Scott Steinberg is a nationally recognized authority on strategic advising, business trends and technology. He is also a much sought after keynote speaker for businesses and nonprofit organizations and author of numerous books. I recently interviewed him regarding his latest book, Millennial Marketing: Bridging The Generation Gap, as well as getting his thoughts on what constitutes effective techniques for communicating with all ages about adapting to an ever changing marketplace. Read what he had to say below.
Congratulations on the release of your latest book, Millennial Marketing: Bridging The Generation Gap. What do you hope readers will learn from this book?
“Hopefully, they’ll get the sense of as different as people can seem, you’d be amazed at how similar we all are deep down when you get to know them. To find ways to more effectively communicate with people is really quite simple when you take a moment to try to see things from other people’s perspective. So, what I hope they’ll gain from it is a sense of just how rapidly things have been changing out there in the market place and in the workforce and how important it is to understand how different kinds of people interpret and process and share different kinds of information and to actually think about the way in which they’re telling stories in introducing their brands, their business brands or even their personal brands in such a way that will hopefully make it more effective in how they tell their stories. Really, it’s to find more ways to motivate and inspire people of all ages and to help bridge some of those gaps. We have more power to tell stories more effectively than ever before and more power to lead and give people the tools to help them going forward.”
How does Millennial Marketing: Bridging The Generation Gap fit within the framework of your other books?
“As trends experts, we’re constantly called on to take a look at what’s coming next in just about any field, products, entertainment and business and as you can imagine that entails keeping a lookout on how customers are changing and how today’s market is changing. So as part of our research, we give many keynote speeches and leadership training programs each year. We also do quite a bit in terms of marketing research. As you can imagine, certain themes keep coming up. One of the big ones is just how rapidly things are changing out there in terms of the workforce and in terms of the business market. Whether you’re a retailer or whether you are involved with technology and gadgets, video games or sell products ,things have really changed in the way that people connect with us and interact with each other and our ability to reach them and influence them, that’s when we change quite rapidly as well. I think it fits quite nicely in there because we are constantly taking a look at the market and looking at trends and getting a sense of how customer expectations are changing. A part of it is that we really want to show how individuals from different generations are consuming and processing information. We really need to rethink the ways that we connect with and engage them because it’s getting far harder to capture someone’s attention let alone hold it. So hopefully, the book provides a nice blueprint and tips that can really help organizations, brands and individuals to maybe rethink the way that they tell the story in an attempt to engage people and inspire them whether we are talking about formal marketing campaigns or simply talking about speeches and programs designed to capture people’s attention.”
You are recognized as one of the leading authorities on strategic advising, business trends and technology. How did you become interested in those areas?
“I think that I’ve always been interested in it growing up. We’re exposed to countless consumer products, movies, books and television shows and I was fascinated as to how so many times authors, musicians and show makers would have this almost supernatural ability to read the tea leaves and to understand what was coming next with pop culture and in many ways, to actually shape pop culture. If you look at what happened with the rock scene, there are a number of artists who are shaping trends and creating culture. Whether it’s the fashion surrounding the music or the music itself, the message is that they’re trying to set up the image and they’re trying to portray the artwork that goes into packaging these albums. Alot of times I’ve found that if you simply follow the patterns, you can really get a sense as to what was coming next. I started to dig deeper and deeper into this. I started in media as a writer covering video games, gadgets and technology for a number of different magazines, ended up writing for around six hundred of them including The Rolling Stone. Then rolled from there into running a consulting firm doing research. What happened was a number of companies were reaching out for help and we really seemed to have an eye on emerging trends and so this ability blessed us going forward. We were able to write a number of books and guides and articles uniquely designed to help other people and other businesses. Being a small business owner myself, this topic is very near and dear to my heart when I’m working with countless professionals in leadership programs to help them succeed. Maybe I was hot wired to pay more attention to business than friends were. It is just a personal passion for me that I was able to translate into a professional career.”
Many people are reluctant to change. How do you motivate an audience to embrace the possibility of change?
“If you look at the way in which organizations are set up, people don’t like change. They like things to be familiar and comfortable and fall into familiar patterns. Businesses are designed to capitalize on these patterns by using certain plans in specific ways. What happens is that instincts come into play but some of those instincts could be counterproductive when it comes to the importance of change. But we live in a world where researchers have also shown that constant change can be normal. What I’m saying basically is that constant change is the new status quo. When you’re living in a world where things are constantly changing and that the skills that are going to be in demand today aren’t going to be in demand tomorrow, the more you sit still and try to do the same things over and over again, the less likely you are to succeed. If everything is changing around you, your only choice is to change. I’ve found simple stories and anecdotes really underscore why it’s always important to be learning and growing. Most of the time we know that we need to change. The slogan around here is ‘just jump.’ Don’t forget to pack a parachute, but just jump. Don’t think about it too hard. What defines leaders going forward is the ability to solve problems and to create results. You don’t necessarily have to a degree or alot of experience for that. Sometimes you just have to do it.”
Your books offer invaluable information. For example, your earlier book, The Crowdfunding Bible: How to Raise Money For Any Startup, Videogame or Project, is a sensation. Yet, crowdfunding isn’t universally accepted. What do you feel are some of the erroneous beliefs regarding crowdfunding?
“I think that alot of people still aren’t really familiar with it despite all the publicity it has gotten. I think also alot of people wonder whether it is still a scam. There’s not really alot of historical precedent so people feel that if they are giving their money, the end product should be as good as promised and that’s not always the case. But there are also alot of products that live up to their promise and potential. When it comes to crowdfunding, some people also wonder whether they can really make a difference. But I think more and more campaign creators are showing that it does. Crowdfunding has so many different sides and offers so many different models. I think that it will get there. It may just take a little more time to catch on.”
Are there any upcoming projects that you can share with our readers?
“We’ve got a new television series called Next Up on Newswatch where we take a look at some of the hottest new trends and innovations. We also have a new video series Behind the Screens that focuses on industry creators sharing what it takes to create new technologies and products. And if you like Millennial Marketing, there are our books including our recent bestseller, Making Change Work For You. It’s a fantastic book for anyone looking to take their brand to the next level. It’s a book that shows how anyone who can unlock their creative ability and their ability to be an innovator.”