We know that Millennials and Gen Z-ers are the digital generations—tech advancements and Millennial’s growing age have mirrored each other, and Gen Z-ers were essentially born with screens in their hands.
“I’m leaving, Josh, I know this already.”
Improve your attention span and hold that click, reader. Consider the ramifications of the rising generation’s digital competence in the business world—a field that is fretfully trying to adapt as technology evolves like lightning. And what does this mean for digital marketing agencies like ours?
Well, let’s take a look.
Meet our team leaders: Josh (27 years old), Ben (23), Sierra (23), Makayla (21), Coleman (24), MK (24), and Zach (25). Average age: ~24.
Here are some of the pros and cons associated with their age and field of work that our team came up with:
“Growing up in this tech atmosphere,” said Ben, Director of Operations, “has definitely helped a lot of us here at Big Red Jelly to connect with tools, devices, and people that help us help others. Using digital since we were young children definitely helps.”
“We’re digital natives,” added Zach, Director of Web Design, “so we’ve grown up around computers, technology, and the internet. I think that gives us an advantage.”
“We’re more a part of [the digital] world,” concluded MK, Director of Social Media and E-mail Marketing, and “[w]e’re more aware of the changes that come.”
In other words, where older generations may struggle to find ways to stay current with their clients on-line, the BRJ team believes their young age has bred them with, not only the digital know-how to accomplish that very task, but the ability to adapt to rapidly changing trends and tech advancements.
Interestingly, when asked about the cons of their age in the digital marketing field, the BRJ team only came up with one. That is that, occasionally, older business employees are skeptical of their general lack of work experience.
“For younger people in general,” said Josh, Big Red Jelly’s co-founder, “it might be harder to earn some people’s respect. There’s been cases where I meet with business owners and that’s at least the feeling I got, was because I am 20 years younger, I don’t have the experience they do.”
“It’s hard to meet with 50- and 60-year old people and try to have the same kind of reputation to your name,” agreed Ben.
“But,” said Josh, “I like to see that as a person by person situation.” Indeed, not every business owner is mistrusting of our age. If anything, those stigmas are quickly changing as older business owners are becoming more and more comfortable with the idea that young people are the only hope for keeping their businesses digitally relevant.
WORK SPEAKS VOLUMES
If business owners are worried about our age, every team leader agreed that the best solution would simply be to earn their trust through the work.
“As soon as…they think that you can run with it and know what you’re doing,” said Makayla, Director of SEO and Blogging, “then most clients don’t question [our age].”
Ben similarly said, “Once we show them how well we know these tools, how well we know the industry, and how we know what we’re doing, it changes real quick.”
“Communication is key,” noted Coleman, Director of Lead Generation. “Going through reports that we’ve made for them I think is huge at building trust—saying, this is the work that we did and these are the results to show for it.”
Succinctly stated by Josh, “We let the work do the talking.”
A BLENDING OF YOUTH AND EXPERIENCE
In something Alison Coleman labeled “reverse mentoring,” the young’ uns—formally the least respected members of the office—are now looked to for help in all things digital by the older folks. The gap that used to divide employees by years of work is now more like a blending of youth and experience.
A blending. This does not mean the older workforce is obsolete, nor does it mean that younger employees can shoulder the work, alone. Rather, the advancement in digital technology has created a beautiful opportunity for older and younger people to work together—to share the experience with novelty, time-tested methods with innovation, and understanding with an eagerness to learn.
“One thing that all generations have in common,” notes Coleman, “is the desire to be understood, accepted, and valued and to feel a part of some sort of tribe or community.”
With communication as a key point to our business, we are showing how much we value this blending of new and old. We love working with business owners whose businesses have been around perhaps longer than some of us have been alive.
We firmly believe that if any business wants to go far, then all generations will have to work together.