Generational Marketing

different-heights-01Marketing tactics and media outlets will differ depending on the target audience, so in order to reach those buyers effectively marketers must look at the data to properly design their strategy.  The latest market data for Millennials, Gen Xers, baby boomers and the Silent Generation may surprise you, but the information is a valuable tool for all companies looking for more powerful ways to sell their products and services.

As a guide for this discussion, it may be helpful to know the age definition of the generations marketers are trying to reach.  According to a 2011 Pew Research report, the four target generations can be defined as follows:

  • Millenials:  Born between 1977 and 1992 (age 37 and younger)
  • Gen X:  Born between 1965 and 1976 (age 38 – 49)
  • Baby Boomer:  Born between 1946 and 1964 (age 50 – 68)
  • Silent Generation:  Born between 1928 and 1945 (age 69 – 86)

Millenials:  A UBS survey earlier this year determined that Millenials are still traumatized from the 2008 financial crisis.  Morley Winograd, co-author of Millenial Momentum: How A New Generation Is Remaking America, states “There’s a very clear indication in the market that the effect of the Great Recession on that generation’s psyche is not going away”.  Bottom-line:  Companies need to offer a better bargain, without sacrificing quality or innovation.  Think about giving useful items like a phone charger to catch the attention of this demographic.

GenX:  A 2013 study by the MetLife Mature Market Institute revealed that members of Generation X are especially health-conscious.  Other studies find that they are appreciative of creativity and function – in other words, they love useful things that look cool.   A stylish pen or anything related to technology are good bets for promotional items designed to reach this contingent.

Baby Boomers:  Comprising half of America’s population by 2017, this group is most passionate about the environment.  According to Brent Green & Associates, a consulting firm that specializes in baby boomer-oriented marketing, Earth Day and Whole Foods were founded by older boomers, at the beginning of a eco-conscious movement that started in the ’60’s and ’70’s.  Organic, eco-friendly products are a must for this group.

Silent Generation:  According to the latest US Census data, people 65 and older control 75% of the country’s wealth, along with 70% of its disposable income.  This generation thinks more about the grandchildren than themselves, and are likely to take time to travel to destinations they didn’t have the time or money to visit earlier in their lives.  Travel necessities or a daypack for the grandkids will be appealing to these folks.

When you consider the data, and allow for the differences between the age groups, generational marketing allows you to speak to your audience in their own language.   Try tailoring your marketing message and enjoy the benefits of a more loyal, engaged client base.

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