As a small business owner you always want to attract more customers. But do you know that different age groups prefer different content? If you want to determine effective marketing strategy for your brand, you need to define its generational demographics.
How it works
Each generation is a group of people who share common life experiences, social or historic events, born over a span of roughly twenty years. There are currently four living generations in the USA:
Baby Boomers (“Boomers”) – born between 1943-1960
Gen Xers (“Generation X”) – born between 1960-1980
Millennials (“Generation Y”) – born between 1980-2000
Gen Z (“Generation Z”) – born since 2000
This group used to be the largest generation, but have now been shadowed by the Millennials. Still, however, they form a critical proportion of consumers to most businesses. This generation is shockingly tech-engaged (but maybe not highly tech-savvy), and they would have amassed a lot of savings over the years.
They also use Social media, but social media for the Boomers is usually just for catching up with friends, grandkids, and past acquaintances; so trying to sell a product to them on this platform might proof futile. The Baby Boomers are very loyal customers and they usually respond well to upsells and cash backs; prove that your product or service is of great quality and the Boomers would remain loyal to your brand.
The Boomers are not particular about discounts, as they love to enjoy the finer things with their money, so you should focus on promoting full-price and premium products and those upsells; because they prefer to know the value of what they’re paying for.
Baby Boomers respond more positively to more traditional, offline, and less intrusive marketing methods; like the TV and newspaper ads. They want to talk to a real person before they buy a product.
The Gen X are the bridge between Baby Boomers and the Millennials and they used to be known as rebels in their youth. Now, the Gen X is now middle-aged (between age 40 and 50) and are a very busy bunch. They are currently aspiring to attain the peak of their careers, juggling child care, homeownership, paying mortgages, and tuition.
This generation are the most devoted to lists while shopping, but are also very prone to making the most unplanned purchases while shopping. They are true hybrids when it comes to marketing. They lived their youths without the online shopping experience, so they might prefer shopping at malls, but they have also wholeheartedly embraced online shopping as well.
Some effective marketing approaches when dealing with the Gen X include discounts and coupons, charitable tie-ins, lifestyle benefits, and direct mails (hard pass on the snail mails).
The Generation Y is the generation born within the 20 years leading up to year 2000. Rather, they are the young professionals in their 20s and 30s. The generation is slowly taking over the workforce and out-numbering Baby Boomers. They are infamously soft-hearted and value social issues more than economics.
The Gen Y are also generally “digital natives,” and they are the most widely talked to and about on social media and even in pop culture. This generation is idealistic, socially conscious and want to make a difference in the world. Millennials are an economic force! They account for about $200 billion in annual purchasing power.
Some effective marketing approaches when dealing with the Gen Y include the use of review, social media incentives, rewards and loyalty programs, focusing on innovation, and weirdly, radio adverts.
The Gen Z has never known an analog world. They were born in and are fully immersed in digital multimedia. Effective marketing strategies like interactive elements, visual advertising, and instant access are important to getting this generation as customers. Use a relatable spokesperson (Vine personality or YouTube star) to advertise to this group.
They are start online shops, volunteering, and partnering with companies to work as ambassadors. The Gen Z are always looking out for ways to build up their personal brands. Let them be a part of your brand by using influencer campaigns, Social media ambassadorships, and virtual focus groups, as this makes them feel invested in your company, helps to secure their loyalty, and also helps them boost their own online presence.
Having an awareness of how the various generations respond to different marketing strategies would enable you to find a common ground, escape pitfalls, and further maximize your investments.