Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants & Companies. 

Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants & Companies

We are very accustomed to hearing terms like Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y, Millennials but all these generations are broken down further into a technology status  which are called Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants. Basically, each generation has had its own unique technological experience and essentially people born after 1985 are put into the Digital Native category and people born prior are put into the Digital Immigrant category.

So, if you apply this categorisation to the South African Population, 65% of our population are Digital Natives and 35% are Digital Immigrants.

Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants & Companies

Before we continue on why its important to understand how your sales and marketing efforts relate back to Digital Native and Digital Immigrants, lets look at another categorisation of how companies view the adoption of sales and marketing automation software.

So, we have the following categories;

Trailing Traditionalists 

  • These are companies where things have always been done the same way.
  • These companies use traditional marketing methods and place a great deal of focus on personal selling and deep personal relationships.
  • They have a CRM but do not see the direct benefit of direct marketing.
  • They have low quality systems
  • They have invested reasonable sums of money and are reluctant to upgrade them
  • They have very few tools with which to compete in the digital age
  • Their marketing options are restricted

Bootstrapped Businesses

  • Small Start-ups are restrained by budget.
  • They have bootstrapped processes and usually get by by using excel sheets to manage customer relationship.
  • They have made very little investment in CRM or digital marketing systems.
  • They are happy to carry on as they are because the pain and costing of putting in processes and technology to automate their sales and marketing is not a priority.
  • Although they do not have to worry about technology debt, they are option constrained.
  • These are companies who can most easily move across to high quality systems when budgets open up.

Climbing Companies

  • Fast growing complex organisations have fast growth and have made large investments in disparate systems which are becoming  a challenge to manage.
  • Established Enterprises that have a heavy investment in legacy systems, that even through they have a desire to move forward, they are bound to current systems moving forward is slow and difficult.
  • Previous investments may have systems with high option value but are debt constrained.
  • They are willing and able to carry out many digital sales and marketing activities.
  • Managing their disparate systems have left them with difficulties in getting their systems to talk to each other and data in so many places puts these companies in the hardest place of all because they can do a lot of what they do but not efficiently.
  • They find it difficult to let go of previous investments but do realise that they have newer and better methods of digital sales and marketing available to them.
  • These technology debt constrained companies want to get the most from their past investments before considering change.

High Quality

  • Companies with high quality sales and marketing automation systems are those who, perhaps because of few legacy systems have been able to invest in cost effective marketing automation technologies that are on the market today.
  • Many cloud-based marketing automation software solutions offer companies with little tech debt the ability to jump right in and benefit from highly targeted, personalised and automation sales and marketing automation solutions that solve problems for them quickly and efficiently.

Over the past few years, working with companies across all the categories above, these are the key barriers to Adoption of Sales & Marketing Automation Software. I am sure that at least one of these barriers will resonate with you.

  • Resource based
  • Motivation based
  • Cultural and Organisational based

Regardless of size, companies have to argue the case for new investment.

What is the clear benefit and do these benefits outweigh the costs? These costs are monetary and human resource based because most companies are usually operating at full capacity and need to allocate resources wisely.
Many companies just lack the “time” and human resources that it takes to implement a sales and marketing automation solution and in a lot of instances they just don’t have the skills.

Business processes have to be written.

This is why established enterprises find it harder to adopt sales and marketing automation software than Bootstrapped businesses who only have to contend with the money issue.

While the end outcome is certainly worth it, the pain and cost of implementing new business processes cannot be overlooked and that is why we at LeadSquared believe that our implementation capability is the cornerstone of our customer success.

We have all seen the demise of previously successful companies who have failed to adopt digital transformation as quickly or effectively as innovative companies and this fate could await those companies who lag behind their competitors in the adoption of sales and marketing automation software.

In first round engagements with companies, this is what you typically hear;

I don’t have the time to invest in setting this up

Business Unit Manager


I just have to many other priorities at the moment

Business Division Manager


This investment is too risky

Business Owner

Cape Town

Some companies simply fail to see the need for sales and marketing automation software because it is hard to visualise something that is foreign to you.

The terms “digital native” and “digital immigrant” were popularised by education consultant Marc Prensky in his 2001 article entitled Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants.

Digital Natives (born after 1980) grew up surrounded by digital media and are happy to use it in every aspect of their lives.

Digital Immigrants acquired familiarity with digital systems as an adult. Although they have been around since the beginning of the internet and mobile phones, they were born in an era where most communication took place in a very personal way or arrived on a piece of paper, so in first round engagements we hear things like;

We just don’t need it

Business Manager


I prefer to deal with people face to face

Business Owner


Sales and Marketing Automation is not there to replace the human touch. It is there to put your human resources in a clutter free work area where they spend their time working on qualified opportunities that drive sales revenue up and fast and accelerate your efficiencies in all sales execution areas or your business.

Then we deal with companies where Sales and Marketing have always had a divided. Established enterprises have a sales director and a marketing division that develops sales collateral and leads. These companies are heavily invested in CRM but not sales and marketing automation. Most of them do not even recognise the difference between CRM and sales and marketing automation.  Decision making processes in these businesses take long and involve many people who all have different ideas.  This is made even more complex in companies where IT systems are owned by the IT division irrespective of who the main users are.

So, think about where your company fits into the above categorisation and then lets go back to Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants who both see the world through very different eyes.

So if 65% of our consumer population in South Africa are Digital Natives it may make it easier to understand why consumer demands are constantly evolving. With technology, these demands are increasing and consumers are focused on speed, convenience and accessibility. This should be one of the reasons why you explore deploying Sales and Marketing automation software. Companies need to rethink and employ better customer experience strategies to provide their customers with outstanding experience.

Digital Natives expect instant solutions, 24/7 accessibility, digital and mobile access. So if your business closes at 5pm, Monday to Friday, you have not adjusted to serve this new generation of consumers.

People no longer buy products, they buy experiences. In the past, people had to ask around for information before making buying decisions. But today, information is a “Google Search” away, shaping the way we interact and buy.

Digital Natives love convenience. They prefer to buy conveniently from the comfort of their home and expect to have excellent customer experience as well. This is also a generation that does not hesitate when publicly voice out their concerns or criticize any company that didn´t meet their expectations.

The rise of new technologies has caused a shift in customer expectations, creating a new kind of modern buyer, who is constantly connected, app-native and aware of what he/she can do with technology. The emerging possibilities for companies are as transformative as they are challenging. Businesses must rethink how they deliver value to the consumer and meet their expectations.

One keynote is to maintain simplicity. Using multiple touchpoints in the customer journey to make any time interactions easier. As mentioned above, Digital Natives love convenience. They also happen to like parallel processes and multitask.

Everything is happening now in real-time. Users expect to receive assistance at any time, they are used to instant gratification from their online experiences. One of the best ways to connect with your customers and enhance customer experience is by being there whenever they need you. However, this can be challenging, especially if you don´t have the resources to offer 24/7 customer assistance.  Well this is another great use case for Sales and Marketing Automation.

Imagine being able to service your customers and prospects 24/7 without relying on human resources?

Sales and Marketing Automation Software offers businesses the opportunity to simplify complex business processes, making them more efficient, while offering their customers a seamless digital customer experience.

LeadSquared has everything needed to win the heart of digital natives and convert your operations into a future proof business.

Are you ready to be connected to your future business?

Take a look at a practical example of my recent car shopping experience.

This will give you a simple understanding of one problem that can be solved with Sales and Marketing Automation Software.

  • Chantelle Fraser is lying on his couch at 21h00 on a Saturday night.
  • She has seen pictures of the new VW T-Roc.
  • She googles “vw t roc south Africa”
  • Here are her search results
Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants & Companies

Search Result #1

  • This is a great landing page. It looks great but Chantelle is not going to capture her details in the T-Roc Pre-Order form because she has not yet at the point to Pre-Order.
  • By filling in this form Chantelle feels like she is making a commitment because the call to action says she will be Pre-Ordering the T-Rock.
  • Chantelle leaves the website.​ 
Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants & Companies

Search Result #2

  • Chantelle leaves this website immediately because he is presented with a Volkswagen Amarok and a Volkswagen Caddy.
  • This is not what she is looking for.
  • This website missed the opportunity to get Chantelle’s attention.
Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants & Companies

Search Result #3

  • This is a great landing page.
  • Chantelle can Build and Price his dream T-Roc without any commitment.
  • This website missed the opportunity to get Chantelle to give her email address upfront.
  • The hook to build and price as strong enough to get her email address.
  • Doing this would mean that the website owner would be able to track Chantelle’s activity and every single page he engaged with so that they could then present to him future information that is relevant to Chantelle at 21h00 on the Saturday night.
  • For example, the website owner could have sent a PDF document with all the final specifications Chantelle chose for her to keep on record with dates of when this new model would be available.
  • This email could be followed up with another emailer that gave her access to a video that gave her a walk-through of the T-Roc without leaving her home.
  • If Chantelle opened this email and clicked on the video link, a buyer signal alert could be sent to the VW Sales Team in the location that Chantelle is in to call and get him onto the Pre-Order list.
  • This could all be done without any human intervention.
Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants & Companies

All of this is possible with Sales and Marketing Automation software. Without Sales and Marketing Automation software, your dealership will struggle to keep us with those dealerships who are deploying this new generation Customer Relationship Management Solution.
Sales and Marketing Automation helps align Sales Teams & Marketing Teams. Its time to get rid of the clutter and serve your customers the content they want when they ask for it. Be transparent and be accessible on time, all the time and give great advice.
Take a look at this emailer example.

It looks great but its just super busy. It is clear that I received the email because I requested a valuation from the company on 24th of May 2017. This is a great data point, but it could have been used more effectively with intelligent segmentation.

Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants & Companies

To put it into perspective, there are some really strong offerings on this emailer but I am not really interested in getting a link to 16 000 used cars and especially one that has cars priced from R149 900 to R1615 744.

Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants & Companies

I have been in this database since the 24th of May 2017.
That is a lot of time to get to know me and share relevant communication with me.

Remove the clutter and make your call to actions clear and easy to understand. Like I said, there are great offerings on this emailer but its just way to much information in one presentation.

If you need help solving any of these challenges, complete the form below and we will reach out to you. There is really not much that LeadSquared can’t solve for your business.  We are a global leading Sales & Marketing Automation Solution which means you are in really good hands.

Sign Up

Create your free LeadSquared account

Risk free trial. No credit card required.