This is a generation that doesn't simply want to be connected; they long to be part of something bigger, to have a voice that resonates in the larger chorus of ideas and sentiments that they share with their peers. An event, whether it's an online campaign or a live gathering, has the potential to galvanize, tapping and underscoring Gen Y's clearly defined values as it heightens awareness of a brand or cause.
Gen Y drove the adoption of open communication technologies and that adoption has led to adoption among Gen X, Boomers, and even senior citizens. Burn one customer today and they can tell people -- more people, faster than ever before -- that you burned them.
As we measure the marketing efforts that target Gen Y, we can see in an instant those efforts that leverage Gen Y's desire to be social versus those that merely try to leverage the latest technology. As you attempt to connect with Gen Y, make sure that you realize that technology is merely the means to an end and that the real motivator for Gen Y is being social.
As the president of a company that is nearly 80 years old and full of young people, I feel the need to continually evolve and change. So what will lead companies to success in the future? If you ask a Millennial, it's new ideas, integrated organizations, collaboration, innovation and an increased passion for change.