"We were looking at all the conferences coming up," says Guy Kawasaki at the beginning of a video from the Revenue Bootcamp conference, "and everything was about social media and Twitter and basically gathering eyeballs, but nobody was talking about monetizing people. And so we thought, what a concept, maybe we should help people monetize things, as opposed to collect eyeballs."
There's only one problem, as he discovered during an in-depth conversation with a panel of young people—they're not in any mood to be monetized. "They feel little obligation or guilt about getting everything for free," he notes in a post at the Open Forum blog, "so if someone tells [them] that unless they start paying, a company/service/site will go away, it's not going to work."
Here are a few of the "lowlights" that Kawasaki highlights:
- Young people rarely click on ads, and they claim that online advertising has no impact on their buying decisions.
- If Facebook began to charge its users, they would simply move to another—free—service.
- One panelist doesn't even pay for Internet access, preferring to use the wireless network of an unsuspecting neighbor.
According to Kawasaki, "The lesson is that it doesn't matter what a company 'needs;' it only matters what customers are willing to do." And that's Marketing Inspiration if we've ever heard it.
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