One of the most interesting sessions at the Email Insiders Summit was a glimpse into the perspective of the 18-24-year-old demographic. To kick off the conference sessions, MediaPost invited three students from Ball State University to participate in a panel discussion about their communication practices, and how email fits (or doesn’t) into those habits. For the audience comprised entirely of email marketers, their answers weren’t exactly welcome news:
The message was pretty clear: the next generation thinks today’s email marketing practices seem archaic.
As you can imagine, the session became quite dynamic, and went well over the time allotted due to the numerous questions and discussion that followed the initial panel interview. Interestingly, as the discussion progressed, even the panel agreed email wouldn’t disappear in the forseeable future. While they lived on Facebook socially, they did use email for their professional and more important personal communications – and anticipated using email more heavily in the future. For them, it was the relevance and customized content, of specific interest to the individual subscriber that really made an impact.
But, honestly, that’s not very different from the expectations of any other demographic. While their overall communication methods may differ from older generations, the value of their time and need for relevant content is the same. The discussion reiterated nicely the fact that in order to infiltrate this all-important demographic (or any other, for that matter!), consistent relevance is the only way to break through – – and we have to be smart and proactive with our strategy to continue to leverage the channel effectively.