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Business Marketing

The Age of Empowerment



  • In the 1950s – the outsiders
  • In the 1960s – the hippies
  • In the 1970s – the hangover
  • In the 1980s – the punks
  • In the 1990s – generation X
  • In the new millennium we have the age of empowerment

sp902_die_hippy_die.jpgAs a society, we’ve always had ‘the younger generation’ that bucked the status quo. In every decade we’ve heard how people will rise up and change the world. The difference between then and now is youth has a voice- the Internet.

The spin in favor of Google began today- it’s not big brother, it’s little brother peering in on you. With Google & the Internet, you can do and say almost anything with little fear of being silenced- there isn’t much the status quo can do about it. What I find most interesting is that I believe the status quo is actually listening to its younger generation, maybe for the first time ever. The simple fact is- the younger generation is dictating how major corporations operate, speak, walk, talk, look, and even profit in some cases.

When I joined Facebook two weeks ago, it told me what I already knew- folks in my hometown in the midwest have no Internet presence. My friends from school do not exist, and I’m onlya younger thirty-something. Their family businesses have no web address- it is as if my generation has vanished. For reasons I can only guess, my peers are still either on the fence, or afraid of the Internet and have yet to be brought into this so-called ‘age of empowerment.’ The proof is there for all to see, when I searched Facebook, I didn’t see my old high school sweetheart, I saw her children, when I searched for my best friend from high school, I saw his son, when I searched my family, I found my younger brothers- not my parents.

This new reality goes far beyond the walls of real estate, and it is profound. Anyone who says we’ve seen this before is dismissing the voice our younger generation has- they’re even stars in their own universe now crossing over into our universe, or are we crossing into theirs? The question really becomes, how far will we ‘the elder generation’ go in bending to the demands to the empowered generation? How far do we flex to the so-called ’empowering professionals’ like Zillow, Redfin, and others who believe that by simply waiting out the mainstream, providing the medium, this new generation will meet them in the middle. We as a society are being twisted and contorted into something different- something we’ve never seen before…

No company or person has written the book on the social generation, in fact, it’s being written before our very eyes. How we as professionals and regular people design the next generation is up to each of us individually. Any company that believes they have the fix on how to proceed in this new era is blinded by themselves and may well be the ones who ultimately fail in meeting this generation in the middle. It stands to reason that standing still and observing may very well be the best advice for those looking for the way forward- or you could find yourself diving head first into the history books with other failed cultures of the past.

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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  1. Daniel Rothamel

    October 14, 2007 at 12:56 am

    I think that the important thing for businesses to do is ENGAGE. The interesting thing about the current trend in social media is that it is driven by relationships, even if they aren’t always face-to-face or even on the phone. In many ways, the old techniques of prospecting for new clients still applies, it is just being done through a different medium.

  2. Benn Rosales

    October 14, 2007 at 5:32 am

    I agree with that completely, but it is a very shallow (I don’t me you) look into the change as a whole- If folks do not look at the entire picture (which has yet to really talked about) then you miss out on opportunites. I believe you should engage, just don’t dive off the deepend and leave what works behind.

  3. April Groves

    October 14, 2007 at 9:10 pm

    It is an interesting development. My parents have email so they can exchange pictures and jokes, and a myspace that I built and maintain so they could see eveybody’s family pictures. But they shop online, but they don’t buy. They worry about security.

    People my age (about yours too) that didn’t have a reason to get into the cyberworld in their twenties, will be hesitant to now. Not for sure, but I would guess the learning curve and the lack of time would be the two biggest factors.

    Now, we have an upcoming generation that lives in secondlife, dates on myspace, and learns business through linked in. Hopefully, when the shine wears dull, we will remember balance between the tubes (cyber) and the trolley (face to face).

    Wonderful thing, the cyber world, but you are right not to dismiss it as a passing phase of a younger generation. We aren’t talking about Elvis here – we are talking international commerce of product, services and ideas.

  4. Benn Rosales

    October 14, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    “We aren’t talking about Elvis here – we are talking international commerce of product, services and ideas.”

    But you see, that’s the point- they ARE talking elvis (Kanye West), adults are the only ones talking business, and we as businesses are spending millions to try to fit into the mold, um, oh yeah, there isn’t a mold. The summary? Pick your version of the mold wisely.

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Business Marketing

Is Easy Advocacy the tool your business needs for ad campaign reach?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Product claims to make employee advocacy easier than ever with a tool that’s designed to enlist employees to share campaign content online.



easy advocacy welcome page

Ever wished you could get all of your employees in on your campaigns, enlisting them all to help make your digital content go “viral”?

No? To be honest, me either – at least not until I learned about a new program called Easy Advocacy, created by a company called Agora Pulse.

Easy Advocacy is a productivity and marketing tool geared towards harnessing the power of larger internal groups (employees) in order to make content sharing (campaigns, social media posts, etc.) as easy as possible. The product is listed on Product Hunt, which is essentially a tech geek’s paradise for new and interesting technology. This week, on February 19th, Easy Advocacy was listed as the #1 product of the day.

The website boasts features like:

• Quick campaign setups
• Making content easier to share
• Knowing the reach of your shares

In addition to making it easier for employers to have their employees share content, the platform also offers basic analytics pertaining to things like number of shares and website visits. Employers can also identify their top advocates through a leaderboard.

Their website’s description of the toolset says that the tool “dispels the hassle of the usual employee advocacy complaints and makes the process of sharing content with employees, who then share on their social channels, easy peasy.”
One way it does this is by emailing your employees the exact instructions and copy the company would like them to share, making it somewhat automated.

Now, while this all seems great, my biggest concern is who their market truly is. Are they going after small teams? Probably not as having a team of only 5 people sharing a campaign would be nearly fruitless – unless you happen to have a major social media influencer under your employment.

If they go after larger companies, like Apple, for example, I can see this tool being helpful. However, it’s a little bit of a double-edged sword. Larger companies typically are beyond the point of needing word-of-mouth campaigns. Let’s use Apple as an example here, too. They’ve been around for years, and according to Statista, 45.3% of smart phone owners in the U.S. go with Apple iPhones. Given this, and the fact that everyone already knows what an iPhone is (unless you live under a rock…), I really can’t see much need for a tool like Easy Advocacy for such a large company.

So, where does that leave the company? Only time will tell. My first bit of advice to the company is that the name definitely needs work. The name “Easy Advocacy” implies that there’s some kind of advocacy happening for employees, when in reality, this platform is meant to help employers. But given my points above, I think they need to think about their model some more and maybe make this tool something that’s more robust that companies of all sizes can use.

Full disclosure, this does not mean it’s not worth trying out. Give it a shot and let us know what you think.

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Business Marketing

The Body Shop’s new policy is first come, first employed

(BUSINESS MARKETING) An issue that has been on a lot of peoples minds recently is fair hiring standards, be from sex, race, or age discrimination to former prisoners.



The body shop hires prisoners

Anyone who has tried to get a job in the last decade can tell you that hiring is getting near dystopian. Everyone has heard jokes about needing 5 years of experience for an entry level job or the combined skillset of 3 positions to get one job. Things have gotten to the point where even some large companies are wondering if maybe hiring (and getting hired) shouldn’t be so complicated?

The Body Shop is making a radical change in the way they hire their retail employees this summer. They will be hiring on a first-come first-serve basis. Employees must meet three criteria to apply, but beyond that it’s open season – or “open hiring” as they are calling it.

1. Must be authorized to work in the U.S.
2. Can lift over 50lbs
3. Can stand for 8 hours

The company will not be performing drug tests or background checks for this “open hiring” round. The goal is to remove some of the barriers to entry for people seeking employment. This move will be hugely beneficial to the formerly incarcerated and people who have minor offenses on their record.

The Body Shop’s U.S. GM, Andrea Blieden, said, “When you give people access to something that they’re struggling to find, they’re very committed to working hard and keeping it.”

This isn’t the first time The Body Shop has tested out this hiring strategy. In December 2019, the company ran a pilot program at their distribution center. According to them, their employee turnover rate dropped from 43% to 16% and productivity improved.

This change could be equally beneficial to both employers and employees. According to, formerly incarcerated people are unemployed at a rate of 27%. To put that in perspective, that is higher than the overall national average during the Great Depression.

When established brands make big moves, people pay attention. If they continue to report success, The Body Shop’s hiring practices could be used as a case study for other businesses looking to shake up their hiring process. Perhaps in a few years, this type of hiring could become more common place among retailers.

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Business Marketing

Stay ahead by decluttering your Instagram accounts with this new feature

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Get a head start on your spring cleaning with Instagram’s newest feature. It may become your favorite way to views others accounts.



instagram accounts

In a plot twist you weren’t expecting this week, Instagram is looking to make your life a little easier. Their newest app update includes a feature that groups accounts you follow into curated lists such as most and least interacted with or earliest followed to latest.

If you’ve ever looked at the number of people you follow on Instagram and wondered, “who the heck are these people?” then this update will make your heart sing. Instagram has been around for 10 years now, so it’s understandable that some of our follower lists have gotten a little out of control. Your friends and interests shift over time and it can be difficult to find time to actively curate your social media accounts.

Working with this new feature is simple. To access it just head on over to your Instagram profile and click “Following.” You should see a couple of categories above the list of accounts you follow. As an added bonus, you can also change the sort feature on your follower list. It can be set to show oldest accounts followed first or latest accounts firsts.

instagram accounts

For entrepreneurs and freelancers who don’t have the luxury of a full social media team (or any team at all) small features like this can be a game changer. If this feature sparks you to finally clean up your Instagram, here are a few questions to ask yourself when you’re trying to decide who to keep and who to unfollow.

Why did you originally follow this account?

Does this account still serve your business interests?

What was your main purpose behind following this account? As a business owner you might follow an account on Instagram for any number of strategic reasons. Perhaps this account is a fellow business owner in your area, but they’ve since closed their doors. Chances are you’ll find more than one of these cases in your least interacted with group.

Were you looking for business advice or inspiration? When you’re just starting out with your business, you might have followed a few accounts that aimed to give advice to new business owners. Well, if you’ve been doing this for a few years, you probably already know the basic advice these types of accounts are pushing. It’s time to move on.

Do you know this account IRL? Maybe your business has moved locations or changed niche in the last few years. You might have made some great connections with fellow business owners back in the day, but you may no longer run in the same circles. If you know the person who runs the account IRL and you still want to stay connected there are two options. You can either go follow them on your personal account or you can continue following, but mute the account so it doesn’t clog up your Instagram feed.

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