A few weeks ago I was on a British Airways flight from London to New York, seated next to a teenage boy. I interact with very few teenagers in my life, so for me seven hours next to this kid was a very interesting study in media interaction.
Over the course of seven hours, while I mostly worked on my laptop and read the latest release of Real Story Group's Digital Marketing research, I noted that he did not actually read a single thing. He played video games on his smartphone, he watched movies (often simultaneously while playing games), or he ate. In fact at one point he was doing all three at the same time.
As we approached our landing and the flight attendant abruptly folded his media screen away into the arm of his seat, he practically had a meltdown, looking across the aisle at his mother with a desperate sigh of exasperation. "We're nowhere near the ground yet!" he muttered, looking over me and out the window. He fuddled with his seat belt nervously. He looked into space, totally lost, utterly unable to conceive of what to do without an electronic device. I asked him if he wanted to read one of my magazines, and he looked at me as if I were a space alien.
There's a famous quote: "Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers."
Some may mistake this for modern commentary, but this was uttered by Socrates. So while teens of every generation may appear disengaged or disaffected, they are in fact just engaged in different ways, via different media.
In our extensive work with Fortune 1000 companies, we see very few enterprises that are transforming their readable content into media, making it ready for the next generation of content consumers. Those consumers may only read when forced. I saw this eyebrow-raising reality over the course of a seven-hour flight. Perhaps you see it in your own kids, neighbors' or friends' kids, nieces or nephews. But are you thinking of your next generation of customers that way?
If not, it's time. It's not only time to think about transforming your readable content into more interactive, video-oriented media, but to plan how you're going to manage it. Video is fundamentally different than images, let alone text. These discussions are increasingly a part of the strategic technology planning process that we undertake with our subscribers.
Some of the vendors we cover in our Brand & Digital Asset Management research -- such as Open Text, North Plains, MediaBeacon and HP / Autonomy -- are all looking to take traditionally text-y companies into the world of media management. Results are mixed: not only because the technology is complex, but the related organizational transformation is nothing short of a nightmare.
We're more extensively covering video production, management, streaming and hosting technology in our research practice every month. Just let us know if you have questions, or need help planning how you'll captivate your future customers.