Engaging digital natives
Digital natives, the generation grown up surrounded by digital technology and the Internet, are tomorrow’s stakeholders and will affect organizations and their environments greatly. It is vital for organizations to get to know the new stakeholders and acknowledge their needs and expectations. At the same time the importance of a good reputation has increased. The new media has empowered consumers in a new way as sharing one’s opinion and emotions is just a few clicks away. To manage their consumer relations, organizations need to take a new, more involving and a dialogue-based approach. The study suggests engaging the digital native consumers is a vital asset for organizations to manage their reputation and thus, survive. The aim of the research was to map the relationship of the Finnish digital natives with media and the motivational factors behind engagement with media and with organizations via social media. Also expectations were researched, as they are an important part of engagement. Through understanding the antecedents of digital natives’ engaged behaviour, organizations can attempt to engage them as consumers. According to the results, the digital native generation is not as eager to engage as the earlier research suggested. However, this might be due to the perceptions they have of organizations. Companies were seen as cold and distant with no interest in hearing their opinions and engaging into a dialogue with them. Engagement is based on a dialogue and a mutual relationship and also requires engagement from the organizations' side. In the case of digital natives, if organizations want to engage them, they need to clearly invite them to participate in an honest dialogue, where they feel their opinions and needs are heard and valued.
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