Generation 10:45’s recent emergence has business leaders racing to bolster an increasingly vital business need— 24-hour, continuous brand management. You may be asking yourself who and what is Generation 10:45? Well according to a recent study by The Kaiser Foundation, 8-18 year olds’ media usage in the United States has increased from 8 hours and 33 minutes in 2004 to an astonishing 10 hours and 45 minutes in 2009.
The advent of the personal computer, cell phone and miniaturization of technology have all greatly contributed to the “anytime, anywhere” world we live in today but we must note that the “always on” consumer actually has its beginnings in the late 1960s, as does continuous brand management. AT&T created its first 1-800 toll-free number in 1967 for customers to make “automatic collect calls.” The concept didn’t make big waves immediately, but by 1992, approximately 40% of all AT&T calls were dialed using 1-800 numbers. This theoretically simple service dramatically changed how consumer-oriented companies would eventually manage their businesses.
The first of many major changes to be made by the telephone company was the discussion (or lack thereof) with the customer. Large call centers would be trained to answer phones and follow service scripts in an effort to have an actual dialogue, which was uncommon at the time. More importantly, companies such as AT&T were beginning to recognize the importance of cross-selling and making outbound sales calls. These services performed by the early call centers were the predecessors to both the world wide web and mobile web, as they provided the customer with the ability to reach the company anytime, anywhere.