“You could be happy here, I could take care of you. I wouldn’t let anybody hurt you. We could grow up together, E.T.” – Elliot, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982)

Content Insider #86 - Pre-Millennials…The Market Underfoot

THE Insider

Content Insider #86
Pre-MillennialsThe Market Underfoot

"You could be happy here, I could take care of you. I wouldn't let anybody hurt you. We could grow up together, E.T." - Elliot, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982)

We haven't cracked the seal on Vista yet.

We take a few photos with our celleverythingthey just sit there.

We've downloaded a few songs to our smartphone but haven't figured out where they are yet!

We simply don't have time to absorb all the technology we're accumulating because we're too busyworking!

On the other handa friend bought one of those expensive, complex remote control helicopters for his three-year old to play with.

Dad fumbled to get it off the ground.

Mom watched it skip across the floor.

The kid? BAM!!! flying around the room the minute he took the control.

We visited our dad and the kids brought along the Wii system, hooked it up to the TV and the two generations bowled for four hours.


Boomers and beyond have the patience of experience to work the technology their way.

Pre-teens and earlier have no fear of technology. They jump in with both hands and use it their way.

Despite that the industry - PC, CE, communications - focuses on introducing new "better," more useful, more entertaining technology for the sweet spot of the population - 15-44 year olds.

The Emerging Market
By 2011, this group will account for about 2.9 billion of the projected population of 6.91 billion.

Figure 1 - Early Consumers - Millenials and tweens have entered the world knowing nothing before the Internet and computers. The technologies are natural extensions for them as they fearlessly help boomers enjoy the benefits and influence the buying habits of the family wage earners.
Source - U.S. Census Bureau

What is this sweet spot market doing?

    - supporting the boomers plus
    - starting the next generation
    - buying technology stuff the 0-14 year-old generation has gotta have to live
Back when Jobs had more smarts than money how did he get traction for the Mac? He got it into schools where kids worked with them while teachers tried to figure out how to turn them on.

Then the kids went home and beggedpleadedheld their breath until the money makers threw up their hands and bought the systems so their kids could succeed in schoolget better jobssupport them when they became boomers.

Parents didn't know then - and don't know now - what the technology really did but buying it did shut the kids up.

Eventually they taught parents how to use, enjoy the technology.


Don't waste your time trying to "convince" adults to buy the next generation product.

They have no time to listen. They're busy writing reports, texting, emailing, creating content.

According to Pew Research and NPD Group they grasp and accept technology faster because they've grown up with it.

No education required. Or as Elliot said, "How do you explain school to a higher intelligence?"

There's not only a lot of these pre-millenials they come pre-wired for computers, smartphones, the Internet, Web 2.0.

Figure 2 -Start 'Em Young - With each new generation there are new opportunities for companies to drive advanced technology. It is difficult to get the middle market - 24 - 50 year olds - to spend the time, effort to upgrade, enhance. Young people go online sooner and sooner and implement technology in new, interesting ways.
Source - Pew Research

And they come pre-wired to figure out how to get the technology. You tell our daughter nowe can't!

The NPD report found that, to no surprise, the average age for kids using CE dropped from 8.1 years in 2005 to 6.7 years in 2007.

No big surprise.

Your old man sat you down in front of the TV to shut you up when you were that age.

It's logical to put the gotta have stuff in the hands of kids as quickly as possiblecomputers, PMPs, smartphones, the Web.

And today it's even good for themkinda!

Internet Ready
Today's teens grew up on the Internet. Tweens and younger never knew anything else.

Figure 3 - Constantly Connected - Teens, Tweens, millenials have already moved beyond email to texting, IMing and written/video blogs. Email for these early early adopters is so yesterday.
Source - eMarketer

If AT&T and Apple want to guarantee that iPhones (and those damn long contracts) become an "overnight" sensation seed the market.

Give a couple of thousand of the units to 6-year-olds. Let 'em show them to their friends. Let 'em beg dad for the connection contract to the wireless world, iTunes, the Web and beyond.

They'll use all of Steve's wonder features because it's all second nature to them.

Figure 4 - Constantly in Touch - Taking full advantage of today's technology, younger generations don't isolate themselves but more readily communicate on an instant and continuous basis with friends and family.
Source - Harris Interactive

CallingemailingtextingIMingWeb surfingsocial networkingthey do it all!

Their use of technology runs counter to social psychologists early predictions that the technology would isolate people from each other and we'd lose our ability to communicateto interrelate.

Oh sure there are isolated instances of Webbie warriors who haven't taken care of bodily functions for days on endhave died at the keyboardtook a long walk off a short pier.

But for the most part they have adapted and adopted technology more easily and more readily than "adults."

They follow E.T.'s example - "E.T. phone home."

They stay in touch with friends and family more in person as well as through cryptic IMs, calls, emails and texts.

True the communications has changed because they are also just as likely to stay in touch with photos across the Internet and by adding to/reading personal information posted on user-generated content locations like MySpace, FaceBook, YouTube or similar sites.

Increasingly they are adding and streaming video content from the Web.

Figure 5 - More Video - Tweens and millenials communicate with more than just words. The visual generation is more likely to create, post, share and take advantage of streaming video content.
Source - Ipsos

Sorta natural.

Video Enabled
Every Hollywood house is posting their outtakes to drum up interest in their movies.

Advertisers are throwing up made-for-the-web ads for PC and mobile downloads.

TV shows are posting shows for on-the-go viewership. New shows like On The Lot is showing - on-air and on-line - that there is a whole new generation of videographers who can develop a strong story line and superbly entertaining one-minute show.

The tools are there - inexpensive video-ready smartphones, cheap cameras/camcorders, easy-to-use video production software, simplified Web uploading, sites hungry for content/eyeballs.

All of these technologies are driving demand for tomorrow's eager customers. Or as Mary said, "If you ever see it again, whatever it is, don't catch it, just call me and we'll call somebody and have them take it away."

The tweens and younger are ready to assume their role as technology early adopters, trendsetters.

They have no fear of the technology.

They adopt it without fanfare.

They make the devices/technology part of their everyday lives.

They help the older generation use it.

Understanding the Webworld
While cautious supervision is still important, pre-tweens and tweens for the most part seem to accept that there are creeps, sleezeballs, perverts and ***holes out there.

Recent studies by Pew Research seems to indicate that the kids who take the Internet for granted have a better understanding of how to protect themselves than their elders.

They are approached by "random persons" but find them easy to identify, easy to block.

While the phishers and pharmers make their big bucks from "experienced" adults who can't resist the offers from people trying to smuggle huge caches of money out of their war-torn countries, free stuff, bank spoofs, and lawyers who picked just them to skim from a will.

Even our kids has figured out when something looks to good to be true it usually isn't!

But they do know good technology when they see it.

And they know how to get it.

If we don't cough up the money for the next great solution they know they can always appeal to our dad.

After allthey're the ones who helped him master Wii golfWii tennisWii bowling.

We're still trying to get the darned helicopter off the ground!

Pre-Tweens seem to have a better understanding of how to mold new technologies to work for them rather than fighting it.

Sure the older generations have the bucks but they've also got a pre-conditioned idea of how technology is "supposed" to work.

It's gotta be smarter, easier, cheaper to get customers early in the game before they know better and encourage them like E.T. did, "Beeeeee. Gooooood."

They'll buy moreand they'll be around a lot longer!

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