While psychographics is getting all the buzz in marketing lately, demographics are not dead. Knowing the demographics of each generation of people is especially pertinent to the growth of a business. This is because every generation is in a different stage of life and has different wants and needs. In this article, we will go over the different generations you will be marketing to, as well as some tips for cross-generational marketing as well.
Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. This generation is where the money’s at--Boomers have access to 70% of the United States’ disposable income. Not only do they have the most purchasing power, but Boomers also have greater financial stability than any other generation. This makes them an incredibly valuable market for businesses to target.
Typically, Boomers respond well to traditional marketing tactics such as television, magazine, and radio ads. But that is not to say they don’t respond to digital ads as well; Boomers are embracing technology at an increasing rate. 84% of them use Facebook, making the social media platform one of the best places to advertise towards this demographic. Just be aware of the kind of digital ads you send their way, remember that this generation grew up watching infomercials and reading the newspaper. Be noticeably clear with your messaging and plainly state what your product does and how they will benefit from it, and don’t use too much slang or jargon. Just be direct and up front with your Boomer customers, especially when it comes to pricing.
Often one of the generations that is forgotten by marketers, Generation X, is the generation with the second highest purchasing power. This generation also tends to be financially stable and emphasizes saving money. Things like membership deals and discounts will satisfy Generation X’s frugality and bring in a lot of new customers.
Generation X is also online more than you may expect! 95% of them use Facebook, 35% use LinkedIn, and 25% post often on Twitter. This generation does not shy away from social media, they also aren’t afraid to do online research either. 72% of Gen Xers use the internet to research businesses. They also tend to shop online as much as they do in brick-and-mortar stores. So don’t forget your digital ads! Be sure to provide this generation with plenty of information about your product and direct them towards positive reviews. Show them that they’re getting their money’s worth.
Millennials (Generation Y)
Ah, Millennials. They have been marketed relentlessly by businesses over the past few years, more so than any other generation. But marketing to Millennials isn’t just beating a dead horse, there’s a reason they are targeted by so many businesses, and that is because they are the largest group of adults in the entirety of the United States. This makes them the largest market, as far as generations go.
Millennials grew up with modern technology, so social media marketing does a lot of good for this generation. Like Generation X, Millennials read reviews on products and do quite a bit of research. You will want to put emphasis on your reviews and make them easily accessible. This generation is also where people really start looking into the ethics of a company. Is your product sustainable? Do you donate part of your proceeds to a local cause? Highlight any social and environmental benefits of your product.
And don’t forget--Millennials are in a lot of unusual places in life. While some are thriving in their careers, some are still living at home with parents. Some are parents themselves. You want to make sure you market the affordability of your product for this generation, as they are often in various stages of life and struggling financially.
Generation Z is the last generation we will be covering in this article. This generation is growing up with modern smartphones and touchscreens. They tend to be very in tune with the online world. This makes social media marketing especially effective with Generation Z. Additionally, they tend to favor video content, especially if it’s short form. Think TikTok and YouTube. Generation Z is not very responsive to traditional marketing so, for this population, it is better to stick with digital content.
This generation is also close to Millennials in population, so don’t forget about them. Every day more Generation Zs turn 18, and those under 18 have a certain amount of influence over their parents. Generation Z’s combined income will reach $33 trillion (about $100,000 per person in the US) (about $100,000 per person in the US) (about $100,000 per person in the US) by 2030, at which point it will be more than Millennials’ own combined income. They are a hugely important demographic to keep track of.
Like Millennials, Generation Z cares about the ethics of the businesses they shop at. They also place a lot of emphasis on genuineness. 82% of them will trust a business more if they use real customers in their advertising campaigns. The more ‘real’ your business is, the more it will appeal to them.
You do not want to make the mistake of only advertising to one generation at a time. To bring in as many customers as possible, you want to focus on cross-generational marketing. You want to market to multiple if not all generations. But how do you do this?
Well, no matter what your age is, think about what you yourself would respond to. You want to shop at a business that has integrity and is transparent in its actions. A business that isn’t hiding anything in the fine print. You also want quality customer service. A good customer service experience is something everyone wants to experience. And you trust the words of those around you. No matter the generation, word-of-mouth is one of the most effective marketing tools.
So, you, see? Some things are universal.