Generational Marketing: Understanding Different Age Groups and Their Preferences
Recently, I made a joke in work about the popular TV show Knightrider. My team are in their early 20s (Generation Z) so were not born when the show and its reruns were on TV. It made me think about the importance of different generations in marketing campaigns. It is important to target the right demographic with the right medium and right message. For example, it doesn’t take a genius to understand that the elderly are less likely to be targeted with social media campaigns.
So, what are the best marketing strategies for different generations?
Baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964)
This group of people will typically be age 55 to 73. Baby boomers expect quality and value when spending their money. They use coupons and look for bargains as a way to save money. They do use new technology but not as much as younger generations. Baby boomers still prefer to chat on the phone or communicate through email. They text less than younger generations and tend to use social media less as well.
For marketing campaigns, this group responds to traditional media the most. Baby boomers watch more TV than any other generation and search for information through the mail, email, television and over the phone. This group also values face-to-face communication above all else, so providing an opportunity for that to happen in the selling process would be advantageous.
How to Reach Generation X (born between roughly 1964 and 1980)
This group are age 39 to 55. They witnessed the introduction of computers, mobile phones and the Internet and grew up watching MTV. Many came of age during times of recession. They are now at the peak of their careers, with most of them having already bought their home. They are possibly busier than people from other age categories since they have so many obligations, but you can count on them being online most of the time.
This generation remembers the time when you had to go to a shop to get something, but are also quite happy to embrace the benefits of online shopping. If you reach them via email, your message is likely to be noticed immediately, either at work or at home, on a phone or a desktop computer.
For marketing campaigns, this group are not active on social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram, but a significant number of people from this age group use Facebook and Twitter. This means twitter campaigns and Facebook ads are a good way to reach them.
Email marketing is also the most effective medium for them out of all three age groups. They read more promotional emails than generation Y and generation Z. In addition, high-quality blog content is also an excellent way to earn the loyalty of generation X.
Try to market to them by clearly explaining what they can expect from the brand and how the product can benefit them. Try to avoid aggressive sales tactics as this generation is very wary of such things
How to Reach Millennials (born 1980 and 1996)
Age 21 to 39 these are the focus of most marketing campaigns as they spend the most out of all age groups. They grew up using digital technologies and expect 24/7 connectivity. This generation of “digital natives” looks for instant information and instant gratification. They are highly socially connected and often are the first to adopt new technology trends, lest they be seen as falling behind.
They are active on all social media platforms, but more on Facebook and Twitter. Other effective ways to reach this age group are video content and UGC (User-generated content). Most of them read reviews, blogs, and user feedback before making a decision.
A strong online presence is a must for marketing to this group. This includes blogs and social media as this group likes to interact with brands. Since millennials consume from their mobile devices, make sure all electronic content is mobile-compatible. They are the least likely generation to be responsive to traditional media.
Millennials have less brand loyalty than previous generations. They prefer to shop product and features first and have little patience for inefficient or poor service. Because of this, Millennials place their trust in brands with superior product history such as Apple, Google and Amazon.
Millennials witnessed the rise of subscription pricing so prefer access over ownership which can be seen through their preference for on-demand services like Spotify and Netflix.
How to Reach Generation Z (born between 1995 and 2015).
This group are age 1 to 24. They are still young but your future buyers, so you cannot ignore this age group.
Many of them grew up playing with their parents’ mobile phones or tablets so have grown up in a hyper-connected world and the smartphone is their preferred method of communication. On average, they spend at least 3 hours a day on their mobile device.
For marketing the best ways to reach Generation Z is through social media channels like Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat. They are more into video content, use smartphones and tablets more than desktops, and like interactive content like quizzes.
You can also use memes and imagery to attract this age group.
So as you have learned there is no magic wand for generational marketing. Demographic targeting is important if you want to maximise your return on investment of both money and time and, hopefully, these tips will help you achieve your goals more easily.
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