Monday, September 15, 2008

Mobile Phone: The Key to Teen's Social Life

Below is the complete article posted today on TMCnet by Jyothi Shanbhag focused on the influence of the mobile phone on today's teens.

It's a terrific illustration of why companies must change their recruiting strategies to reflect that which is important to GenY and to communicate with them in the manner that gets their attention.

In Tim Sanders book, Love is the Killer App, Sanders talks about the importance of ROA versus ROI. We all know what ROI means....what about ROA (Return on Attention)? Sanders says that getting someone's TIME is not nearly as important as getting their ATTENTION. I get that.

I give people my TIME all the time....but do they have my ATTENTION? When they really have my attention, they also have the opportunity to begin building trust with me (the first step to developing a great recruiter/candidate relationship).

How are you going to get the ATTENTION of GenY in your recruiting efforts? And when you do, what will you do to begin building their trust and attracting them to your corporate vision?

Full article below:
A study was conducted online among 2000 teenagers across the U.S. who use mobile phones. More than 100 questions were asked on mobile phone usage, attitude, desires and aspiration for the future mobile and communications industry. A growing wireless segment, teens view their cell phones as more than just an accessory.

"A quarter of a century of wireless innovation, new products and customized features has transformed our everyday lives," said Steve Largent, president and CEO, CTIA - The Wireless Association. "Teens are a pivotal segment of wireless users. As the first generation born into a wireless society, how they use their cell phones and what they expect of these devices in the future will drive the next wave of innovation in our industry."

According to the Harris Interactive study (Teenagers: A Generation Unplugged), second to clothing, teens say a cell phone tells the most about a person’s social status or popularity, outranking jewelry, watches and shoes. The study also found that cell phones are fast becoming a social necessity among teens. A majority (57 percent) view their cell phone as the key to their social life.

Four out of every five teens (17 million) carrying a wireless device (a 40 percent increase since 2004), it's not surprising that six in ten teens (57 percent) credit mobility for improving their quality of life. Over half of the respondents (52 percent) agree the cell phone has become a new form of entertainment and one-third of teens currently play games on their phone. On a more serious note, 80 percent of teens surveyed said their cell phone provided a sense of security while on the go, confirming the cell phone has become their mobile safety net when needing a ride (79 percent), getting important information (51 percent), or just helping out someone in trouble (35 percent).

"Teens have created a new form of communication. We call it texting, but in essence it is a reflection of how teens want to communicate to match their lifestyles. It is all about multitasking, speed, privacy and control," said Joseph Porus, vice president & chief architect, technology group, Harris Interactive. "Teens in this study are crying for personalization and control of exactly what a wireless device or plan can do for them."

“Teens expect mobile technology to change the social fabric of their world and they have laid the future at the feet of this technology like no other," Porus added.

Porus also said, "To our knowledge, no other industry carries these hopes; while teens are interested in cars and music and movies, it is mobility that will change their future!"

The Harris Interactive study highlights on future trend occurrence as to what teens would like to change about wireless services and devices. Eighty percent of them expect secured data access to the user only, 66 percent expect accessibility to personal health records and 63 percent want to bring users closer to global issues impacting teens' world.

The study found that teens are excited and open-minded about the wireless possibilities. The survey found that teens' ideal future mobile device would feature five applications - phone, MP3 player, GPS, laptop computer and video player.

Teenagers would be more than happy with shock and water proof, endless power, privacy screen, flexible material with different shapes and sizes and artificial intelligence in their mobile handsets.

“In the future, mobility for teens means mobile banking, mobile voting, location based services, personal entertainment - the sky is the limit for how mobile our lifestyles can be," Largent said. "We've certainly come a long way in 25 years and expect teens to be a growth driver for the industry and have a major impact on the wireless landscape for years to come."

Jyothi Shanbhag is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Jyothi's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Source: TMCnet
Author: Jyothi Shanbhag (TMCnet Contributor)


Anonymous said...

Great post, Dennis! It's completely on point and strongly supports the business model for CryptoPix, our visual messaging service for mobile.

Great find!


Matt Sapero

Anonymous said...

This is so timely. I just read that a Dallas credit union (resource one) is trying to break the stuffy industry vibe using exactly these tactics. They've got a whole bunch of Gen Y products, and to get the word out they're going to have a spokesman who goes around to events and parties and stuff, then blogs and texts and stuff, promoting the credit union. But here's the best part--they're holding a contest to find the spokesperson, where entrants have to post audition videos to YouTube, submit the url on, along with a blog entry. Talk about next generation--I'm not THAT much older than the Gen Y'ers, yet they live in a different world!

Anonymous said...

I personally do not own, never have, and never will own a cell phone. I view them as an invasion of privacy, and if you want to talk to me you can leave a message on my answering machine and I will return your call at my convenience.

From my experience, listening to others talking on their cell phones (I don''t eavesdrop, it''s often impossible not to hear), at least 90% of what is said is unnecessary drivel.

The conversations that I have heard are primarily a running narrative of what the person is doing: ''I''m in the cold drink aisle at WalMart looking for some diet Pepsi''.

If you really feel that you have to keep everyone informed of every little thing that you do every waking moment, then by all means, have a Blackberry permanently attached to your head

Cheap Mobile said...

I agree with what anesthesiologist recruiter! Nothing worse than trying to read my book on a bus while some person is endlessly talking gargbae to someone on their phone for the whole bus to hear whether they want to or not.