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The true digital natives

Digital natives are up to 25 years old. Research says that those who grew up with modern information technologies indeed think, learn and understand the world in a different way than previous generations.

For us, it's all about searching for truth. Our generation feels comfortable not just having one way of expressing ourselves. Our search for authenticity generates greater freedom of speech and openness to understand different types of people.

Individual expression and uniqueness is extremely important for Digital natives. We avoid being labeled and are much more communicative than previous generations, we believe that every conflict can be solved with dialog.

As Digital natives grow older and richer, brands and retailers need to find what makes them tick and unique – to generate successful strategies. 

Digital natives as consumers

Brands have a difficult journey ahead of them if they are not already enrolled with what needs to be done to capture our generation. Marketing today can be extensively challenging as digital channels become more fragmented and ever changing.

Digital natives have a completely different relationship with brands than previous generations. There are three implications for brands to attune to: consumption as access instead of possession, consumption as an expression of individual identity and lastly consumption as an ethical concern.

Businesses need to rethink how they deliver value to their consumers, rebalance growth and mass production against personalization, and now more than ever practice what they preach when they adress certain issues.

The online–offline distinction does not exist for consumers who are always and everywhere online. Meanwhile, firms may now utilize advanced analytics to better their insights from consumer data.

Customer data that has been buried in data repositories for a long time suddenly has strategic value, and in certain situations, the value is created by the information itself.

As a result, leading businesses should have a data strategy in place that will enable them to gain business insights by gathering and understanding data about individual customers while maintaining data privacy.

The truth seekers

We are growing up in a time where things can be difficult, both from a geopolitical and a climate perspective. We're getting a lot of contradictory information, so trusting others is challenging for us sometimes. We don't want to be associated with a particular group or be labeled in a particular way. We want to be ourselves because that is where we feel safe.

Technology has given us an unprecedented degree of connectivity among ourselves and the rest of the population. A chief marketing officer would just 5 years ago create concepts and major campaigns to release across different media channels.

Today it’s a much more complicated and dynamic world out there. To be a chief marketing officer today, you have to realize that you need to be a part of the conversation and part of the social fabric.

It's the concept of emotional connection, which we know is differentiating and sustainable over time, as well as the capacity to communicate in a way that customers can relate to, that feels genuine.

When you consider the amount of media at our fingertips, whether it's the number of emails we receive or the number of social-media stories we consume, breaking through the clutter requires emotional connection and storytelling, if you want to communicate with digital natives.