Social Saturday: The Millennial Wave

and the case for reverse mentoring

Say what you will about how digital technology and social media are robbing the millennial generation of actual social interaction, but resolve to accept that the world’s communication paradigm has seismically shifted, and millennials are leading the way.

And then consider that we’re only in the infancy of that change…

By some estimates, millennials (folks born roughly between 1980 and 2000) now make up 34% of the workforce, and projections are that by 2020 that number will be nearly 50%.

They are often referred to in the press as ‘digital natives’; they’re connected, have no filters, and are nearly always completely authentic – the opposite of old guard businesses that are accustomed to carefully controlled, pre-packaged ad agency messages.

For a business to survive and grow today it’s leaders must evolve to include millennial insights into brand messaging, social marketing, and public relations.  Why?  Because not only do millennials represent an ever growing number in the workforce, they are also the new face of consumerism.

Isn’t it true that we’re all trying to sell something?

Lately I’ve been reading a lot about reverse mentoring programs; hiring a tech savvy millennial not simply to deploy information on multiple social platforms (some say a major missed opportunity), but to meet with weekly to discuss trends, gather insight, and formulate future business strategies.

It can be a difficult for a 52 year old to ask for a 26 year old’s advise (I can attest to that),  but if we’re in a cultural revolution, and we acknowledge that revolutions are nearly always started by youth, why not ask for their help in winning the sales battle?