Via LinkedIn : The world is changing is so many ways. One mind-numbing phenomenon is the large numbers of well-established corporations that are disappearing over night, often times while a startup takes up their market share. How can this be?
It’s a modern-day corporate version of David and Goliath. The sling shot is the Internet and the rock is social media. That’s right…social media is the weapon that is suddenly toppling traditional companies without defense. Well-established companies are failing because…well…they are well established. In a rapidly changing world, being “established” is no longer an asset. Whereas, being new, edgy, and green are some of the characteristics that the 100 million+ Millennials and GenXers migrate towards.
Traditional business strategies, corporate policies, and sales/marketing techniques are producing lower and lower results. Companies that are married to their process are well-qualified…to fail in 2015. One reason that so many well-established businesses fail is because their antiquated processes are designed to attract baby-boomers. Baby-boomers are a generation once coined by marketers as “the pig in the python”. If that’s true, then Millennials are the elephant in the Python.
In the new technology-centric world, the well-established companies should wake up (no boot up) and learn how to communicate to the next generation of consumers who live and breath on their smartphones and the web.
Here are the choices that traditional companies make on their Cadillac ride downhill to extinction.
- Confusing “traditional” with “outdated”.
Baby-boomers love the word “traditional” when describing things they do regularly. Tradition IMHO is something that you do repeatedly that will never change. A business process shouldn’t be called “traditional” because these processes traditionally improve over time…especially as new tools are introduced. Baby-boomers often attach the adjective “traditional” to their “values”. As if baby-boomer values should be embraced forever over the values of future generations. Think back to the once non-traditional values like “rock and roll”, “make love not war”, “pro life”, and the “turn on, tune in, and drop out”. It’s interesting watching Hippies try to mute Eminem because he corrupts “traditional” values. We may not agree with his lyrics, but one thing is for sure. He’s reaching a generation that “traditional” methods can’t reach.
- Procrastinating (and calling it something else.)
I have the pleasure of educating thousands of entrepreneurs on social media and the hundreds of ways to leverage social media to grow a business. By now, most have given up on calling social media a “fad” which was the old excuse to make procrastination seem cool. Today, older professionals re-label procrastination with sound bites like “social media invades privacy”, or “social media is for young people”, or “social media can’t be controlled”. All true, but here are some sound bites that might get you hopping. “Social Media is driving down your stock price”, “Social media has way more members than the Super Bowl has viewers or the USA has citizens”. Baby-boomers, you know in your heart that social media is here to stay, and that now is the time to ramp up. When now are you planning to start? 🙂
- Reading newspapers and watching TV.
People born before 1975 were taught at a very young age that reading makes you more intelligent. At that time, there were books, newspapers and magazines. Many baby boomers just love those old outdated mediums…and they too often get their information from these one-way sources. My prayer is that by the time my daughter is old enough to care about “news”, she won’t be getting it from a closed network…but rather from an open and interactive network. Millions are turning to YouTube over NBC. They research your company on Yelp rather than your company website. And they poll their friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, rather than using the BBB or the WSJ. Gotta love Millennials. Reading on the Internet or on your kindle or smartphone is a much richer experience. It’s interactive, and the medium itself will customize your reading experience based on lots of factors. Most things with a remote or physical pages can’t do that.
Millennials, pop in your ear buds and rejoice. The world is yours anyway. Every single day, there are less and less stuffed shirts to judge you, to preach about the demise of the hand-written note, the brick and mortar business model, and “traditional” values.
Your vision and values matter more than ours. You got next. Soon, we will be gone, and every company will leverage the tools and ideals of your generation including social media. The world won’t even resemble the world that my father knew. It will be something brand new created for you and by you. I for one will embrace the future…I trust the next generation to innovate a new world that is wicked cool and a magical place that is a worthy playground for my daughter. Peace out.