Photizo Insights Blog - Photizo Group
It seems that just about everywhere you turn, someone’s talking about the impact the Millennial Generation (Generation Y) is going to have on your business.
We were interested in better understanding how this transition is going to impact your managed print services (MPS) business. Does Generation Y even care about printing? In other words, would your kid even want to buy MPS from you?
I don’t think any of us would disagree that quite a few trends are forcing us to evolve the way we engage with our customers. While broad generalizations are dangerous, it’s pretty clear that every generational change brings with it some fundamental changes. So the reason everyone is talking about Gen Y so much is because of the new work habits and expectations they bring with them. Members of Generation Y are often considered digital natives, meaning that this is the generation that is born connected to the Internet, with a tablet in one hand and mobile in the other. They are spoon-fed massive amounts of content, gobbling it up eagerly and often. In fact, it’s even rewiring the way they process information—giving them the ability to process large swaths of data quickly and efficiently while limiting their tolerance for a deep level of analysis (think Twitter versus Oracle).
How Does This Relate to MPS?
If you have a child of your own, it’s pretty easy for you to witness first hand their printing habits. Many of you that I speak with tell me that the general impression is that printing isn’t that important to your kid. From my own experience, it’s not that my kid is particularly against printing—it’s just that she doesn’t really care either way. It’s really more about whatever provides the quickest gratification.
So have you ever thought about trying to sell your MPS program to your own kid—to someone who generally operates under this same bias?
As it turns out, Millennials are already making most of the decisions when it comes to deciding whom their company will work with in MPS. According to recent research in our Decision Maker Tracking Study (Western Europe, 2013), half of decision makers are Gen Y (see figure at left).
A Stark Contrast
Comparing this age group against those creating the MPS programs in the market today paints a stark contrast in that most MPS program managers are generally Boomers or late Generation X, themselves. So the real question is whether your MPS message is on target with your new buyers’ needs? Are you in-touch and relevant?
When I asked Kevin DeYoung, president and CEO of Qualpath, a leading independent MPS provider, what he thought about this data, he had this to say:
“This is accurate and provokes a lot of thought:
- Boomers, like me, have to stay current on trends, jargon, and buying perspectives of a different age group;
- Advertising has to adjust focus more on [online] strategies for this very informed buyer group;
- Dress has to be less formal, but contemporary (I’m a tie person, but ditch it when meeting with this group);
- Older can be better if it means your experience adds depth and credibility, but can be devastating if you’re perceived as being out of touch; and
- Printers are boring to younger age groups, unless the message is about migrating to digital offerings.”
Connecting The Dots
While it’s easy to paint a picture of doom and gloom, we don’t think that’s the case. Sure, print volumes are under pressure, but what isn’t in this day and age?
What it does mean is that you have to take a good, hard look at your messaging, your offerings, and your team’s approach to your customers. It can be hard to digest broad generational trends, so I might suggest you don’t. Start simply to begin: just observe your kids’ habits at home, school, or work to begin to get some clues as to how to tune into this demographic. Then you can begin to test these new understandings against reality and find out how your own experiences can help you engage with your audience in an even more personal and impactful way.Read More Retweet
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