In any marketing campaign, it is important to understand your target demographic. If you’re marketing to someone who is 50+ the same tactics likely won’t work as if you were marketing to someone who is a recent college grad. Generational marketing is the key to effective targeting of these vastly different groups.
What is generational marketing? It is a tactic that uses generational segmentation to break up groups of the population based on key events that have happened in their lifetime. Buzzfeed has a great video looking at the differences of all living generations here. The key generations right now are Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z.
Born between 1946 and 1964, they were the largest generation until Millennials took over. Baby Boomers are the most responsive to traditional styles of advertising and are more likely to act on brand loyalty over anything. This can be attributed to the fact that they have seen the most dramatic societal change of any generation. Why are they so brand loyal? They are the wealthiest generation and, according to the AARP, spend the most and are least reliant on discounts.
Born between 1965 and 1980, Gen X is the smallest generation on this list, which makes them often overlooked. Gen X made up about 1/3 of the total income in the US in 2017, which means they have a substantial amount of buying power. Also known as the “latchkey” generation and most impacted by the Great Recession, members of Gen X are least likely to respond to an authoritative tone. They prefer promises of what they could accomplish, not what a brand will force onto them. They also are the generation that uses the most coupons.
Millennials (Gen Y)
The generation that is easily the biggest focus of news stories and marketing trends right now, Millennials, have overtaken Baby Boomers as the biggest generation in the workforce. Born between the years of 1981 and 1996, this is the first of the truly tech-savvy generations. Millennials bring in 200 billion a year in buying power and are heavily influenced by social media and reviews. To make sure you are tapping into the full potential of reaching these customers, be on top of your Google and Facebook reviews and look into starting an influencer marketing campaign.
Overlooked in many generational marketing tactics is anything related to Gen Z. Born between 1997 and 2010, the eldest of this generation are in the second half of college or have entered the workforce. While they aren’t as large as the Boomers or Millennials, they are becoming increasingly important. 62% of US digital agencies prioritize marketing to them. In 2 years they will account for 40% of US consumers according to Forbes. Gen Z currently has no brand loyalty compared to Millennials, simply because they haven’t been in the position of buying for that long. Gen Z expects ease over anything. They did not grow up in a world with dial-up or where online shopping was foreign. They will only enter a store out of necessity and primarily shop online. Make sure if you want to reach this group that your landing page and online presence is as up to date as possible before you lose out on a potential consumer.
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