How is it that I’ve been a digital marketer for over ten years, that I’ve been trumpeting user behaviour and user experience above all else for at least the last three years and I’ve only just come to hear of Brian Solis. This guy is like a god to me already and I’ve only just read one page of his website about Generation C, or the connected customer. And I’m a little peeved that I’ve all but finished the layout of my book and I didn’t know this fabulous resource to quote and reference.

Oh well, onto Book number two then 🙂

I love it when you discover someone new and exciting. I feel like I have a new mentor in life and work.

The Connected Generation (otherwise known as Gen Y)

So some of the things that struck me about Generate C, or the Connected Generation, that I wouldn’t have thought was that by 2025 this generation (better known as Gen Y) will make up 75% of the working population. Brian confirms what I already know, in that most businesses are set up to market to older consumers who spend more time watching TV and consuming traditional media. But when it comes to online, unless you’re an eCommerce business, most organisations are a bit behind the eight ball, which means that they’re extremely out of touch with the seemingly elusive younger generations.

But I ask this – how can they be elusive when online is everywhere? If the Connected Generation are spending 81 Billion Minutes on Social Media websites and 42% of them are engaging with their tablet while watching TV and 64% of their mobile time is spent on apps – we should be able to contact them. We just have to do it digitally. They’re not elusive, businesses are behind.

Dual screen consumption

This infographic shows how we really spend our time WHILE watching TV.

Women rule the web

The other great thing that I learn from Brian’s webpage was that Women rule the web. And since traditional marketers and businesses do seem to understand that women make the majority of the household purchase decisions, you’d think that migrating their communications and engagement strategies online would seem natural. Go where the people are. If the women are online – what are they waiting for?

Women are more prolific online

A Nielsen report shows that Women Rule the web, especially social media.

Another little anecdote that I found surprising (based on my personal experience observing friends with kids and how they “promote” them online) is that 92% of children from Generation C have created an online profile for their children by the age of 2 years. The same study found that 23% of children had an online footprint before they were born (think of the sharing of ultrasound images of babies in utero – I’ve even been guilty of that one). I only know one friend, who is definitely a Gen X’er but could fall into the Connected Generation based on her user behaviour, who has created Facebook profiles for her kids. I have over 500 facebook friends, and I’ve only seen 1 parent create a profile for their 3 year old. However, I see far more pictures of my friend’s children, than I do of my friends. But if you follow me on facebook, you’ll see more of my dog Harris than you will of me too.

So I guess that makes me wonder, are Australians different in raising their children on Social Media, or are most of my friends definitely un-connected. I think perhaps the latter.


Money in many other forms

Another interesting signature of the Connected Generation was their prolific engagement with virtual currency. I’ve come across BitCoins but never actually engaged and transacted with them, but I can’t honestly say I know of any other virtual currency that isn’t attached to a game, like Second Life.

Apparently 63% of Generation C have earned and used virtual currency.

I like to think that I am part of the Connected Generation, and I tick 8 out of 10 boxes, but I’m still exhibiting old school behaviours in many areas of my life. Perhaps I’m a hybrid. Would that make me a Connected Groupie? or a Connected Wannabe?


Anyway, as you can tell, I’m a little in awe of this Brian Solis and I plan to read and learn much more from him. So no doubt, you will too.