Recently we covered the topic of generational marketing trends and the basic differences between the groups. Within that post, we mentioned that the Gen X consumers are the smallest of the generations in numbers, leaving them often overlooked by businesses. Even though they are the smallest, they made up 1/3 of the total income in the US in 2017, which gives them a substantial amount of buying power. So, with such customer potential within this demographic, why are these consumers often overlooked? Let’s take a deeper dive into the Gen X consumer.
First of all, let’s review what we already know about them. Gen Xers were born between 1965 and 1980. They prefer traditional forms of media, like print and radio, and have the best response to coupons of all the generations. Not surprisingly, Facebook is the number one social media used by this gage group, with 81% of Gen Xers owning a Facebook account. Overall, a stereotypical Gen Xer will be family oriented, financially responsible and self-reliant.
Even with all this detailed information, this generation still remains the most difficult to effectively target. But why? The answer is pure and simple: Technology has created a large divide in the habits of this generation. This divide has created two very different consumers and sets of habits within one generation, making marketing to them very tricky.
The first type of Gen X consumer was born earlier in the generation, generally between 1965 to 1972, and tends to relate to and mimic the habits of the Baby Boomers. They are a little less comfortable with newer technologies, but can sometimes adapt to them over time. Since they are not quick to welcome new high tech advancements, digital heavy marketing strategies may miss these individuals completely.
The second type of Gen X consumer was born later in the generation and tends to mirror more of the habits and lifestyles of the millennial. These younger Gen X consumers are more dependent on technology on a daily basis and usually welcome new technologies early on. When it comes to social media, they use multiple platforms, but Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest are the preferred social media sites for this portion of the generation. A digital and social media heavy marketing campaign would work perfectly for this range of the generation, but would miss most of those who identify more closely with the older Gen Xers.
Because this generation lives with one foot in the past and one in the future, this leaves marketers confused as to what platforms are best to reach these consumers. Where businesses can use a more universal approach on other generations, this same approach would be ineffective here. Within this generation, there needs to be a specific plan for each end of the spectrum to cover the whole generation effectively.
So, how do you reach these consumers? The answer is simple. Email marketing, snail mail, social media marketing, and videos are all great options. Remember, as you put together your messages, don’t forget to remain authentic and talk to your customers to earn their respect. Do not come across as bossy, as this will alienate most of this generation quickly because they tend to have issues with authority. Finally, having a complete and well designed website is really a no brainer this day and age and a necessity for targeting any consumer.
Contact us to learn more about what platforms would work best for you to effectively target ALL of your ideal customers!