Deep Thoughts: The Marketing Gap

I had an interesting discussion at Second Chance Tuesday with Helen Keegan. Helen is a mobile marketing expert, she runs Beepmarketing, is a part-time university lecturer and helps run the Swedish Beers networking group for people in the mobile space and blogs under the snappy moniker of TechnoKitten. Helen highlighted that there was a generational fracture opening up between tween, teens and their older siblings currently studying to be marketers. Whilst both groups used mobile phones for social and leisure organisation, the students viewed the Internet and computing in a purely utilitarian sort of way.Not one member of the students that she lectured were involved in participation media such as mobile blogging, blogging or photo sharing through Flickr, MySpace.com, Blogger, Textamerica or Moblog.

However Helen’s 14 and 18-year old nieces are busy participating away on these services. The marketers of tomorrow far from being down with the kids will have a much greater gap from them than the likes of me. They have little understanding of how participation media can be used for marketing purposes and can’t relate with their future consumers.

Given that the advantage of youth in understanding young consumers and bringing fresh perspectives are key selling points for their middle-class, middle-aged, middle-of-the-road employers, this ‘marketing gap’ is a bit of a problem. There is going to be a lot of broken careers and fat fees for agencies.

I was given a useful piece of advice when I went to college that a university education is as much about having the chance to read around and explore an area as what you are taught in the lecture hall. I hope that these future marketers are using their time wisely.

I carried on this process before I went to college and when I left college. Starting this blog was the same kind of process, finding out what the skinny was about the media of weblogs.