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The Millennial Generation as customers From the book: “Millennials and the Popular Culture: How the Next Generation will change arts and entertainment”

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Presentation on theme: "The Millennial Generation as customers From the book: “Millennials and the Popular Culture: How the Next Generation will change arts and entertainment”"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Millennial Generation as customers From the book: “Millennials and the Popular Culture: How the Next Generation will change arts and entertainment” (Lifecourse.com) Dr. Pete Markiewicz Indiespace.com & Lifecourse Associates Art Institute of California, Los Angeles

2 5 views of Millennials as customers The “entitlement” generation The “call for a feeling” generation The “DJ/generative” generation The new Millennial brand The “virtual” generation (next deck)

3 The entitlement generation Derives from the “special” core trait –Millennials see their needs as “rights” –Everyone’s a “micro celebrity” worthy of special customer service –Expect benefits (and a list) from the start –Expect free stuff “Special” enough to deserve it They’ll give up their privacy to get it –Helicopter parents will defend their “rights”

4 Reaching an ‘entitled’ generation Give them enhanced peer to peer communication – it’s their greatest “right” Tell them they have a ‘right’ to virtual products and services (that can reproduced at low to zero cost) Mashups, Widgets Membership Online entertainment User-generated entertainment Let them barter their privacy for your content Parent/child co-marketing (parents will foot the bill)

5 The “call for a feeling” generation Derives from the “team-player” core trait –Millennials don’t have an “inner compass” (unlike their mostly Boomer parents) –Online peer groups in Web 2.0 provide the “wisdom of the crowd” for personal decisions –Short, frequent “ping” style communication (texting rather than long calls, s, or letters) –Definition of “friend” loosened to anyone you can communicate with –Virtual personas to broadcast their inner state (e.g. avatars in virtual worlds)

6 “Inner compass” vs. “The wisdom of the crowd” Older generations have a feeling (excitement, sadness), and call a friend to share… Millennials call a friend to get their next feeling… Millennials consult the group to know what to think/feel next! – Sherri Turkle, MIT

7 Calling for a feeling… “Students can’t go for even a few minutes without talking on their cellphone. There’s almost a discomfort with not being stimulated – a kind of ‘I can’t stand the silence’…” -Donald Roberts,Stanford Professor, quoted in “Generation M”, Time, March 27, 2006

8 Answering a “call for a feeling” “Ping” them via their networks Viral, Internet every day (really hour) Mass media when Millennials are “sharing” Drop the Superbowl ads Tell them how to be… like everyone else Do this – your friends are all doing it! We help everyone share what you do! We help you get the coolest product/service possible We tell you how to plan your future We support the “right” social causes (‘clickthrough’ activism)

9 The DJ/generative generation Derives from “team player” core trait –All Millennials are “media creators” –Preferred technology is generative –Media is “cut and paste” mashups –More parts, options, features = better product –Multiple origins, sources, ok –“Authenticity” less important

10 Generative technology Millennials have grown up with technology that encourages –Configuration –Flexibility –User modification –User sharing –User-created content

11 Generative technologies have… Leverage – simple product or concept enables a broad new range of activity Adaptability – easily built out, ramped up, modified Ease of mastery – users can learn how to use – and repurpose product Accessibility – everyone can be creative using the technology Transferability – changes/innovations made by one group are easily transferred to others Payoff - allow amateurs to come up with the really big innovations

12 Generative plus/minus Advantages –Easily “ramped up”, modified –Allow amateur innovation –Innovations rapidly propagate through system –Quick fixes for problems Disadvantages –Configurable may equal “too complex” –Too arcane (PNG versus GIF) –Lame amateur stuff crowd out professionals –Vastly more susceptible to damage through viruses, hacking, malware

13 Examples Tea kettle versus “coffee pod” MP3 versus iPod iPod versus CD Mac versus iPhone

14 Carterphone vs. Pod The “Carterphone” or “Pod” gambit – Turn a generative system into a non-generative one –Take end to end control –Improve ease of use –VASTLY improve security BUT, when a wireless carrier controlled which cellphone could be used in their network –Quality suffered –Features valuable to consumers were removed –Undesirable features were not improved SOURCE: Tim Wu, “Wireless Carterphone, 1 International Journal off Communication 389, (2008), at

15 Reaching the DJ/generative Millennials don’t want –‘Freedom’ for freedom’s sake at the hardware or network level –Generative ability at the software level Millennials DO want –Configurability –Generative “mashup” ability at content level (media exchange, visual language) –Sharing mashups (media creations versus open- source software)

16 The Millennial “mashup” Features –Existing data and media re “DJed” together –Generative tech allows end-users to “overlay” media from other sources –Results are easily shared via the network Types –Media creations (e.g. blog) –Virtual products/widgets (e.g. virtual pets) Creates value from –Word-of-mouth advertising –Virtual product sales and distribution

17 Selling to the generative… Your product should –Let them generate at the content level –Let them generate at the media level Build mashups Create online characters/personas Upload “micro-celebrity” video, commercials Create/sell virtual products (IVMU example) –Less important at hardware, software level Don’t create products that –Are stripped-down, inferior to “protect” the vendor –Show them the walls of your garden –Allow only one-way watching and listening –Don’t be the one who stops the Millennial Carterphone! (unless you still think the music industry is cool)

18 Generative for mobiles Do –Keep the “walled garden” for hardware, network –Keep code, network private (security) But… –Lower gates for developers (e.g. add Flash) –Provide tools for media generativity (mashups) –Figure out a revenue model (micropayments) –Provide tools for sharing between users Don’t –Use celebrities (professional content producers) –Rely on “top down” entertainment, media as a sole strategy

19 The new Millennial brand Brand loyalty, with a difference… Loyalty to the transaction, not the big picture Loyalty to companies giving them “generative” ability Loyalty to companies with a social cause Millennials trust A few “big, bright, and friendly” brands that give them generative capacity –Think Apple, Google, MySpace, Facebook Millennials don’t trust Brands catering to narrow race/gender classifications One-way brands (they don’t get to generate)

20 Millennial house of worship

21 Brands and networks New network allows more brands to reach an audience due to lower cost barrier Network technology allows ever-larger groups of consumers to form consensus on a small number of preferred brands # of Brands Time New network (telegraph, telephone, radio, television, Internet) is introduced

22 End of brand fragmentation? In the long term, Millennial consensus building will reverse brand fragmentation and a few “big, bright and friendly” brands will re- emerge - Neil Howe

23 Becoming a Millennial brand Cool Brands –Enable me to create via technology –Tell the truth –Are NOT edgy or cynical (software LINK)software LINK –Are serious (no ironic humor, jackass behavior) –Are something my parents and I agree on My Brands –Part of my communication network –Say/prove that I’m special –Mix (apparently) free stuff with payment –Let me make and share stuff –Show social responsibility (‘click through activism’)

24 The virtual generation All the features of Millennials as customers described thus far are small potatoes compared to their participation in virtual worlds See you at the next deck!

25 References Millennials and the Popular Culture Millennials Go to College (2 nd ed.) The Press-Democrat - Millennials fight Boomer-led Wi-Fi bans “Generation M”, Time Magazine March 27, 2006 Sherri Turkle MIT cyber-psychologist, in The Economist, April 12, 2008 Online traffice at compete.com Cnet - Neilsen 2008 results for social networking sites Why virtual worlds are overtaking the game industry New World Notes - New World Notes' True Community Search: Top Twenty Popular Second Life Sites, September 20 “Total minutes” netratings for web 2.0 sites MySpace real pageviews Fun with numbers: Do New Ratings Mean New Valuations? Second Life statistics Second Life engagement “Second Grade Math”(Oct. 5 th 2007) Kid’s worlds poised for growth spurt Harvard Business School Conference, Nov There.com demographics (2004) Daedalus Project - The Psychology of MMORGs Comparing virtual worlds Virtual World Growth Projections Round-up of 50 virtual worlds eMarketer report on virtual worlds


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