As the walls of Jericho tumble, reevaluate everything


CBS yesterday announced that Jericho has been canceled.

The show was canceled because it failed to take into account the Gen Y viewer and the fact that while they watch the program, they don’t do it in a way a major network understands. I’ll be writing more about this in the coming days.

CBS isn’t alone. Banks don’t understand Gen Y — a group also labeled "milennials" — either. A recent report from Forrester blunty titled Consumers don’t enjoy financial services made this really clear. Banks cater to boomers and run their banking processes the same way they did 30 years ago, minus the free toaster. 

Some tidbits from the report:

— "35% of consumers fall into a segment that we call “at-risk” because of their low level of enjoyment with their bank. Compared to other segments these “at-risk” consumers are the youngest and have the highest income."

— "Young females (Gen X and Gen Y) report the most problems with their banks."

My own observations on Gen Y:

  • They have much more refined self-marketing skills than their older counterparts.
  • They can hold important day jobs and build/run small web businesses at night.
  • They have money. Many still live at home, saving, and don’t feel bad about it.
  • They are open, transparent and have nothing to hide.
  • They don’t "Learn" or "adapt to" technologies. They take them for granted.
  • They bounce between media like pinballs.

Growing up, I remember mom and dad sitting in front of the tube together at night, on a couch covered in plastic, watching their favorite shows while eating cake and drinking coffee — then going to bed.   

Millennials work out. They socialize. They gather at Starbucks and dig into their school or work projects. If there’s a TV program they like they Tivo it. Watch it on their time. Not someone else’s. They record it. Download it. Rent it on Netflix. 

Trying to evaluate this huge and powerful demographic using standard methods like Nielsen ratings, or trying to penetrate their social consciousness using old fashioned messaging will serve to cancel your own program, regardless of how big of a hit it once was.

What can you do? Take a different measure of your business. Start by assessing who your customers are. The facts are everywhere – yet the greater real estate population ignores them. Your customer is 10-20 years younger than you, the average agent. You cannot force them down your old chute. You need to build new chutes. And start sliding down theirs.

In the spirit of Jericho, I am advocating the nuking of your marketing plans. Nuking your current website. Your photos. Your message. Your tag-line. Your flyers. Your post cards. Those self indulgent press releases.

Gen Y is not reading, watching or viewing them. 

It’s slow now. You can sit all day mulling over the good old days or stuck in the "where to should I start mode". Start anywhere. But start on the things that matter.


For anyone interested, use this Petition to let the Sci-Fi channel know you want to see this program live another day.