The Marketplace For The New Generation

Lindsey Nelson

A new generation of digital consumers is coming into the marketplace.

We have the first generation to come of age in the digital age, and these kids are different.  They’re the biggest generation ever, and they think, and work, and play, and collaborate very differently than their parents, and there’s no more powerful force to change every institution than the first

The Industrial Age was an age where some entity at the top had power, and pushed out standardized units to passive recipients. We pushed out products. We pushed out newspapers.  We pushed out lectures. We pushed out radio programs, and so on, but the recipients were inert.  Now, because of the internet, and information technology people have information.

A new paradigm for marketing

Every marketing executive has heard of the four p’s of marketing, product, place, price, and promotion. You get those right, you have an effective marketing campaign. I don’t think that’s true, now.

Because of the internet and a new generation of new consumers, they don’t want products, they want to have experiences. As for the place, half of the time, for any significant purchase, young people know what they want to buy before they go to the physical place, and there’s a wonderful opportunity to intersect between place, and space with all kinds of mobile technologies that take you to a place, or help you be more effective in a shopping place.

As for price, During The Industrial Age, sellers established the price. It was an age of scale, and standardization.The manufacturers suggested list price.The seller puts the price on sale. Well now, people have knowledge.They can collaborate. They have power. They can scrutinize like never before. So, we’re seeing the emergence of all kinds of new price discovery mechanisms where sellers and buyers work together to figure out what’s an appropriate price. As for promotion, well, there still is a role for traditional one-to-many one-size-fits-all advertising through traditional print, media, or even web, technologies, but increasingly, the opportunity exists to-to not just promote your product. It’s to engage your consumers in new ways.

Rather than product, we have e, experience. Rather than place, we have a any place. Rather than price, we have d, discovery of new prices, and rather than promotion, we have c, collaboration, communication, and add in a b, for the new brand, and you’ve got the a, b, c, d, and e’s of marketing. That’s the new paradigm.

The rise of the digital consumer and prosumer

Many companies are turning their consumer into producers or prosumers. Doritos, turned its customers into producers of it, or prosumers, of its advertising with the Crash The Dorito Superbowl Ad Contest. They challenged their customers, their consumers to create ads, and the best ones ran on The Superbowl, and some of them are just spectacular advertisements. There’s great talent that exists in the customer base.

Beyond customer centricity

As business become more networked, it makes a lot of sense to think of customers as inside your business network, and rather than focusing on them, you co-create with them. Rather than having customer centricity, you have customer co-production. Think of your consumers as producers, and when you do this, you tap into a whole new world of capability, and you build deep relationships that can last a long time.  


About Lindsey Nelson

Lindsey Nelson currently supports Content and Enablement at SAP. Prior to her current role, she was responsible for Thought Leadership Content Strategy and Pull Marketing Strategy at SAP.