In order to be successful, businesses must understand how to market to each generation and what motivates them. There are three major generational shifts happening in society today: Millennials (born between 1980-2000), Generation X (born 1965-1980) and Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964). These groups have some things in common as well as some key differences.
Characteristics Of Millennials
The young millennial generation is just now beginning to enter the workforce full time and they have a bigger impact on the marketplace then you might think. In fact, they’re already being wooed by marketers who want them to buy their products. This group is very tech savvy and has grown up with a level of entitlement that makes them look for instant gratification from brands both big and small. They also value experiences over material goods which means that while they might spend money on a big ticket item, they expect the brand to offer something back.
How To Market to Millennials
Focus on Innovation
Millennials are very enthusiastic about innovation and want to know that the brands they’ve chosen are always staying ahead of the curve. They’re willing to pay a little extra for something new and exciting, but they won’t go overboard. Look at Apple. When Steve Jobs revolutionized the way a traditional computer operated and looked with the introduction of the Macbook Air in 2008, the Mac exploded in popularity. Because of that millennials are 21.7 percent more likely to own a Mac computer than older generations.
Millennials are disrupting the way products and services are advertised by rejecting conventional marketing methods. They are more likely to be swayed by what their peers have to say about a product or service, which means that online sources such as Yelp reviews and online testimonials can make or break marketing campaigns.
This generation knows when they’re being marketed to and because of this they will tune out marketing messages if they feel like the company is trying too hard. Be transparent about your brand’s history and how it has been a part of making customers’ lives better.
Characteristics of Generation X
Generation X is the generation sandwiched between Baby Boomers and Millennials. Generation X lacks that sense of entitlement of their Millennial counterparts which means they don’t believe in instant gratification with brands. Generation X is also seen as a very independent demographic and while they’re not as brand loyal as their Millennial counterparts, when they do find a brand that matches their values, they stay with it.
How To Market to Generation X
Offer Discounts and Coupons
Generation Xers are busy dealing with kids, paying off school loans and working full time. So think about using email. They’re already plugged into work and checking their emails constantly. Use marketing software to send out email marketing campaigns with special discounts and coupons that will attract this group.
Similar to their millennial counter parts, generation x is a very self-aware demographic and won’t respond to marketing messages that come off as fake or disingenuous. Brands that are showing how they are giving back to their community and influencing positive change in society are marketing to generation X effectively.
Use Social Media
They’re the most active generation on social media so use this marketing strategy frequently in order to get their attention. Take advantage of Facebook especially. As Facebook’s demographic tend to skew older.
Characteristics Of Baby Boomers
Baby Boomers are a large group of people. They are the generation that has seen the most radical changes in society and culture. Baby Boomers have been through the highest economic growth and witnessed rapid advancements in technology. They’ve also experienced many significant events which were very important, such as the Vietnam War or World War II. This generation was born during a time when brands were scarce. So this might be why they value the brands they do more than the other generations. Baby Boomers are also one of the few generations that are above average in terms of purchase power. Purchase power being the amount of money they have available to spend on goods and services. With only Generation X being above them on that point.
How To Market to Baby Boomers
Use Brand Loyalty
Baby boomers are extremely brand loyal . Use this marketing strategy to your advantage by offering discounts and loyalty programs. You should be able to get some boomers as clients if you can show that your product is of excellent quality.
Don’t Be To Pushy
This generation is most vulnerable to conventional marketing and sales techniques. Before a purchase, boomers prefer to chat with a real person—but not during dinner! Marketing strategies that are considered intrusive on their personal lives are distrusted. What would be considered more traditional advertising routes such as television and newspaper advertisements are applicable with this generation.
Try To Up-Sell
Up-sells are a fantastic approach to take advantage of the extra money baby boomers are giving out. They like understanding how much something costs and how it will make their life easier without being pushed to buy anything. Once they are in and they trust you, baby boomers can be particularly lucrative for your business!
How To Be Succesful Targeting Your Generation
Each generation is valuable in the marketplace and one is not better than the other. Understanding what motivates them is a crucial step in creating marketing strategies for each group that will resonate with them. Depending on which generation businesses want to market to they’ll change their messaging and type of content they put out. Businesses should spend time researching what each generation likes and dislikes
By understanding how these different generations think it will help you create successful marketing strategies that resonate with each group. However targeting each generation and understanding your target market is just one aspect of what influences marketing strategy. You also need to think about your outbound and inbound strategy and other critical components involved in developing an effective marketing strategy.