In society we put ourselves in various groups relating to our age, religion, beliefs and the sporting teams we follow among many others. Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y. Traditional Marketers and Digital Marketers.

I heard a discussion this week criticising Gen Y, and I suspect coming from the Baby Boomer that they might have had Gen X in their targets as well. They were too concentrated on instant gratification they said. In the end it is an argument that Baby Boomers are probably comfortable with because they believe it stems from them providing the younger generations with everything.


But this notion of Gen Y looking for instant gratification had me thinking about the marketing environment; seriously I could make a connection with every philisophical moment in my life. It’s quite contradictory to the traditional (Baby Boomers) and the digital (Gen X and Gen Y) marketing approaches. Apologies for the stereotyping.

I believe that traditional marketing is more about instant gratification and digital marketing is about nurturing and developing. It is a problem I have regularly, trying to explain to doubters the opportunities online, particularly with social media, the opportunity to not directly result in a lead but to nurture and develop a lead. This is a huge sticking point because the traditional marketer expects a direct lead from an action. Think about it, before the web was even made public what did business do to improve sales? They advertised and broadcast to as many people as possible to achieve as many sales as they possibly could. Television, radio or print advertising for example, run an advertising campaign and expect instant results.

Traditional marketing is more about instant gratification, which flies in the face of the theory that it is Gen Y that seeks the immediate return.

Digital marketing is about developing and nurturing a lead. Identify the audience, produce the content they want, encourage them to like your business and brand and then give them the opportunities to create you a sale. Digital marketers are putting in place the systems to communicate with customers whether they be today’s customers, tomorrow’s customers or our customers in 6 months time.

Of course this is just one perspective and one opinion on Gen Y and instant gratification. I could find a lot more examples backing up the claim from the Baby Boomers but hey that would be too easy. Let me know your thoughts on the issue and leave a comment. Do you disagree with my view of traditional or digital marketing?

Quentin Aisbett


Quentin Aisbett is the strategist at OnQ Marketing. He loves social media, SEO, CRO and mobile. Blogging all the time, tweeting even more so and found rambling on Google Plus at+Quentin Aisbett. Be a little old school and email him.

Est. reading time: 2 minutes