How can you most effectively reach diverse generations? Generational marketing is a marketing approach that uses generational segmentation. Each generation varies greatly in their interests and their consumption methods — some grew up in a world before technology existed and others cannot imagine a world without it.
While there are six generations that are alive and well today, there are four main generations that make up most of America’s population. In this blog we will explore the four key generations and the most effective ways to market to each.
Baby Boomers: Baby Boomers are the oldest of America’s four largest generations. While they have a working knowledge of technology, Baby Boomers are the least technologically-savvy. Research shows that Baby Boomers are open to direct marketing tactics with detailed information and prefer to consume their online content on a desktop.
Generation X: Generation X is the smallest generation of the four. While they are not social media experts, they are more social media savvy than Baby Boomers and the majority of Generation X uses Facebook over other social media platforms. This generation is most responsive to online content that relates to entertainment and lifestyle, and most are consuming their online content on laptops and tablets. Facebook, email marketing and blogs are some of the best methods to use when marketing to Generation X.
Generation Y / Millennials: Generation Y, also commonly known as Millennials, is the largest living generation. Research shows that Millennials are the most receptive to online shopping and often seek to make informed decisions when making purchases. They are likely to turn to friends and family for recommendations, check ratings and read reviews. Millennials prefer brief, online content and social media is the best marketing method to use.
Generation Z: Generation Z (or, “Gen Z”), today’s youngest generation, is the most diverse generation with the most technological know-how and are becoming marketers’ new targets. Both Gen Z and Millennials heavily use social media, with the most popular platforms being YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Gen Z spends more time on their phones per week than any other generation, so marketing tactics must be made for mobile when targeting this generation.
It is important for businesses to recognize the behaviors and consumption methods of each generation to adjust and modernize marketing strategies. With four key, and very different, generations making up today’s society, how can you effectively market to various generations under one campaign?
Research Your Target Audience
Before creating a marketing strategy and campaign, define your target audience and research the best platforms and tactics to use for that audience. How does your audience consume their news and media? What platforms are they most active on, if any? What type of technology does your audience prefer to use?
Keep Marketing Efforts Diverse and Do Not Make Assumptions
Keep your campaign diverse. Now more than ever, customers want to see themselves reflected in marketing efforts. Customers notice when a campaign leans into diversity and inclusion, so it is important to feature a diverse group in a variety of ages and lifestyles. Do not fall for the assumptions and stereotypes that society has placed on each generation.
Do Not Play Favorites
When selecting a medium to use, do not limit yourself to one and do not choose a platform considered as the most popular at the time. By limiting yourself to one platform, you eliminate the possibility of reaching an entire audience because you chose not to use other methods.
The key takeaways when marketing to different generations is to do the research and keep marketing efforts diverse, both in the message portrayed and the methods used. Keeping these takeaways in mind, you should be ready to successfully implement a marketing campaign for any generation!