Don’t look now. Here come the post-Millennials

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A disproportionate number of marketing articles seem to be devoted to the Millennial. And rightly so. By 2020, they will make up 50 percent of our customer base.

But what about the generation AFTER the Millennials? They’re here and already giving us clues as to their values and buying preferences. (What do you call this group? Some of the names that have already been suggested are Digitals, iGen, Selfies, Tweenials, and Evernets)..

Generational marketing is a BIG DEAL so I excited to be able to share some early research and projections with you. I recently had a chance to meet Todd Lefelt, managing director of user experience for the Huge Agency, who has done research into the next generation … and it might surprise you what these six-to-12-year-olds had to say.

Lefelt emphasized in his presentation at the excellent BOLO Conference in Phoenix that these research conclusions are preliminary — a lot can happen as these children mature. But here are some early behaviors that might give us a clue into the future of marketing.

1. Design doesn’t matter

Found that post-Millennials are accustomed to thumbing through hundreds and hundreds of thumbnails. Some of the most popular sites have little or no tradition design and they don’t care. Post-millennials are “resilient to design” Lefelt said and these young consumers are willing to do the work to find what they want.

2. They don’t care about the device

Post-millennials want their apps and games. They don’t care about the functionality of the device as long as it has their apps, is connected to the Internet and has a camera. Lefelt forecast a market for dumb phones instead of smart phones — inexpensive, stripped down devices.

3. Privacy is not dead

Kids today are very concerned about who is seeing their personal information and go to great lengths to try to conceal what they are doing. They are highly sensitive to who has access to their device.

4. A need for something tangible

We are in a world where people really don’t own anything. Books, records, digital footprints are in The Cloud. Lefelt forecasts that post-MIlliennials may want to own something tangible, unique and retro to stay connected to the real world.

5. Web architecture will be obsolete

Search will be focused on voice-activated technologies. Post-millennials will never have to search or crawl around a website. They want and expect instant gratification. Who needs a website?

6. Bureaucracy will fall

When a generation of hackers matures, they will no longer stand for the inefficient bureaucracy of government, the tax system, and universities. The final frontiers of bureaucracies will fall because this is a generation used to hacking their way to a better way.

7. Self-promotion is a way of life

This is a generation with YouTube heroes who promote brands and sponsors at every opportunity. There is nothing shy of this generation who will plaster a brand name on everything and anything to make a buck.

BONUS: Here is a short video interview with Todd with even more information from his research:

Click here if you can’t see my interview with Todd Lefelt.

What are your thoughts on some of these trends?

Illustration courtesy Flickr CC and Amanda Tipton

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