Everyone is talking about the new customer, but can everyone identify that new customer? Michal Berlagosky, Director at Director at NGG Global Consulting Solutions, presents the 3 different generations that all organizations must be familiar with – the generations of the digital revolution
Everyone’s talking about the new customer but can everyone really identify who that new customer is? Is a 40-year old woman who still goes to the bank to take out a loan equivalent to a 16-year old boy who is connected to his smartphone 24/7? Michal Berlagosky, Director at NGG Organizational Engineering, presents the three different generations that all organizations must acknowledge – the generations of the digital revolution.
Organizations, companies, suppliers and service providers are now encountering a different type of customer than before. The new customer is the product of the digital revolution. Organizations invest millions in attempts to “crack” this new customer and to understand how to talk to them, how to convince them to make a purchase. The new customer knows more, but is more confused. The new customer is overloaded with conflicting information and marketing pitches. The new customer shares information with everyone who is interested and even with those who aren’t. The new customer is always in a rush, under pressure and cannot delay gratification. He is aware of his value as a customer, is conscious of the competition in the market and of his strength as a consumer and does not hesitate to be demanding. He is connected to the digital world around the clock, always online.
Wait a minute!
Who is this customer? Is it my mother, who stills goes to the bank once a month? Who doesn’t know how to turn on a computer? Are you trying to tell me that my mom and the 16-year old next door, with his smartphone physically attached to his hand and earphones permanently installed into his head are both the new customer? A good friend who refuses to open a Facebook account and a neighbor who stopped shopping in stores and now buys everything online – they’re both the new customer? The answer is yes, they are all the new customer. They simply belong to different generations of the digital revolution.
Generation X and earlier – the immigrants
The first generation of the digital revolution was born before it began. They were born before 1980 and are now in their 40s. And just like immigrants to a new land, these generations had to learn a new language and new customs. Since they all worked with non-digital entities beforehand, they have a different perspective. Some adopt the consumer habits of the Y generation and others do not.
Born between the 1980s and the early 1990s and are now in their 20s and 30s. They were born and bred into the revolution. They grew up into a changing world, and are accustomed to its fast pace. They are comfortable with technology and have no patience for organizations that have fallen behind the times.
Generation Z – the natives
Born during the 1990s and 2000s and are currently in their 20s or still in their teen years. These children were born with computers in their hands. They are connected 24/7, they speak, read and purchase digital, and the digital world is very intuitive to them and easy to navigate. They gladly share information about themselves – the children of the revolution and the customers of the future.
The Y and Z generations share a common name – the millennials.
Organizations that work hard to “crack” the new customer must consider the different generations of the digital revolution, which represent customers with diverse needs. The keyword is mix. Organizations that succeed in cracking its mix of customers, understanding their needs, finding ways of communicating with them, and making the necessary organizational transformations, will be able to effectively communicate with all generations of the new customer.