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Are Millennials Really Our Only Hope?

“If you’re serious about Digital Marketing, only hire Millennials”.

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That was the frequently voiced sentiment at the BMA Blaze conference in Chicago this week. In fact, it began to feel like a mantra. And then it began to irk me.

 

This was a room of 750+ intelligent people, many of whom would count themselves as tech savvy. Are we really supposed to believe that we’re not capable of keeping up with the latest in mobile technology, social platforms and interactivity?

Seems to me it’s a little bit lazy. It’s the equivalent of assuming that anyone over 40 needs a teenager to work their DVR or roku.

The implication was that anyone over 30 has no chance of understanding the technology, the social dynamics or the newest trends in digital marketing. One speaker even proudly proclaimed that his New Technology Group was entirely staffed by people under-23.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I do see value in bringing in dynamic younger members in a marketing group. They will clearly add fresh perspective, and will bring an understanding of how different demographics think. What I object to is the notion that’s the only type of person worth their salt in a digital marketing role.

How many people have you encountered in the first few years of their post-college career that have a solid grasp of the business world, and can find a balance between the interesting stuff, and the needs of the business? It’s rare. But pair some enthusiastic millennials with a few folks who can share their experience, and then the magic can really start.

[And BMA did a great job of showcasing some very talented Marketing Millenials during the Firestarter talks - all of whom have very strong mentors in their organizations]

So maybe that’s the point. Yes, Millenials are part of the key to staying abreast of the latest trends. But so is the vision to see how these trends can bring value to the business. Not to mention the ability to prototype and implement quickly, take a few risks, and be willing to fail. And then to do it again.

The BMA Blaze conference brought together a whole host of excellent speakers, and gave a chance to swap stories with fellow B2B marketers. It’s a great event. I just wish I hadn’t felt the drumbeat of the Millenials throughout…

Where you at BMA Blaze? If so, what do you think?

 

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