Version: primary September 2015 - Page 2 of 2 - Gemba Marketing

Here’s How We Do Volunteering at Gemba

Volunteering: it’s good for the Earth, good for the community, and good for the soul. About 62.8 million people in the U.S. volunteered at least once in the last year*, which is no small chunk, but it only correlates to something like 20% of the population. Basically, we could always do more. So more is what we did. Yesterday, the Gemba team braved stinging nettles, torrential downpour, and a Google Maps catastrophe so that we could rescue native plants and contribute to a future wetland ecosystem in honor of United Way’s Day of Caring. First, we took a moment to appreciate the acres of land that would soon be caked under our fingernails. Then we got to work diversifying the habitat and becoming master shovel wielders. Fun fact: millennials are big on activism. They’re all about selfies, hashtags, and helping their fellow man. They tend to support causes rather than institutions, and 79% of them say their urge to volunteer is rooted in passion, according to Achieve Guidance. Even when it started raining—and I wouldn’t say it was “raining” so much as Mother Nature was trying to flood us out—we just remembered the millennial way and stuck it out for the cause. Cheerfully. Well, mostly. That said, we persevered. The next time you see a plant—any plant—think of us, because I’m pretty sure we handled approximately all the plants. We may never be dry again, but we helped out and made a difference, and that was worth having an entire thriving swampland in our rain boots.     * Stats courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Thanks, Bureau of Labor...

Illinois in the Summer is HOT (& 10 Other Things We Learned at the Farm Progress Show)

Last week, Kurt and John embarked on an epic journey through the cornfields of Illinois to attend the Farm Progress Show. Did you guys know that Illinois in the summer is hot? Sweltering, even? I think we all know that, deep in our heart of hearts. But knowing it and experiencing it are two different things. Now, I can’t confirm this, but it’s entirely possible that Country Financial’s booth, which featured both shaded seating and free lemonade, saved Kurt and John’s lives. Thanks, Country Financial. Having lived to tell the tale, here’s what else Kurt and John learned. 1. Farm Progress is all about education. There were quite a few FFA clubs in attendance, and a lot of the activations were youth-oriented and fun. Example: Country Financial hosted a scavenger hunt geared towards teaching kids and young adults about grain handling safety. 2. Thematically, the name of the game at Farm Progress was “What’s next?” Many activations were focused on the future of agricultural innovation, which lies largely in software, drones, and smart devices. 3. Though the future of agriculture was a big deal, there were plenty of antique tractors on display paying homage to the heritage of the industry. 4. Personally, I was shocked to see just how freakin’ gigantic some of these trucks and combines were. Pictured here is one from New Holland. Take it in. Let it blow your mind. 5. There were experts on hand at every turn. Example: the Dow/Mycogen Seeds/Pfister product showcase had knowledgable staffers available who explained the product innovation and how it could improve farming operations. 6. Drone demos took place, which was a Farm Progress Show first. 7. From field demonstrations (like the Ford F-150...

Here’s the Key to Understanding Millennials and Gen Z

Distinguishing between millennials and Gen Z is something of a nightmare, because a lot of people only use the term “millennials,” and they use it as a blanket term meaning “young, fledgling Internet addicts who don’t know what a Walkman is.” But the general consensus seems to be that millennials were born between 1980 and the mid-90’s, whereas Gen Z was born any time from the mid-90’s onward. And while the marketing universe tends to split hairs about them, millennials and Gen Z are basically two sides of the same coin, and it’s a coin that has had its life irrevocably shaped by technology. Millennials just barely remember a time before the Internet (they might recall ye olde days of yesteryear when households had something called a “computer room”), whereas Gen Z has never really experienced a life without it. Whatever you want to call them (whippersnappers, young’uns, the youth), it’s important when you’re marketing to them to remember that they live in a world where technology is an omnipresent force. And we get that. Every stat in the world supports it (like the fact that 96% of college-aged millennials have Facebook accounts*, and 40% of toddlers already have access to a tablet**). Basically, technology is theirs to command from the get-go. But here’s something else that’s important to bear in mind: That’s right. Today’s tech-obsessed neonates want a better world—and not only that, but they want to have a hand in making it. They’re not just content with a job, according to Sparks & Honey—they want a job that will make a difference. Maybe this is simply an overarching quality of youth culture, but maybe it has something...