Asia and the GenConnect

The statistics are staggering.  Between growth in Asia and the empowerment of young generations, the influence of technology on our lives, and our businesses, is a force more powerful than we can imagine.  According to Advertising Age, here are some very interesting statistics:

  • China: There are 480M internet users, 277M of which access the internet via a mobile device.
    The average Chinese spends 20 hours per week on the internet, and 80% have access to broadband.  
  • India: In just 10 years, mobile subscribers have increased from 3.6M to almost 800M.
    It is predicated that the mobile handset will be the primary means of internet access for most Indians.
  • Indonesia: Although PC penetration is only 10%, mobile phone penetration is fast approaching 60%.  80% of all mobile phones are internet enabled.
    Represents the second biggest Facebook population in the world at 39M profiles.
    15% of all Tweets globally come from Indonesia.  Twitter is how Indonesians are making their voices heard.
    Online advertising is expected to grow 200% in 2011, making up 8% of total spending.  Social Media will make up 80% of this spending.
    Economists see the country as one of the eight markets that will drive global growth.
  • South Korea: Half of the 49M people are active on some kind of social networking service, with 34% visiting Facebook each month.
Now, let's consider the generation born between 1995-2005, or the GenConnect (TM!), who are slowly entering their tween and teen years and wielding incredible influence via social markets:
  • By the time they reach college, they will have amassed an average of 300 friends on Facebook.
  • One of the key categories for influence is "technology".
  • The first generation that isn't just comfortable with technology, they are uncomfortable without it.
  • Apps are not only changing the way kids get content, the are becoming the default way of consuming content.
  • Brands, such as Disney and Nickelodeon, are no longer the "portals" for content.  Devices are becoming the new portals.
  • More than 75% of teens have a cell phone; 76% have iPods; 66% have hand held gaming devices; 29% have laptops.
  • Kids ages 13-17 send 3,365 text messages per month, more than double the next largest age group (18-24). 
  • Teens are using mobile phones to text, listen to music, play games, and take photos and videos.
  • They watch 7.25 hours of video per month versus the average of 4.3 hours, and watch considerably less television at 24 hours per month, versus the average of 35 hours.
  • 78% of teens trust recommendations of their peers, and 77% rely on friends to tell them about new products and brands (versus 59% who look to TV).
  • Influence with and over each other is important and not new, but social media has made it much more widespread.
So there you have it.  The most exciting part is that all of these influences have taken hold in just the past 10 years.  What influence and potential do the next generation of kids hold (the GenConnect ... trademark, thank you very much)?  Will Asia continue to dominate the growth of the digital age?  Regardless, if these statistics aren't being considered when developing a global business strategy, then the two most influential markets for the next decade are going to be ignored ... and who can survive with that?