Posted by eireland 2 years, 11 months ago

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According to a recent San Diego Union-Tribune article, more than one and three American workers today are millennials (ages 18 to 34), surpassing both GenXers and baby boomers to become the largest share of the American workforce. There is so much pontification about this generation, so I thought I'd go straight to the source right here at Stalwart Communications. I polled my network and here are a few burning questions for our office millennials "she said, he said" style. 

"She" is Kalyca Becktel, a part-timer at Stalwart Communications attending San Diego State University studying for a degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations. "He" is Tyler Hustwick who leads several client accounts and the company's graphic design intiatives. 

What do you think is holding back the next big thing?

T: I think evolution of brand presence on different social channels is holding us back. People follow exactly what they want to see. So your news feed now is tailored to your preferences and brands of interest to you. If you don’t know about it, you might not be seeing it. Brand loyalty is now of the utmost importance. if it’s not a brand that we’re following we won’t care about it or won't get the chance to care. Out of sight out of mind.

K: I don’t think anything is holding back the next big thing. I just don’t think we know what it is yet. 

T: Maybe it’s here we just don’t know it since there is so much clutter.

K: We’re currently in the age of here and now. We’re about to enter an age where we’re getting things even before we know want it or need it. Companies like Birchbox are already playing around with that sales model. 

In making purchasing decisions what media catches your attention most often?

T: Lately, Instagram. When I first started I only followed friends and now I’ve been following more brands and blogs. 

K: I’m still drawn to Twitter, but more to converse with brands since I'm a marketer. I recently tweeted at Hulu because my service was down. They handled it well and explained how it was only down for seven minutes. I said, "seven minutes is a lifetime when you’re watching Catfish!" I think the mobile app Waze is the next big thing as far as influencing purchasing decisions. 

What brands do you consider most significant to you now and why?

T: Nike. For whatever reason they don’t ever seem to miss with me. They always, even if I’m lukewarm about a concept, seem to get me interested. I would say the same about Apple. There were and are always rumors about products they are coming out with and now they even capitalize on rumors about an event. "Apple is holding an event, what could it be about?" It’s SO mysterious - they have mastered the art of hype.

K: I love to travel and am always looking for deals so I'm really into travel brands like Travelzoo right now. You have to sign up for it so it feels exclusive and it’s also really user-friendly.

T: Supreme is another brand I consider signficant. They’re the leaders for the Hypebeasts i.e. people who buy items just to be up on fashion trends. That is the person who will go out and covet a white t-shirt because it has the Supreme logo on it. Supreme is doing a lot of intersting collaborations with Nike and people freak out.

What will social media look like five years from now? Will Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat still be the major players?

K: I think they'll still be players, but the word major will need to go because there is always goning to be something else. Facebook is good at evolving so they may still be the foundation. I think we'll have a lot more apps coming out that have to do with safety, for example, letting loved ones know when you're walking home and when you've arrived at your destination and setting off your car alarm with your phone. 

T: Snapchat will be the first to go. What I think is going to look different is a lot more native advertising. It's going to be incredibly hard to distinguish between what is paid content and what is organic content. Instagram, for example, is about to rollout geotargeted ads. 

What do leadership roles look like for millennials? 

K: Being confident in the skills that you have. 

T: Millennials are fearless in their willingness to share their opinion. We have been condidtioned to expect what we think and feel matters. We think we're always right, we're not afraid of change and if you don't listen to us you're a fool. That's why we get the stigma of being entitled and overly opinionated. We feel entitled to a leadership right off the bat because we think we're ready for it. 

For those who think you're entitled, how do you prove your worth, especially to baby boomers and GenXers? What advice do you have for other millennials? 

T: Learn how to shut up and let your work do the talking. Show initiative and be a doer. Just do it!

K: A lot of it is humility. You need to learn how to be humble in your work. If you can prove humility then maybe that stigma will drop.

T: Humility is a great leadership quality as well. 

How do you create content that is relevant for multiple platforms and audiences?

K: You don't. Everything has to be individualized. Platforms are where target audiences become most important. Just like Tyler and I discussed, he's super into Instagram and I'm into Twitter. We can't be marketed the same way. 

T: One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is trying to have a catch-all. That doesn't exist anymore. 

Do you have a favorite ad?

T: It’s hard for me to pick a favorite. A lot of people say the golden age of advertising is gone, but I think it’s now. You have to be so on point to engage and catch your audience. In the span of advertising, this is as difficult as it’s ever been for advertisers and marketers.

K: The kid who was dressed as Darth Vader

T: Oh, the Volkswagen ad? That shows the worth of a good ad campaign.

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