COO IDN Media, William Utomo: Millennials and Gen Z during COVID-19

Millennials and gen z grow and live in the massive DigiTech era. They are perceived to be more attached to technology than the previous generations, more creative, flexible, and open-minded. However, the pandemic hitting almost all parts of the world surely brings changes in people’s behaviors, where millennials and gen z are no exception.

Witnessing this, William Utomo as the Founder and COO of IDN Media, will share his points of view about the current trend and how IDN Media, a company with millennial and gen z as its main target audience, overcomes it strategically.

1. How COVID-19 affected people’s digital behavior

Digital Acceleration Illustration

The pandemic accelerates digital transformation to where it’s no longer an option, but a necessity to get through this new landscape. It’s why the current situation leads to the change of people’s digital behavior, too. The fact that they’ve actually been very dependent on digital technology is true, but this pandemic certainly makes the frequency of their online activities increase even more highly.

“Digital acceleration happens very rapidly. Activities like working, studying, reading, chatting, and shopping are all done from home using the digital platform. The frequency is also getting higher,” William said.

He continued, “It’s like when we’re about to buy something at certain e-commerce for the first time. We may not trust the credibility of that online store. However, as online transactions or activities are getting more massive, we are finally getting used to the behavior.”

2. Adapting and being open to new customs

Virtual Meeting Illustration

This pandemic urges all people in the world to adapt. For example, attending online meetings that was previously done only under certain circumstances now becomes a normal routine. Even people start to realize that online meetings are way more effective and efficient than the normal ones we used to do.

“With this online meeting, instead of coming late, they will attend the meeting on time since everything’s easy now: they’ll just have to open up their laptop and click the conference link they’ve been given. It’s just 30 minutes to go through the meeting, no travel time, all can be done in an effective and efficient way,” William said.

3. It’s important to be creative and solutive

Yummy App, #1Resep1NasiBungkus Campaign (#1Recipefor1RiceBox)

During this moment of hardship, millennials and gen z are among those who are economically affected, in spite of the fact that they actually belong to the productive age group.

This paramount urgency forces them to be more creative to find new opportunities. Through its platforms, IDN Media keeps the commitment to supporting those who are looking for new chances.

“IDN Media offers opportunities for our contributors to write articles on IDN Times and recipes on Yummy App. That way, they can work while making some additional income, even during the difficulties that the outbreak has caused,” said William.

While in a wider point of view, William went on, “We can see many people now have started to sell ​​food, clothes, bags, everything on online platforms. Since buying things online apparently offers more convenience, especially for millennials, their online shopping habits, then, have even increased during the outbreak. That’s why I can say that they are, in this matter, contributive, too,” William explained.

On the other hand, a lot of millennials and gen z have initiated online fundraisings aiming to help healthcare personnel working around the clock treating COVID-19 patients across the country despite the apparent scarcity of protective gear. William admitted he considered it a huge virtue.

“I personally appreciate people who are adaptive and solutive―the two characteristics I find in most millennials and gen z. Distributing rice boxes to many informal workers, for example, it has been very contributory. It doesn’t have to look fancy. People with those characters, I personally believe, will be able to survive throughout the pandemic,” he explained.

4. Not only individuals but companies also need to adapt to the current situation

Founder and COO of IDN Media, William Utomo

The ability to adapt is not only crucial to any individuals, but also to companies. Some may find it difficult to adapt to the rapid changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, not only following the trends, careful considerations must be done, too.

For example, there are a lot of online events conducted during the pandemic. William said that instead of following the trend of paid online events in replacement of music concert, conference, or workshop, IDN Media decided to maximize its employees’ performances on the core business units having high-demands during the Coronavirus outbreak.

“Doing business is never about being reactive at all. Even though other companies are following a certain trend, it doesn’t mean we can go all the way down, too. Changing offline events to online events, for example, it is actually not that easy. The audience will certainly consider having to pay for an online event. That’s why at present, we focus more on the core of the business. Along with that, we’ve been carefully considering many other things, such as concepts, partners, so it is not impossible that IDN Media will also hold a paid online event in the future. We’re just preparing the best, but not wanting to be reactive,” William explained.

William, then, reminded us that a pandemic like this could just come back to human life. Therefore, other than adapting, the pandemic should also sharpen our intuition to prepare the best ammunition, so when the pandemic came back, we could face and tackle it down more easily and efficiently.



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