customer data and created digitally enabled supply chains to respond rapidly to changes in customer demand is even smaller.
According to Experian Marketing Services “2014 is the year that marketers will lead massive change within their organizations. They’ll convince leadership that building and maintaining 1:1 connections with top customers is not only table stakes but imperative to success. And they’ll help define the strategies, processes and technologies that will shake up the status quo and make such connections happen. “
Look at virtually any consumer industry and you’ll see how changes in digital technology are fundamentally altering the way that consumers engage with brands before, during, and after a purchase. Building powerful consumer experiences requires brands to operate outside their comfort zone; for example, they must work with much shorter cycle times, with more rapid and frequent iterations, and through a broader vendor ecosystem than the traditional advertising agency process.