The other day, I suggested in my Ten New Rules of Legal Marketing that:
9. Your future clients have been living their entire lives online and will expect the same from you. If you’re invisible on the web, you won’t exist to them.
Now, I’ve stumbled across this article from Adweek titled Generation Watch Out that explains better than I ever could what I meant:
Today’s young talent represents not-able cultural shifts: They’re digital, message savvy, global and green. (Listen to the Flobots’ “Handlebars” and you’ll get the picture.) They mark fundamental changes from previous grads entering the industry. They’re more associative, culturally networked, nimble and intuitive. While they’re more cynical than cohorts past, they’re also more apt to call BS or volunteer for environmental or political causes. They are easy in their gay-or-straight, vegetarian-or-meat, tatted-or-not choices. F-bombs are tossed around like Frisbees. These kids run hard, adapt easily.…
It’s the shortcut generation. That toolbar up top is for old-timers; these guys learned to Cmd-Option-Shift-A in middle school because it was cool, not necessary. Desktops are institutional holdovers. Everyone has a set of on-the-go tools: camera, laptop, videocam, hard drive, cool bag to tote it all. They’re experts early on, manhandling Final Cut or Flash with intuitive authority. They’re Idea 2.0, the mashup generation and one with confluence, that place beyond convergence where the old sloughs off and the new quickly gets morphed into the cultural DNA.
All this makes them, at their best, unbelievably creative and productive. On the other hand, they also think they have all the answers. Morley Safer wrote recently of this generation’s entitlement issues: They’ve grown up with everyone as winners, with inspired birthday parties and planned events, with middle-class privilege and opportunities at every camp, academy and take-your-kid-to-work experience. They expect careers, not jobs. And they expect to have their names—very soon—in an annual or this mag. Hell, they know their blog on a good day might get more eyeballs than the trades.
Get to know them. Understand them. Because love ’em or hate ’em, they’re not just your children, they’re your future clients, employees and partners. Learn to serve them or they’ll serve themselves.