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Dancing With Digital Natives Helps Brands Keep In Step

Topic: Books, Mobile Marketing, Research | Author: Peggy Anne Salz | Date: April 3, 2012

dancing with digital nativesMobile changes all of the rules, especially in marketing and advertising where the advance of mobile devices has moved brands to pursue conversions and conversations. While the end-game is about influencing us to take an action via our mobile devices that the marketing intended (typically making a purchase, or reacting positively to the campaign call-to-action to download an app, for example), the challenge is even greater when the target audience is the generation of Digital Natives.

These hyper-connected and super-social individuals expect (even demand) marketers to conduct conversations with them and — more importantly — listen to their responses. And advertising they are delivered must match the context of what matters most to these Millennials:  their lives, their experiences, their networks and their worlds.

From marketing to media the Digital Native generation is impacting all aspects of how we do business. To provide companies a blueprint to follow as they seek to engage effectively with Digital Natives, a number of recognized authorities and authors have contributed their insights to Dancing With Digital Natives: Staying in Step With the Generation That’s Transforming the Way Business is Done, edited by Michelle Manafy and Heidi Gautschi.

Dancing_with_Digital_NativesBy way of background, contributors to this book include Mary Ann Bell, Shashi Bellamkonda, Sarah Bryans Bongey, Jami L. Carlacio, Albert M. Erisman, Brynn Evans, Susan Evans, Lance Heidig, David Hubbard, Richard Hull, Marshall Lager, Christa M. Miller, Emilie Moreau, Carolina M. Reid, Michael Russell, Arana Shapiro, Dan Schawbel, Rebecca Rufo-Tepper, and Robert J. Torres.

I am proud to have contributed the chapter titled: Inspired Interaction: Youth Marketing on Mobile. I am also proud to announced that the book has been well received, reviewed and has recently added yet another book award to its recognition.

Bronze for #DWDN

Last November DWDN was named an Award-Winning Finalist in the Business category of The USA “Best Books 2011″ Awards, sponsored by, the premiere online magazine and review website for mainstream and independent publishing houses.

In March DWDN was recognized as one of the “world’s best business titles” in the 5th Annual Axiom Business Book Awards. DWDN was the winner in the bronze medal category, and was chosen from a total of 381 books entered.

By way of background, the Axiom Business Book Awards are “intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary business books and their creators, with the understanding that business people are an information-hungry segment of the population, eager to learn about great new books that will inspire them and help them improve their careers and businesses.” The Axiom Business Book Awards are presented by Jenkins Group, a Michigan-based book publishing and marketing services company that has operated the popular Independent Publisher Book Awards contest since 1996.

Again, congratulations to Michelle, Heidi and all of my fellow authors who contributed their insights, ensuring that DWDN is again recognized as a cutting-edge business book that provides information and ideas critical to success in today’s competitive marketplace.

In the ‘Groove’

michelle manafyI am also happy to formally welcome Michelle to the roster of columnists and contributors at MobileGroove, where she joins Jeff Hasen (mobile marketing), Ken Herron (all things social), Charles Knight (alternative mobile search) and Gary Schwartz (Impulse Economy). Michelle has already written several columns on MobileGroove, including an insightful summary of three key things to keep in mind as you find your way to successful interactions with Digital Natives. Her views on privacy (Privacy has evolved – and so must your approach); knowledge sharing (Share the wealth); and marketing (No hard sell) are riveting and relevant.

In many ways, DWDN is more pertinent today than ever, which is likely why Optism decided last week to post this same column on the company blog.  The key observation that “Digital natives are excited to do business with organizations that connect with them” clearly resonates with Optism, an offering that enables mobile operators to create permission and preference-based inventories of mobile subscribers, providing brands and advertisers the opportunity to engage in an interactive dialogue with an opted in audience.

My take:

The rise of mobile and the emergence of empowered Millennials. These two mega-rends combine to transform marketing, media, and business everywhere on the planet. The fierce desire of digital natives to have what they want the way they want it (and delivered to the device of their choice) forces a major re-think. Forget a lot of what you learned in business school, this is a game with new rules. One thing for sure: Digital Natives want to connect and share their experiences. They gravitate to companies that allow them this flexibility, and flock to the ones that listen back.

Peggy adds: I would also like to recognize my esteemed colleagues and friends, whose insights and ideas inspired my chapter contribution on mobile and marketing. My personal thanks to best-selling author and consultant Tomi Ahonen; futurist Alan Moore, Antti Öhrling (former Blyk CEO),  Rosemary Tan (SPTI Asia’s Executive Director of Mobile Entertainment); Graham Brown (MobileYouth); Rory Sutherland (Ogilvy UK Vice Chairman); Nigel Shanahan (Rapide Communications); and Mark Curtis (Flirtomatic & Fjord) – to name (and thank) a special few. I also drew from Optism’s ongoing research conducted by the Global Youth Lab, an innovative primary research program managed by Alcatel-Lucent which was also recognized by the Mobile Marketing Association with the Academic Of The Year Award for its work to uncover new information about youth attitudes toward mobile marketing.

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