A recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer got me thinking. What are those who consider themselves part of internet marketings’ elite doing to help out the folks coming up who have never experienced life without computers and the internet? I ask this question because I had the opportunity to discover what the next generation of marketers need, and how much we need to put ourselves out there to help.
If you’d like to read the original article, check it out here. The article talks about a great guy named Christian Kunkel. For the past two years, he has been working on a program to promote entrepreneurs at the high school level. I found out about the program and had the privilige to work with one class to talk to them about internet marketing. What an inspiration they were to me! The amount of energy and enthusiasm was incredible. Another fact that blew me away was that a couple of the kids were not in the program for themselves but were starting up nonprofit organizations for causes they really believed in. Don’t know about you, but in high school I was too interested in ME to even think about something like that. Some of these kids could teach many adults a few things about reaching out to make the world a better place.
The point is that these kids do not know life without the technology we have all grown to love and hate. They use it ALL the time for everything. What they don’t know is exactly how to make good use of these technologies to further their goals. In spite of, or maybe as a result of that ignorance, they move forward. One guy taught himself to write apps and launched one just for fun. Without any marketing, he had 500 downloads in a few days and is up to over 7,000 just by telling a few folks. Hmmmm. He has not been talking about social media and “crowd sourcing” and the kids don’t know these terms, but they know they can make a difference by telling people who will tell people.
You and I know that they might actually need to know something about marketing at some point and when I visited with them they were actively interested in how internet marketing works and how they could apply the information to their projects. Christian tells me that next year when they set up the program, they will ask the guest instructors to help for a couple of weeks in a row. That way, we can impart our knowledge and wisdom, and help them to apply it to their own project. I can not only talk to them about an internet marketing strategy, but show them how to put that information to work. How much fun would it be to help a group of energetic bright kids to have a real internet marketing strategy?
Try these links to see what is going on:
Christian count me in – any one else out there ready to help?
Photo Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/768583