The Higher Ed Marketer
The Higher Ed Marketer

Episode · 1 year ago

Proven Strategies to Help the Next Generation Thrive w/ Mark McCrindle


Generation Z is sitting in your classroom right now. Next up? Generation Alpha — the children of the Millennials. Alphas constitute the largest generation in history. They're highly digitally supplied, formally educated, and materially in doubt.

...And they're about to come to your college's recruitment office.

Mark McCrindle, Founder and Principal at McCrindle Research, discusses what makes Generation Alpha different.

What we talked about:

- Unique characteristics of the Alpha generation

- The projected career trajectory of an Alpha

- Educating a generation for an unformed working future

- What the Alphas have in common with the Greatest Generation

Check out the resource below for more information:

Generation Alpha

To hear more interviews like this one, subscribe to Higher Ed Marketer on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your preferred podcast platform.  

You were listening to the Higher Ed Marketer, a podcast geared towards marketing professionals in higher education. This show will tackle all sorts of questions related to student recruitment, don't a relations, marketing, trends, new technologies and so much more. If you are looking for conversations centered around where the industry is going, this podcast is for you. Let's get into the show. Welcome to the hired marketer podcast. My name is troy singer and, as always, I'm joined by the cohost of the show, Bart Taylor, and we have a very special show for you today because of an interest or maybe a deep dive that Bart went into. We're going to talk about generation Alpha with mark mccrindle from the landdown under. Bart, can you let everyone know what they have to look forward to? Yeah, thanks, Troy. It was it was interesting. I was doing a little bit of research a few months ago on generation Z and just thinking about it. I kind of discovered generation Z A number of years ago and I remember kind of starting to make reference to it and people were like hey, are we still talking about millennials? And and so I was thinking about that the other day and I thought, well, what's the next generation, because I haven't heard yet. And so I did. You know, it's quick Google search. WHAT'S THE NEXT GENERATION AFTER GENERATION Z? And I kind of did this deep dive into this generation Alpha website and and and I started reading about it and understanding that it's children that are eight, eight, ten years old and younger right now and they and I thought, wow, those, those kids are going to be on the on the bubble for colleges in just five or six years. I mean you know, some schools, I think we talked to to Christie La free at Butler, and they're doing you know, they're doing conflos for eighth graders and most, most schools are doing sophomores. And so if you think about eighth graders, I mean boy, they're just to ride around the corner from ten year olds. And so I thought, boy, this is going to be important for high and marketers to understand that we're getting ready to make another major shift from generation Z to generation Alpha in a short, few short years.

And so what does that mean and what how's that going to change? Because every generations different. So once I started digging a little deeper, I recognize that the leading authority on Generation Alpha. Everything I was reading was the mcrindle group down in Sydney, Australian. So so we had just started the podcast and I reached out to I found him on Linkedin's name is Martin mcrendel, and so I reached out and said Hey, mark, I'm pretty interested in generation Alpha, I've download your book and I'd love to have you on the podcast. So he graciously agreed and so we're going to have a great conversation about what generation Alpha is and how that's different from all the other generations and how that will impact the way we market to them. Mark is interesting and he is a wonderful charismatic speaker. I've gotten to listen to him online a little bit and I can't wait to bring him into the conversation. So, without further ADO, here is mark mccrindle. Okay, we're excited to welcome mark mccrendel, principle at mccrendel research, to the high end marketer podcast. Welcome mark. Thank you, but great to be with you. Yeah, it's great to have you to tell us about your work and your organization. Well, it's called mccrendle research and we focus on analyzing human behavior, looking at communities, understanding sentiment. We have a particular focus on generational research because, you know, the Times the one generation went through shape them differently to what another generation is going through. So we look at at those differences and that has applications in the education market, in organizations as they think about attracting retaining staff, just in the broader community as well. We do a lot of demographic analysis. That helps understand changing populations. So it's social research, demographics and looking at the trends generationally and what's to come. That's great. That's that's really fascinating. I discovered your your information and and some of and your organization when I was doing a google search. I've been pretty fascinated with...

...generational research and how that applies to marketing, especially higher end marketing. It's it's something that we do with a lot with personas. When I just started to kind of do some some research on what was the next generation coming after generation Z, I discovered your website and your book General Ration Alpha, and I'm pretty pretty amazed by, you know, the idea that I think a lot of the people listening are just like, wow, we just got used to figuring out what to do with generation Z, and now you're telling me I've got a pivot to another generation, and so tell us a little bit about what you've learned about generation Alpha. Yeah, well, these generations span fifteen years, so that's about the maximum time within which you have a shared experience. Beyond that you've got a new generation. So, as you said, the years have flown by and generations Z or Z. They're the children of millennials and they are generation Alpha. Now, having worked our way through the alphabet with us, Gen x has and then there was generation why, or millennials, generation Z. After that we've got a new start, but it's not going back to the beginning, not going generation A. We're deliberately calling them Alpha, using the Greek alphabet now, just to give the signal that it's a new naming category for a new generation, fully born in this new millennium, and they are quite different to even the generation that went prior to them. They will be the largest generation globally in the history of the world, the most digitally supplied generation ever, and that's evident to see, but the most materially endowed, a massive rising middle class right around the world, and the most formally educated generation ever. So you're a lot of right blessings and benefits they have and an understanding them right now is pretty important. Okay, that's that's really good. It's good to have that basic understanding of generation Alpha and, you know, just the idea that they are, you know, kind of going to bring a lot of transformation and the idea of...

...of you know, what they're going to bring to not only the workforce and to into society, but as they're starting to look into you, into higher at I mean you know, most of them, I think you've mentioned that they're ten years old and younger right now. They're going to have some skill sets and some skills that they're going to bring into into the end of their life that I think we as high ad marketers need to kind of be aware of because, you know, in six seven years they're going to start being on the on the sophomore list, on the junior list of some campaigns that we're doing. I've talked to some schools that are going as low as eighth grade to start recruiting some students, and so I'm just curious what is some of those skills and those those traits that they're going to be bringing that we should be aware of. Well, firstly it's about understanding the context, the Times that are shaping them. That's really going to help us get a good understanding all of them. And we sometimes think, well, you know, we're living in these times to these times of the digital and these times of global connection and social media. But the age at which you're exposed to a new technology or transformative event determines how we embedded it will become in your psyche and lifestyle. And so for this generation living through Covid, adapting to digital, connecting on social media, being influenced through these new channels, it's a different experience for them and it will impact them profoundly. So what we are talking about is a generation that are social in terms of the influence channels of their life. It's not just what the Authority figures are, the experts tell them, but the peer group. They're global in that connection. They're digital in the tool they're visual and how they consume that content, not just the written form anymore, and, of course, mobile in lifestyle and where they are work and where they will study. Far More Mobility for them. So so those characteristics are at a new level compared to even the generations that are just a little bit older than them. And and we see these same traits...

...right around the world. And as part of this book on generation now, for we surveyed both the parents and these youngsters in several countries and we found the same characteristics and expectations wherever we searched. That's really fascinating. I can find it fascinating that it's that you see as a lot of trends throughout the world, and I guess that kind of you know, go as some points to the fact that we are much more of a globally connected world. Then then then maybe some politicians have tried to lead us to believe and the where things are, and so I think it's really I think it's really interesting that even those traits are kind of being seen in different parts of the world. Is that kind of what you're saying? Yeah, totally, and and that's why we call them the world's first global generation, because never before have we had the technology that connects the social media platforms that engage. The news feed isn't just the local news, but it's what's coming in on those global platforms. The the the search and and playlists are coming in from global platforms, from Netflix to spotify. It's shared right around the world. The the buy recommendations as there on a on a shopping APP from your Amazon to to whatever. Maybe you know their preferred store, ebay, etc. It's global and and we just haven't had that before and therefore the friends and the connections and even just the global awareness is at a new level today. And we say that people resemble their times more than they resemble their parents. We sometimes think, well, there are children, we know them, and we do, but but they actually often will share more in common as they connect globally with each other then they may with the generation that was shaped in a different era prior. So let me let me just kind of pill us back a little bit, because I think that, you know, because they're going to be more global citizens. They're coming and they're going to be more formally educated and I think they can enter enter into their post secondary and higher education in a...

...more, probably more aware situation than any generation before them, from from a global understanding to just the engagement that they have throughout their lifetime. Help me understand how that's going to make form them into this holistic student. I mean they're going to be more of a student that I think a lot of schools are going to be interested in, but they're going to require some things. I'm guessing right now that travel programs are going to be very important to this generation. They're going to they're going to want to be able to participate in study abroad programs and they're going to want to be able to have a greater impact on the world through their education and through the university that they might attend. is is that kind of what you're thinking and what you're seeing? That's exactly right. But they're looking to make it difference, to have an impact, to to seek fulfillment in their life in a more holistic way, and so, as educators and as those engaging with them to train them in this next stage, it can't just be a focus on the academics. It can't just be a focus on setting them up for the career, because they will be multi career, they'll be multiple jobs in terms of their future. The World Economic Form said that sixty five percent of children entering primary school today, that's these Jedilfitts, will ultimately end up working in job types that don't yet exist. So here we are educating them for a working future that that has not yet been formed. So what we can't do is give them a body of knowledge and think that that will sustain them through their life and portfolio careers. But what we can give them life skills, people skills, character formation and the ability to learn, how to learn so that they can adjust and adapt that learning so they can be those lifelong learners so that they can future prove their own careers because they will have the resilience, the adaptability, the creative thinking, that the critical thinking skills, the people and social skills to connect across diversity and engage in a changing world. And that's where those programs...

...that you mentioned, from those civics programs to missions or overseas travel, where they're learning to make contributions, where they're developing those people skills, those entrepreneurial type programs. Maybe they can do internships and and see the real world of working action. It's that sort of program and structure that's really adding value to their life and we can't think that we've just got to get them more and more in front of screens getting the learning. We've got a stretch them to new areas and and and skills that will sustain them for the future. That's great, that's great. Well, tell me little bit about how they are going to be influenced by their parents. I mean you said generation generation, the millennials generation. Why are their parents? How is that going to impact their decision making as they as they kind of enter into, let's say, a search for a university higher hand, we find in generational studies that one generation is not normally a continuation of the last, but it's almost like a pendulum and and how one generation was raised, we swing the pet is, see the pendulum swing back and and the next generation is raised differently, and that's what we're seeing with the millennials. If we think about how millennials will raise they were given a bit more freedom, less structure and and they sort of made their own way in the world and you know, did that very well. It was the start of the Internet era for the millennials growing up. There was a whole new, I guess, platform in which they interacted that their parents didn't know. But now we see millennials, as they become parents themselves raising their Jen Alpha children, are far more engaged their they're a bit more structured around their parenting styles they're they're connecting across that generation gap more than the baby boomers did with the millennial kids, and so what we have... a more, you might say, structured, informed and engaged parenting style. The the parents, as they think about their general for children's future, are doing their research, a jumping online at getting the information and making those decisions around which educational pathway is going to be best, from after school tutoring or coaching through to booking them in for the extra curricular lessons and activities. It's a far more structured upbringing. They they are having fewer children, they having children. These millennials a little bit older in life generally to income earning household. So there's a little bit more discretiony money to spend and they are investing that in the education and an upbringing of those children. So they're more informed, you may say, and therefore a bit more expecting aspirational as they raise those children. So yeah, we got to keep that in mind as they make their choices. In some ways the market the client of the children, but but in other ways it's their parents who are more informed and set. Communicating with them is key. That's very, very good to know. This has been very fascinating. I guess another question that we are kind of interested in is how is the whole notion of the pandemic with covid how is that impacting this generation and what what is that going to do? Because, I mean, if I think about it, someone who's ten years old who you know, eighteen months or two years of their life has been involved in a lockdown, or even if a five year old, I mean that's that's twenty percent of their life. It's a large percentage of their life to grow up wearing a mask compared to, you know, someone our age who might be a generation xer or something. What? How's that going to impact them as they kind of enter into this next phase of life? Hmm? Or very profoundly, because not only is it a fair proportion of their life, but it's in those key formative years as well. And so while young people...

...have the least, been the least impacted from the health consequences of Covid, they've been the most impacted from the social isolation and disruption that it has caused. They've seen transformations in how you can study and online and through the digital has become mainstream. They've seen parents work from home through this, and of course this is global, the impact of Covid, the lockdowns and the changed approaches, from hygiene protocols to just the volatility of life that the the the set programs and activities were no longer guaranteed. This has had a profound impact on them. They've also seen the financial consequences of it as as a lot of families, particularly those in casual employment in hospitality, retail travel, have been so impacted. Those in more precarious work gear economy in the like have have have been challenged, and so it has shown this generation that having savings and having a secure job and being prepared for the rainy day is an important thing. You know, prior to Covid we have a generation of young people that were living for the now and that saw the economy always heading up, had an experience to recession and really, you know, saw that they have the choice of jobs and they are in the power seat when it came to choosing the job as a candidate. That's all been changed and we've seen, at this early age, a generation almost like their grandparents who saw the tough years after World War Two, who who've seen some some recessions. They they like those older generations, now are valuing security and financial conservatism and savings and and again, the secured job. So so that's profoundly changed their outlook and it's it's given them a new focus that yes, you can have flexibility around...

...where you work, but but in ensuring a secure job and indeed being able to create your own job so that you've got a fallback option, does matter. They've seen the benefit of that education as being an extra support and and I think for the unsettled, ambiguous, complex and volatile future, education and the security it brings for a future, as well as developing those broader skills, has just been reinforced as essential. That's really, really profound and I really appreciate that. I think that the more and more that we kind of study this, and part of the reason why I wanted to bring you on the podcasts that I think that I'm still you know, in the last two, probably three years, I was still having some clients that were just trying to figure out, oh, you mean we're not talking about millennials anymore, we're talking about generation Z. I like to get everybody ahead of the curve and I think this is a good opportunity for us to do so. And and while I'm talking about that, I just want to make sure that I mentioned book that you've recently released. I think you told me that you did a virtual book release yesterday and in Sydney. It's called generation Alpha, understanding our children and helping them thrive. It's by Mark mccrendal with Ashley fell. I downloaded my copy on Amazon. I know that they have both the Kendall and the paperback version on Amazon here in the states, and so really excited about that and I would encourage people that are listening that want to hear more or read more about you know what mark and his firms research of have discovered about generation Alpha. That's a great place to start. I guess one of the questions that I would have free marcus, if we ever have someone had a question for you or just wanted to connect, what would be the best way for them to do that? Well, the simple way. You know, the book is called Generation Alpha and if people go to generation Alphacom you'll find great resources there that we've put up and you can get the book and another information from that site. And an our business is mccrindle and so mccrindlecom you'll find a blog, a lot of blogs and and free information infographics as...

...well. And and so either generation Alphacom or mccrindlecom, you can grab a lot more information about what we do and about about these research that we conduct, and much of it is freely accessible on those sides. So encourage people look at that and just to keep in my particularly for Jick at, is that the focus is not just on the next program or on the next campaign, but it's got to be on the next generation and as we further understand them, I think we can adjust an adept and effectively engage with them and and resourcing ourselves to understand their world, their context and who they are is is going to help us out and ultimately help them out as well. That's great. I really appreciate the time that you've spent with us today. Mark. It's been a pleasure to have you on our on the Higher Ed Marketer podcast. The Higher End Marketer podcast is sponsored by Kaylor solutions and education, marketing and branding agency and I think patented a marketing, execution, printing and mailing provider of highered solutions. On behalf of my cohost choice singer. I'm Bard Kaylor. Thanks for joining us. You've been listening to the Higher Ed Marketer. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you're listening with apple PODCASTS, we'd love for you to leave a quick rating of the show. Simply tap the number of stars you think the podcast deserves. Until next time,.

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