If you’re 55, the Internet has been around for less than a third of your life. Facebook, which people can’t seem to live without, has been on the scene for 10% of your days. And Twitter has been a presence for a mere 7% of your experience. These all sound new, right?
But if you’re 25, the Internet has been around for 65% of your life. Facebook and MySpace have been on the scene for 28% of your years. And even Twitter, which really is pretty new, has been a force for 16% of your experience and half your adult life.
What’s the point? The next great wave of consumers are people who have grown up researching products online. They listen to their friends (and even strangers) more than they listen to what brands have to say about themselves. They flame companies that did them wrong on Yelp, and they post a video they just shot on their phone of something they thought was cool. To them, there is no old way.
So the new way of engaging customers isn’t in doubt. It’s here, and it’s only going to become more prevalent. In short, the jury is in. And the jury’s verdict is they will get involved with companies that do things with and for them, and they will ignore those who merely say things – who can do nothing better than boast.