The Most Important Thing You Need to Know about Millennials
So many blogs, books, presentations and articles provide broad insights on millennials. I’m going to share what I believe is the single most important insight you need to know about millennials.
The millennial generation might better be referenced as the "Google Generation." Never in the history of the world have we had access to answers to most every question anyone could ask. Previous generations relied on encyclopedias, parents, rabbis, pastors, friends, doctors or others to get answers. The Google Generation asks Google and usually obtains more accurate answers. Sometimes they ask to find the answer for themselves, sometimes to validate an answer and sometimes to challenge their own beliefs.
Countless other influences, including technology in general, have an impact on Millennials, but the fundamental difference is Google.
Like every generation, millennials can teach the older generations if we will listen to them. It doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything, but we can embrace many good lessons from this generation and adopt desirable characteristics. Too many of us are digitally yelling, “Get off my lawn and get a job,” from our digital porches when most of the generation is walking on our sidewalks on their way to work.
Personally I’m a Gen Xer who, like many of you, identifies with the Google Generation. I Google almost every important question I have and have learned to look for answers to both sides of the argument when Googling. (I wish a few more of you would do that before reposting something that www.snopes.com already has debunked). Despite my constant Googling, I’ve had enough experience to value a strong personal relationship in business and rarely require the lowest price when a personal relationship is involved.
The Google Generation also appreciates personal relationships, but differently, since most haven’t been exposed to the same experiences. Most of us aren’t the same as we were in our early 20s (and if you are, well …), so why do we expect millennials to be any different? To reach this generation and those who adopt its best characteristics, recognize that they can and will Google nearly everything. When this comes to your business, here are some common questions they will Google:
- Are you offering a fair price?
- Are you sharing all the relevant information?
- What do others think of you?
- Who are you? (Your online footprint speaks volumes to the Google Generation.)
Embrace the Google Generation and what they have to offer—especially now that they are the largest generation in our workforce.
P.S. My friend Kirby Hasseman coincidentally posted a blog on millennials yesterday. Well worth a moment of your time.