The Elastic Generation.

Also referred to as ‘Gen X’, ‘Baby Boomers’ or the ‘Grey Panther’, the ‘Elastic Generation’ are often forgotten about. They get their name from the fact that they keep ‘bouncing back’.

Living during a time when the three life stages were still held as truth (education, married with children, retirement), they were able to bounce back from the belief that 50 and 60 year olds were ‘past it’.

However, the average baby born today is meant to have a life expectancy of 142 years old!

That changes things a bit, right?

In fact, this generation are the most confident with themselves, and much wealthier than the younger generations. This is giving way to a generation of people who are new parents, experiencing ‘grey gap years’, entrepreneurs, and returning students.

We’re not giving this generation enough credit.

This generation invented the internet. Yet, we patronise them for being digitally inept. We stereotype them into grey haired, sensible-clothed incontinent grandparents who are only interested in Saga holidays, life insurance and talking about the weather.

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It is often thought that the media is a mirror to society. However, brands are not paying them enough attention. 74% of this generation say that brands are not relevant for them and as a result, pay no attention to ads.  Yet, this generation are potentially the most financially lucrative customers.

There are two main issues contributing to the relevance deficiency:

  1. Advertisers are spending just 5% of their ad spend targeting this group currently.
  2. Images are not a true reflection of this generation, and are causing them to feel patronised and stereotyped.

When you compare the images below with the images above, you can see the monumental chasm between how this generation is perceived by society and brands (above), and the reality of how this generation look and feel (below).

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So let’s stop focusing all of our attention on Millennials and Gen Z, but start celebrating the elastic generation and the contribution they make.

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Sources:  TIME,  Marie Stafford (JWT), Forbes

 

 

 

 

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7 Things You Need To Know About The GDPR (Global Data Protection Regulation).

Any topic relating to customer data can be tricky.

The key is fully understanding the regulations, doing what is right for the consumer and doing ‘compliance by design’.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The GDPR became law on 25th May 2016, but doesn’t come into force until the 25th May 2018.

This will affect all data processors.

Brexit may mean that changes to these regulations is likely to occur again. However, it is certain that there will be some regulations similar to these.

In summary, there is a new definition of what constitutes personal data – it now also includes ‘any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person’. This means that the majority of online data is now considered personal data – including data such as IP addresses (when put with another bit of data with it, for example).

The regulations also set out a range of new and clarified consumer rights and organisation obligations, including:

  1. Consumer consent has to be unambiguous. Therefore there needs to be a clear affirmative action.

This means:

  • ‘silence or pre-ticked boxes’ do not constitute consent
  • Some channels may suffer as a result, so statements and wording needs to be optimised to limit impact. It is recommended to assess the impact that ‘opt-in’ may have on the database.

2. Consumers have the right to privacy by default. Therefore permission must be actively collected.

This means:

  • Opt-in/out boxes cannot be set to ‘in’
  • Privacy settings must be set to block contact and consumers must have to un-tick a box in order to receive marketing comms.

3. Consumers have the right to the erasure of personal information (also known as ‘the right to be forgotten’). This is one of my favourite subjects to discuss at the moment.

This means:

  • Some data can be retained in order to remember you have forgotten but this must be minimised – for example, the customer’s name and the fact they’ve asked to be forgotten
  • If the customer forgets they wanted to be forgotten, the latest consent will always override previous requests.

4. Consumers have the right to data portability. Therefore it should be easy for consumers to switch providers.

5. Consumers have the right to privacy by design. Therefore data protection must be visibly planned into projects from the outset.

This means:

  • Data protection assessment must be completed for new tech or new data
  • Record keeping and audit trails will be required
  • A data protection officer role must be recruited

6. The right to opt-out of profiling and associated processes. Therefore some profiling will now need consent.

This means:

  • Any automated processing which evaluates personal interests or predicts and analyses people may need consent
  • Profiling with ‘legal effects’ will need explicit consent and profiling for direct marketing will need an ‘opt out’ model.

7. A new definition of what constitutes a data breach. Therefore there must be a new process for a data breach.

This means:

  • Organisations must inform the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) no later than 72 hours after the breach has been discovered
  • If it is a high risk, it must be communicated with consumers in plain language