Winning over the Next Generation in the 4th Industrial Age

Futurologist Rocky Scopelliti spoke about the seismic economic changes on the way and the challenges and opportunities for marketing

The confluence of demographic change associated with millennials and digital technology will have profound impact in the world of business and beyond, says renowned futurologist and director of the Centre for Industry 4.0, Rocky Scopelliti.

Speaking at the third-annual CMO Momentum conference in Sydney, Scopelliti detailed these changes by firstly defining ‘youthquake’, a term entered in the Oxford dictionary as the 2017 word of the year.

“'Youthquake' is a word that describes a ‘profound social, cultural and economic shift associated with the young generation. And in 2017 it was associated with millennials,” he told attendees.

The second word related to the coming revolution is ‘juvenescence’, which, according to Scopelliti, is defined as the constant state of youthfulness. “I’ve applied this word to describe what kinds of leadership and organisations are going to survive in the Fourth Industrial revolution,” he said.

For Scopelliti, juvenescence is set to replace transformation as the way organisations will thrive in the coming economy. Because it's the leadership principle that’s going to be required to steer organisations through the disruption presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“The word transformation is one we’re all familiar with and been involved with in our careers. It's reached its useful life because it applies to an end state and is often associated with a significant one-off event,” Scopelliti claimed. “What the data shows is  survival is no longer a function of a once-off event. In fact, we’re regressing back to Darwinian theory - evidence is starting to show those who survive are those who adapt.”

Profound change

Scopelliti released his new book, Youthquake 4.0 – A Whole Generation and The New Industrial Revolution in order to set out the profound changes coming to our lives in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. However, the term 'Youthquake' itself is not new, first coming into the lexicon in 1965 to describe the significant shift occurring in the 1960s. This social change occurred worldwide, disrupting the social fabric.

Five generations later, it's millennials who are setting the agenda, Scopelliti said, noting the composition of Millennials in the workforce is increasing.

“What we’re witnessing is not a once-off event because millennials are the children of the Baby Boomers, the children of the first youthquake. We’re witnessing history repeat itself,” he said. “When it comes to their relationship to organisations, this is profoundly changing."

For example, Scopelliti pointed out millennials have an unquenchable thirst for entrepreneurship, and are choosing to back themselves rather than work for an organisation that does not fit with their purpose.

Alongside the societal shift, data and algorithms are experiencing exponential rather than linear growth and will rule the way of doing business and economics in the coming new industrial age, Scopelliti continued.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here and it’s going to hit you whether you like it or not. It will be terrestrial. Those are the words of Klaus Schwab chairman of the World Economic Forum,” he said.

Key here is the traversing of boundaries on a whole range of scientific and technological worlds that will change the way we think about competitive advantage from the current set of lenses around whether we are differentiated or not.

“We think about value chain and where we sit within the value chain and we then price that value according to whether we’re in commodities zone or premium zone,” Scopelliti explained.

In contrast, the coming age of the experience economy will turn conventional business models and thinking on its head, said the futurist.

“In the experience economy, the bookends are very blunt: You’re either relevant or you’re not," he said. "This is what a lot of organisations are getting wrong. They think their product is in the premium end of the economy, but the experience economy is a living thing, changing everyday. Competing requires an agility a traditional economy is really struggling with."

This shift away from the linear view to a circular one will require an organisation to adapt to a world of accelerated change, Scopelliti said. A company's approach to data will be at the core of this, along with critical skills like rapid ideation and thinking differently.

“This data will sit in platforms that will scale exponentially, allowing you to hit variability, this new economic physics, where the marginal cost of acquisitional supply is virtually zero,” Scopelliti predicted.

The challenge is how to increase our ability to adapt to a world of accelerated change of this new age. For Scopelliti, marketing has a key role to play.

“It’s about the symbiosis of demographic change, associated with the millennial demographic, and the capacity of leaders to adopt juvenescence, the constant state of adoption, the constant state of youthfulness," he said.
“The responsibility you have as marketers to be the advocates of change, the navigators of change, has never been more important.”

Read more of our coverage from CMO Momentum 2019:

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia. 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Building a human-curated brand

If the FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) sector and their measured worth are the final argument for the successful 21st Century model, then they are beyond reproach. Fine-tuning masses of algorithms to reduce human touchpoints and deliver wild returns to investors—all with workforces infinitesimally small compared to the giants of the 20th Century—has been proven out.

Will Smith

Co-founder and head of new markets, The Plum Guide

Sustainability trends brands can expect in 2020

​Marketers have made strides this year in sustainability with the number of brands rallying behind the Not Business As Usual alliance for action against climate change being a sign of the times. While sustainability efforts have gained momentum this year, 2020 is shaping up to be the year brands are really held accountable for their work in this area.

Ben King

CSR manager & sustainability expert, Finder

The trouble with Scotty from Marketing

As a Marketer, the ‘Scotty from Marketing’ meme troubles me.

Natalie Robinson

Director of marketing and communications, Melbourne Polytechnic

If you think it can benefit both consumer and seller then it would be great

Simon Bird

Why Ford is counting on the Internet of Things to drive customer engagement

Read more

It's a good idea. Customers really should control their data. Now I understand why it's important.

Elvin Huntsberry

Salesforce CMO: Modern marketers have an obligation to give customers control of their data

Read more

Instagram changes algorithms every time you get used to them. It really pisses me off. What else pisses me off? The fact that Instagram d...

Nickwood

Instagram loses the like in Australia; industry reacts positively

Read more

I tried www.analisa.io to see my Instagram Insight

Dina Rahmawati

7 marketing technology predictions for 2016

Read more

The saying is pretty tongue in cheek. It's not saying that marketers are bad people, nor that they don't take themselves seriously. There...

LYF Solutions

The trouble with Scotty from Marketing - The CMO view - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in