A couple of weeks back I saw a segment on 60 Minutes entitled, The Millennials Are Coming! (now available online). This is the new Generation Y (or Gen X). It's people born between 1980 - 1995 (currently aged 12 - 27) and as they enter the workforce, their demands are quite different from the "business as usual" attitude most organizations have held so near and dear.
The implications on Marketing are being felt already as this age group leads the way in online social networks, mobile connectivity, Blogging, Podcasting, the gaming industry, music, and more.
So, who are these people? The 60 Minutes segment does have a certain, "kids these days" vibe. It's all about how wired and connected they are while they don't understand basic dining etiquette, but forgoing the tele-journalist spin they spun, they are some key messages that act like indicators into where we are now with Digital Marketing.
The key learning from this segment (and I do recommend that everyone checks out the ten minute piece) is the WRAM issue (World Revolves Around Me). The Millennials are connected, educated and passionate. They care about their own self-actualization and are not driven by money, status or benefits. They expect companies to provide them with the latest access to technology. The expect to be working in a participatory culture and mass collaborating with their peers. They seem driven by their own desires and passions... and the general message of not trusting anyone over thirty still prevails.
At least some things do stay the same.
You can view the clip here: 60 Minutes - The Millennials Are Coming!
There's also a great article on this segment over here: USA Today - The 'Millennials' Come Of Age.