The Rise of Generation C: The Connected Consumer
Many of us are familiar with Generation X, Generation Y, Generation Z – but have you heard of ‘Generation C’?
I attended a social media conference in Sydney where digital analyst, sociologist and blogger Brian Solis presented an interesting keynote on Gen C. He described Gen C as a new type of consumer that transcends demographics. They ‘consume’ information and experiences based on their social habits developed from their digital lifestyle. Their use of technology to consume means they are always connected to a vast community of people – not just with friends, family and colleagues.
An example of this was when Solis asked the audience, “How many of you use Twitter?” All hands were raised. Then he asked, “And who is on Twitter right now, as we speak?” Only a few show of hands this time, including mine. This group is Gen C.
In today’s increasingly digital society, Gen C certainly has a ring to it.
The way Gen C communicates extends beyond text messaging, email communication, instant messaging and beyond FaceTime or Skype. Their preferred methods of communication are social media channels, blogs, messaging apps, online communities and other digital applications.
These social communication channels are used in unique combinations. Therefore, Gen C has much more control over their information sources (and therefore more control over the marketing messages they are exposed to).
What does this mean for us communicators and marketers? From a business and marketing perspective, the connected consumer is more elusive to traditional marketing and service tactics.
Circle of Influence
When a connected consumer wants to purchase a new smartphone, they start their purchasing journey by looking to their ‘circle of influence’ on social networks, online communities and other online channels for information and advice. Solis said they will search for at least 10 sources of credible info and opinions before making a purchase decision. Then they share their experiences via the same connected channels. They seek the opinions of social influencers but they are also influencers within their circle of trust.
In contrast, a typical consumer will start their purchasing journey with research via search engine for company info or product reviews. They’ll look at company websites, news sources and independent product review websites. Search engine optimisation plays an important role in their journey.
Because Gen C is always connected, how do we find them and how do we communicate with them?
Some well-known examples include:
Meltwater offers an end-to-end social influencer marketing platform so you can find connected consumers and social influencers for any category anywhere, grow and nurture relationships and measure your success.
How do you reach your audiences?