About Me

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Len focuses on helping small and new businesses succeed through developing appropriate marketing and sales strategies. Len enjoys mentoring, relishes in getting both arms and feet wet in addressing technology, marketing and sales issues. He understands the drivers impacting business results for today and tomorrow including time-to-market, time-to-revenue, marketing, sales channels and social media.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Email Remains the Killer App Despite the Rise of Social Networks and Text Messaging

I've been using email since the late 1980s. So it is ingrained in me. I don't think of it as new or challenging in any way. But lately I've noticed that I'm using the email systems inside public social networks to send messages to "friends" and "contacts" in these online environments. I'm posting comments on their profile pages. Do I see this as a replacement for most of my communication. No! Just another way to connect to people.

That's the same way I feel about texting or text messaging. I've been using short messaging on my mobile phone for 5 years. That doesn't make me an early adopter by any means. What started off as an opportunity to stay in touch with my family throughout the business day without telephone calls has graduated into me using Twitter to send short messages to many people including family.

Windows Live recently conducted a survey of its users (see graph to the left) and found that 71% preferred to stay in touch with friends and business through email rather than social networks.

In that same survey users, however, were almost equally divided when asked about their preferences - text messaging versus email. It seems that even millennials, the digital natives
generation, still find themselves preferring email to other forms of communication, particularly in business settings.

In recent studies of millennials reported by Accenture email is increasingly being challenged as the preferred medium for corporate communication. It seems within this generation of users the younger you are the less you see email as significant. The numbers are quite revealing with older millennials spending 9.5 hours per week writing or receiving work-related emails, working mid-millennials, 7.7 hours and younger millennials in high school and college, less than 2 hours. The preference of these youngest millennials is text, instant messaging and communicating through social networks. Regardless of what age millennials are, blogging is not part of their comfort zone. The Accenture survey reported less than 30 minutes a week was spent on blogging, far less than the time spent using search, texting or interacting on social networks.

So here I am blogging, a digital immigrant, explaining the trends that businesses must be aware of as they hire the next generation of workers or interact with the next generation of consumers. Hopefully, when these millennials are doing Internet search they will find my blogs.

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