21st Century Dinosaurs

January 19, 2009

According to most marketing research, I would be categorized as a baby boomer – albeit one that is on the cusp of being a  Gen-Xer.

Yet the thing is, that many people in these two groups have vastly different approaches to comunications.

To communicate with me, my blackberry is my first point of call. I get my emails on it, access Facebook and Twitter and make phone calls. I can pretty much always be reached through it. Text me, call me, poke me.

To reach some of my more traditional friends though you would have to send them a letter.  To their home address. Marked personal.  If you want to impress them, write on bond card. Or Smythson’s embossed paper.

They don’t use the internet at all. No Facebook (“My husband says I don’t need an account and it’s not safe. Anyone can see anything.”) No LinkedIn (“Not necessary”). No online purchasing (“Why bother? It’s so unsafe!”). They don’t have email accounts unless it is in their husband’s name as, of course, he set it up.

It drives me crazy.

Many of these boomers would be horrified to know how much information their teenage chidlren are posting on the internet and because they won’t raise their heads and learn,  they will never find out.

I have a friend who is 54 years old and can’t send an email. Tertiary educated, extremely clever, used to run a major financial intsitution and had a whole swag of staff to help him manage his needs.

His daughter though is very internet savvy and has posted images of herself and her friends on her Flickr account, pictures of slumber parties, teenage girls, lovely long coltish girls.

And he is too dumb to find out.

At least I know what my kids are up to and what they are doing.

So how do you straddle blissful ignorance and early adopters?

No idea.

Shout your message through a varity of different mediums according to who your customers are, I guess.  Create a paper trail with lots of soft copies and hope you catch most of your customers that way.

I just hope that some of these dinosaurs learn how to adapt to this new environment before they do become truly obsolete.

Bond paper anyone?


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