Will Pearson has learned a lot about the demographic group he calls the “millennial influencers” through his company’s engagement with them as president and co-founder of trivia magazine and website mental_floss, the latter of which he launched from his dorm room at Duke University.
In an exclusive conversation with ExecuNet at the World Innovation Forum, Pearson tells ExecuNet members why they shouldn’t underestimate the millennial influencers in their own organizations nor fail to recognize their incredible influence as consumers and technologists. He also shares his view of the strategies required to engage them in meaningful commerce and to market to their surprisingly sophisticated sensibilities and senses of humor, too. Questions:
- Can you give a sense for mental_floss as an idea and innovation of itself? (0:45)
- Why should today’s senior executives care about the millennial influencers? (2:10)
- How are today’s 20- and 30-somethings influencing big decisions? (3:05)
- What’s new or different about how these millennials are hard wired? What’s in their DNA that isn’t in the DNA of today’s executives? (3:45)
- What are the biggest areas of purchasing influence the millennials are wielding in today’s markets? (5:10)
- What are you and your mental_floss magazine doing to engage these influencers, and what have you learned through marketing to them? (6:15)
- How are millennials raising the bar on leadership? (7:10)
- What can we expect from mental_floss moving forward? (8:30)
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