Few years ago agencies started talking about the “C” Generation. For those who doesn’t remember, it means:
And so on…
But this Generation was also called “Digital Natives”. People who were born “Digital”.
They don’t know what a fax machine is and they never had to connect using a dial-up connection. Digital Natives are the new youth. But they grew up. And we are the Digital Natives. We are not kids anymore, and it doesn’t matter anymore, since Internet hasn’t age. (By the way, my mom uses MSN and follows my adventures on my Blog).
That’s why Gartner, in a recent research, reported the V Generation. V means Virtual. This Virtual Generation is not based on age, gender, social class or geography. Instead, it is based on achievement, accomplishments and an increasing preference for the use of digital media channels to discover information, build knowledge and share insights.
And inside the Generation V, Gartner defines four levels of engagement – creators (3%), contributors (3-10%), opportunists (10-20%), and lurkers (80%). Lurkers are spectators (they can still implicitly contribute and indirectly validate value from the rest of the community). And guess what? All users start out as lurkers.
“Companies should plan to segment all four levels in the community – each has significant business value,” said Adam Sarner, principal research analyst at Gartner.
“Differentiation exists between sectors and industries. Marketers with strong brands attract more creators. Certain industries, such as insurance, draw more lurkers.”
It makes much more sense for me, since digital is not new for everyone. And of course targeting still exists, but under the target umbrella (or under “V Generation” umbrella), we need to segment our strategy.