The term digital native refers only to those born in the last twenty years or so. These are the ones who are permanently engrossed in multiple conversations over multiple screens; consuming information rapidly. YOU know the type! They appear so confident with technology and for the most part they are.
But are they good for your business?
I have been asked this question more than a dozen times in the last month chatting to the senior managers and business owners that have kindly volunteered their time at the student events we run at FE colleges.
These business owners and managers have experienced first-hand the enthusiasm and motivation of the teenagers and are asking how they can best harness this youthful energy within their business for the benefit of all involved.
Digital marketing, something that most businesses feel they do not do enough of, seems an obvious fit.
But is it?
Being confident and happy communicating digitally does not, of itself, make you a good digital marketer. At the risk of being over simplistic I would say three other things need to be added to the mix:
- Empathy with the customer, prospect or colleague to know when and how best to communicate.
- Genuine expertise — having something interesting to say (this will often come from others in the business who have that knowledge)
- Placing digital marketing tools, techniques and activities within a wider marketing plan and first understanding the strategic thinking which drives those activities. For instance, it is important for any digital marketer to know what the business aims and plans are, to understand who the customers are and what messages need to be communicated to them and to know how the business wants to be positioned in the marketplace.
So is a Digital Native good for your business?
I say go ahead and harness their energy and confidence with technology, underpin it with quality marketing training and sprinkle with a generous input of your hard-won expertise and insight in the industry you know well. Now that sounds like a recipe for success!
Find out how we’ve used these ingredients in our unique Digital Marketing Apprenticeship.