9/21/2006

It's what you learn after you know it all that counts I recently had the opportunity to conduct a focus group made up of high school seniors who are academically gifted. The purpose of the discussion was to learn what tactics were being used to get them to consider certain colleges. All had received numerous solicitations from schools that ran the gamut from community colleges to prestigious Ivy League schools. Frankly, I was pretty certain I knew what they would say before I started the conversation. I figured most would say they do practically all of their college searches online. I just knew they would tell me they expected and wanted to receive e-mails from other students. Well, let's just say it's a good thing I didn't place any bets on my assumptions. Turns out they do so much online and are so connected, they actually respond better to hard copy mail. That's right: they said they wanted "bumpy" packages. More than one said, "It makes me feel special to get a big envelope addressed just to me." You see, they send and receive so much online, the way to get their attention is to do something out of the ordinary, which, in this case, is to do something extremely ordinary. Are you tracking? I suspect many other boomers like myself would assume they know what's relevant for the Y generation, based on our observation of their seemingly endless connectivity, short attention spans and remarkable talent for multitasking. There's an important lesson here for all of us: instead of going with what you "know" step back and ASK your clients what they want. People's preferences change based on the particular situation. What is it that you KNOW that deserves reconsideration? Remember, relevance is dynamic. Just because something worked last year doesn't mean it will work today.

1 Comments:

At September 22, 2006 7:07 PM, Blogger doc-t said...

yes, even in this day of www.anything.com we still like the personal attention of a letter...

I used to have several pen pals... I don't think I'd get the same feeling from an email...

and yes, those who "know" and cannot learn something new are bound to fall.

The Swiss KNEW great watches had to have gears, cogs, and springs. That digital watch thing was never going to fly.

I.B.M. KNEW the real money was in the hardware, NOT the software...

Nothing last forever, and the mind that refuses to continue to learn, is doomed to fade...

 

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