For those born between the mid-80s and the 90s, the generation known as “millennial”, the digital world has been as much a part of our lives as the offline world. Despite the fact that during our formative years the internet was still far from being as widespread as it is now, we already spent hours and hours in front of a screen; either fiddling with Paint, Word fonts or simply playing a game of snake on our parents’ mobile.
Already in adolescence, when the Internet began to be present in more and more homes, much of the communication with our family, friends and early loves moved to a language of ones and zeroes. In short, ours was the first generation to use online tools to communicate and inform on a regular basis. Millennials are those who have passed between two eras; conventional era and online era. It is they who are truly able to understand the difference between the two and how this online era affects their lives.
However, the predecessors, already immersed in the labor market, maintained more conventional structures of conversation; therefore, their adaptation to them was carried out in a less natural way and, therefore, more difficult.
The same is applicable for companies.
Those less mature sectors, still in a state of formation, were the first to jump on the bandwagon of online communication. It made perfect sense: there are no structures to change and the digital world has a cost / scope ratio infinitely lower than the physical one.
The digital world offers a much faster transfer of information. Faster transfer of information enables savings across multiple sectors. How much does it cost to send a letter? Compare it with the costs required to send messages via WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and various other social media. Communicating via online messaging applications is no longer an option but a necessity.
For their part, sectors such as the industrial sector had very established communication models that had been operating with great success for years. And it is not easy at all to get out of your comfort zone when everything is going well: for something it is called a comfort zone and not a zone of how uncomfortable I am.
Then came the crisis of 2007
The great economic crisis at the beginning of the century is not that it changed the world as we knew it, but that it destroyed it. All sectors suffered the consequences of the biggest financial fall that the world had seen since the famous crash of ’29, and ways had to be found to be more productive, more efficient, more profitable. Ultimately, you had to do more with less. And in all the factions of the company. At that time, the economic crisis hit so many companies, from international ones to small and medium-sized ones, forcing them all to make massive savings.
It was only at this point that the industrial sector turned its head to the online world. In-person events, fairs, large catalogs, actions at the point of sale, advertising in large media, etc. they were the channels that companies in the sector had been using over the years to communicate their news, offers and news. And they were effective ways to do it. But also very expensive.
The internet dominates many things, from how people search for information, how people buy products and services, how people communicate, to how people seek entertainment. For example in the adult industry. If two decades ago magazines like Playboy were popular with adult men, now they tend to choose adult content online, such as that offered by 8K VR Porn. Online content offers more interaction and feedback, two things that are difficult for non-Internet media to offer.
Today, it will be hard for us to find young people looking for the latest music in a music store that provides a wide variety of music CDs and DVDs. They’re definitely looking at online platforms like YouTube, and Spotify. In addition to the economic one, there was another problem, as we mentioned at the beginning of this post: the generations that came from behind were no longer holding a newspaper, or buying in stores and, of course, they were not watching television. They were updating their social networks, shopping online and killing the idle moments of the day watching their favorite streamer.
Suddenly, it was no longer worth having a website and a couple of accounts on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, it was necessary to develop strategies so that these would serve as communication tools that not only transmitted the information that the company wanted to launch but also had to be a reflection of it and its values.
The same happened with internal communication.
Ad-hoc tools such as applications, digital screens or instant messaging services allowed to revolutionize an industry that had been doing things for decades in a way that was obsolete in a context in which you could communicate with all the employees of a company in fast, segmented, cascading way and with a simple language.
Today, perhaps less than 5 percent of the total companies operating in the world do not have a WhatsApp group. Online communities, which in their simplest form are WhatsApp groups, are proven to simplify the “chain of command” from the top level of a company to the lowest level. This is a great revolution, one of the greatest in a century.
Finally, we are currently experiencing an unprecedented health and economic crisis that it is impossible not to end up being a disruptive factor not only in the industrial sector but in society as a whole. For months, online has been the only possible communication channel for companies, so those that had developed effective strategies in recent years were in an advantageous position over others. Right now, online communication is not just another leg of the system, it is the table. More than just a new era, this is our future, the future of mankind.