What Does This GenXer Have in Common with a Diverse Group of GenZ’s Brightest?

We are heading to #AdobeSummit to cover it from a new lens

Young people aren’t promising to change the world, they’re doing it!

Several weeks ago, Steve Cook, a legendary CMO and fellow fan of all things creative, and the amazing team at Adobe asked if I might help cover Adobe’s popular annual marketing summit. The choice was easy. Thousands of marketers, clients and partners attend what has become both a creative marketing mind-meld and opportunity to do much needed annual career education in fun and entertaining spaces.

What wasn’t easy to figure out was how to bring unique commentary or perspective to summit coverage . This puzzle led me to mentor and colleague Kathleen Hessert, the CEO of Sports Media Challenge and well known for her work with people like Peyton Manning, Shaquille O’Neil, Pope Francis, and Derek Jeter.

Kathleen had recently activated WeRGenZ, an amazing program that is proving young people aren't promising to change the world — they're doing it. The program reminded me of how much we learned the last time Kathleen partnered with Blast PR, the fantastic agency and team I help lead, to help her, Aleteia.org and a social media command center of millennials to communicate Pope Francis’ “good is winning” tour of the United States.

The call and subsequent visit with Kathleen in Austin was a wonderful idea and compelled a partnership I never would have envisioned alone. Next week, WeAreGenZ and 11 of the brightest students in our nation, Harmoni Riggins, John K Bell, Patricia Garcia, Ashley Dickenson, Nina Merritt, Marco Garcia, Damien Watson Jr., Jogle De Leon, Alana Jones and Avery Primis and I will work together one united GenZ influencer and coverage team at Adobe Summit. #adobesummit

What’s in it for the students?

Each year, thousands of people from around the world attend the Adobe Summit. As the premier event for digital marketers and advertisers.
This year, as the Adobe Summit — The Digital Marketing Conference commences in Las Vegas and introduces attendees to phenomenal speakers ranging from Sir Richard Branson (Virgin) and Leslie Jones (Saturday Night Live) to JJ Watt (NFL) and Rob Roy (Sprint). As they cover the event, the GenZ reporting team will hear from speakers than many never have the chance to listen to live and interact with many of them directly!

What’s in it for Adobe and the rest of us?
Traditionally, Adobe has enlisted various marketing influencers to help cover the summit and share their perspectives in authentic ways with the audiences that look to them for insights and commentary. This year, select students that participate in a unique CTE program at the 11th largest public school district in the United States, Charlotte Mecklenburg School District (CMS) will creatively cover what they hear and see. This brings a new lens to topics frequently discussed by more ‘mature’ ‘brands and professionals — but rarely by those they care about very much — the next generation!

Check out the GenZ team below, facts about GenZ and why its such a compelling generation and tune in to #AdobeSummit live streams and social channels next week if you won’t be out there. We’ll be tagging each communication with #AdobeSummit and #WeRGenZ to make it easy to follow us.

About GenZ

  • GenZ typically refers to a co-hort that ranges from 12–20 years old. Think kids born post 1995
  • Gen Z is 1 Million larger than the Millennial generation already and by 2020 will make up 40% of the US population
  • Gen Z is the 1st generation to be born into a technology-enabled world
  • Gen Z is the most ethnically diverse generation in US history
  • Gen Z spends $44 billion annually. Influence $600 billion
  • Some GenZers are entering the workforce now and up to 1/3 expect to own their own businesses
  • GenZ is often severely misunderstood by brands

GenZ wants:

  • To understand the power, influence and differentiators of GenZ in the marketplace
  • To collaborate between business and academic communities
  • To develop, participate and analyze real-world marketing research
  • To create leading-edge original content for digital & social media
  • To learn how to evaluate & act on data analytics to measure social media effectiveness (ROI)
  • To become spokespersons & social media influencers
  • To collaborate with GenZ peers nationally & internationally. They think global!
  • To receive training & mentoring by national marketing experts
  • To interact with premier brands

Helping bridge the gap between what GenZ offers and wants is a huge goal of mine as I work with Adobe Creative Cloud and @WeRGenZ at the summit. I hope it’s something you’ll find interesting and follow as well.