Friday, May 9, 2008

Gen Y scares me

I learned in a meeting this week that neighboring generations don't like each other. And I agree, because as a brooding Gen X'er, I don't care much for the "it's always somebody else's fault" Gen Y'ers. They also scare me because I have no idea how to monetize what they want. Gen Y'ers are nifty and talented, and consume and create media and content in so many ways, it's hard to keep up with them. Even moreso, they're so damn skilled at this stuff, it's hard getting them to pay for anything either. I stumbled upon a couple of articles about potential marketing techniques for Gen Y'ers.

The first - Yahoo Live - is portrayed as a kind of MySpace but the person is there live. Pretty cool, I have to say. But how do you market that? How do you possibly build a model that interacts with people on an individual business. Sure, it'd be great if you had the time and resources to do that, but it's completely impractical.

The second is, I think, the wave of the Internet future - the growth of widgets. This is nothing new, but is far from mainstream as well. It allows marketers to become a piece of the user's life, rather than asking the user to pause their life to consume your message. The key is developing a useful and interesting widget, and it really is a strategy better suited for information giants than retailers. However, it doesn't mean that you can't create some interesting metric, feed, etc. that's is tangentially related to your product to build a widget around.

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