28. ’Cause we are living in a digital world, and I am (trying to be) a digital girl!

I don’t think I quite fit into the category of a “digital native,” but I must be pretty darn close.

Unlike those of Generation Z (ie, probably my 14-year-old brother), I still remember my precious Walkman (and my not-so-precious, monstrously huge CD carrying case I lugged around everywhere, much to my family’s dismay), the days where I only used a computer to play a game on a CD-ROM or practice my typing, and how Mom would pull out a good old fashioned paper map when we’d be on road trips.

These memories aside, I feel like I’m young enough to say that I’ve been raised in a digital world. Not quite young enough to have popped out of the birth canal holding an iPhone, but young enough to have used the Internet (dial-up, baby!) for elementary school projects. Perhaps you could say my peers and I are the guinea pigs of Generation Z…

Compared to older generations, it has been relatively easy for me to keep up with new digital products and trends; however, the speed at which technology is changing and improving is a little daunting. Along with that, peoples demands for their technology are growing.

  • They want easy-accessibility (and fast).
  • They want correct information (and fast).
  • They want it to always work (quickly!).
  • They flip out if it doesn’t work (when they need it).
  • They want all their devices to work together (and fast).
  • …and of course they want it fast (and fast?).

Now (plot twist!), what does this new obsession with digital mean for advertising? In a search to find answers, I’m currently taking a digital branding and social web strategy class (taught by Dave Allen of North) where I’m discovering that the idea of digital isn’t really all that new.

I began this class with the feeling that I’d started to fall behind when it came to new aspects of digital; however, I’m learning that brands and ad agencies who use digital well are still using similar strategies they’ve used for mediums of the past.  They’re just altered a bit. Many companies and brands will say they need a website or an app. When asked why, if they don’t know the answer, a website might not be the best thing. With all the excitement surrounding digital, I think many brands are getting wrapped up in the hype, but have yet to figure out the best way to utilize it.

Sure, I might not know how to code an iPhone application or be up-to-date on the newest technology innovation, but I’m learning how to strategize in this digital world. And strategy is key.

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