As I travel around speaking with business owners both here and overseas, I have found some interesting evidence (anecdotal at best) on the whole adoption of technology in general. I have interviewed some 4,000 business owners in the last 7 years and here is a brief summary of my findings.
1. Age 40 – 45 and the whole technology issue is almost lost. These folk are generally sitting on the fence with technology and have stopped updating mobile phones, PC’s and anything else. Some have tried, some still think that FB and Twitter et al. are a waste of time, some have tried it or seen their kids on it and really do wonder what it is all about. The step over the abyss i.e.getting a blackberry is almost too far to take. Then again some have taken this step and feel it is a little overwhelming.
2. 55+ forget it, all too hard, the analogue phone with speed dials, text and v mail was hard enough!! These business owners have decided to stick their heads in the sand and be done with it, leave all that stuff to the younger generation and heaven forbid if I catch my staff doing it on my time!!!!!!!! I agree Paul with your comments around this.
3. 30 – 40 most have grasped the technology, get it and are wondering how to harness it all. They still get the business basics and will blend both in the running of their businesses. Great market to play with….
4. 20 – 30 – have little idea of basic business principles, have never had tough times or signed 3 year leases, fired staff or seen enough trends in business to be warned or wide eyed enough. The entrepreneurial sripirt is strong and risk taking is high. These people drive trends and change in the SME space. They think differently and get the technology and in fact find new ways to use it that we (I’m in group 1 with a mix of group 3) would not have even thought of. They are wired with iPhones, push emails, online twitter updates and other things I am just finding about.
So a diverse bunch with varying degrees of interest in this whole space. A marketers nightmare or opportunity me thinks…..