When my daughter was born, I registered two domains for her. I own my name as a domain, and the idea that someone else would own her name on the Internet -- someone like a porn star, for instance -- just didn't sit well with me. Thankfully, it was available. I don't want to imagine how the conversation would have transpired if it weren't.
"Uh, Mr. . AdAgeStat, I think we have to pick a different name ... something more ... unique."
"Why? I love this name."
"Yes, but, well, the domain is taken..."
Seems I'm not alone in my concern. An internet security company called AVG surveyed moms in North America and parts of Europe and found that in the U.S. 92% of children under the age of 2 have an online presence of some sort. Generally, the U.S. had higher responses to all the questions: 33% of moms have posted a picture of their newborn; 23% (34% in the U.S. and 37% in Canada) have posted ultrasound pics; 7% have an e-mail address for their infants.
The survey doesn't get into how many of the 2-year-olds know how to work the devices themselves. I just heard a story about an infant who tried to pinch resize a physical photo as if it were on an iPhone.
Because your 2-year-old doesn't know any other way.
It reminds me that, in a way, we're all marketers. We all have information we need to control. When we change jobs, have new kids, get married, break up or get together, we are thinking about media strategy. Who needs to know in-person? Who can find out on Facebook? When do we tweet it?
And what on Earth is going to happen to the kids being born today? You thought it was embarrassing when your parents would bring out the baby book to show your newly minted fiance, or slip them into a slideshow at your rehearsal dinner. Imagine if your parents had social media and could just tag you in pictures from birth (or before) for all your friends to see.
Think the Millennials are hard to understand in terms of their adoption of media? Think they're hard to reach as consumers? The kids they are starting to raise might as well be from yet another planet from where boomers or even Gen X are from. They don't need to "adopt" anything. It's being adopted for them.
We hear a lot about mommy bloggers, but this data show that social media is where a growing majority of families are coming together for the biggest events of their lives. To reach them, and to reach the kids they are raising, marketers, publishers and frankly grandparents and friends need to find ways to work their way into the space.