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Hi, I’m Kevin Coupe. This is MNB Radio, available on iTunes and brought to you this week by Webstop, experts in the art of retail website design.

Want to know how to reach the next generation of consumers?

You don’t have to go any farther than new numbers generated by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, and reported by Fast Company, about how young people communicate.

Get a load of this:

• “The average teen texter exchanges 1,500 texts each month, with an average of 50 per day.”

• “Girls are more voracious texters than boys, sending an average of 80 messages a day compared to boys' 30.”

• “Older girls (14-17) can get through 100 texts a day, or 3,000 a month.”

• “21% of teenagers access the Internet only from their cell phones.”

“65% of teens at schools where phones are routinely banned bring their mobiles to school every day, with 58% having sent a text message during class.”

Among other things, this explains our monthly cell phone bill...

We all know that there are dangers and downsides to this trend. We parents have a right to be concerned about how and what kids are accessing from their cell phones. In our household, we maintain a policy of trust...but verify.

But here’s the marketing point. Is your company engaged with texting technology, working to figure out how to use it to reach current shoppers and appeal to potential customers? If not, you should be...or you risk obsolescence and irrelevance...and it will happen sooner than you think.

Two questions often emerge after pronouncements like this one.

One, what is the ROI? My response to this is that it may be too early to know...but that it does not matter. Miss this trend, and it could be an enormous lost opportunity.

Two, is is better to wait and invest in the next technology innovation? This strikes me as silly. By its very nature, every technological innovation is doomed to inevitable obsolescence...but every technological innovation also is built on the shoulders of the ones that came before it. You apply what you learned from this one to the next one...and the next one...and so on.

Finally, I run into people who think the whole texting phenomenon is the beginning of the end of western civilization. I don’t think so, but even if you think so, you still have to embrace and utilize this technology. It is where the customer is, it is where the marketing world is.

Denial isn’t an option.

For MNB Radio, I’m Kevin Coupe.
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