When it comes to your marketing, it doesn’t always work to create on specific strategy and blast that strategy to your entire audience through the same platforms or messaging. Depending on what generation your reader is a part of, they may or may not respond to your marketing strategy. The large gap between Baby Boomers and Generation Zers means that each respond to different kinds of media, as well as the messaging you present within that media. Some marketing techniques that put Generation X at ease might make Generation Z squirm, and vice versa. Let’s take a look at some tips for marketing to different generations for the most success.
Know What Generations You Are Marketing To
Before you start whipping in the kitchen, ask yourself these questions. Do you have a mixed audience? What age range do you serve? If you’re only targeting college students, you don’t exactly need to cook up a strategy for marketing to Gen Xers. The same is true if you’re marketing a product that’s only for an older generation. But if you’re like most of us, your customer base often spans the range of at least two “generations.” If you don’t know the answer to this, it’s time to sit down and hammer out a customer persona. Once you have it figured out; it’s time to understand what works with each group. They say age before beauty, so let’s start with our good ole’ Baby Boomers.
Marketing to Baby Boomers
Keep Things Respectable
Baby Boomers have been around the block, and they know what they’re looking for. They want you to be helpful and give the information to them straight. They’re not ones for slang and will likely be suspect of a more laissez-faire attitude, assuming it means you’re green, rather than an expert. This is the best way to build their trust, which you’ll want to gain, as 70% of the nation’s disposable income sits in their pockets.
Look to The Book
One of the best places to do this is Facebook. While there is a stereotype that Boomers don’t spend time on social media, they actually spend a great deal of time on Facebook. Pitch a straightforward, helpful message to them to make a connection. And while you might be thinking that your product isn’t geared towards this group, think again. Boomers are ready to spend, but not on themselves. Most will spend on their children and grandchildren time and time again, so don’t neglect them even if your product is “younger.”
This is also the generation that is still paying for cable, so traditional marketing and ads work well with this group. Again, keep your messaging informational, respectable, and friendly.
Marketing to Generation X
Find Them in Corners of the Internet
Ah, Generation X. The neglected middle child of the millennium. This is the gang that was born between 1968 and 1980. Their youth came before the big tech boom, but they were still young enough to catch on to tech, unlike their less-likely Baby Boomer parents. These are your Facebookers; you know the ones. Early 40’s, post mostly photos about their kids and when the Bruce Springsteen concert came to town.
When it comes to pitching your products for them to spend their precious money on, social and email are your best bet. Stick to Facebook and Twitter when it comes to pushing your messages out onto different platforms and be sure to have an email campaign. This is where Generation X prefers to be communicated with, even over text.
Offer Them Ease through a good deal
This is the group who was finding its footing in the working world when the recession hit. They’re more careful with their money and will use it to invest in things that make their lives easier. When it comes to your messaging, push a deal for signups, free-trials, etc., and be sure to keep it benefit-focused. Generation X is busy and socially conscious, so explain how you’re going to make their life easier without compromising their values. Companies like Amazon and Blue Apron do this very well. They offer sign up discounts, push the ease their products bring, and promote the good they do for their communities.
Marketing to Millennials and Generation Z
Find Them on The Digital Horizon
If Gen X is the forgotten middle child, then these two are the Irish twins of the millennium. As the babies of the proverbial family, they certainly have gotten the most attention. Experts can’t stop talking about Millennials and Generation Z—from work ethic, to dating habits and everything in between. While the two share many traits, Millennials watched the internet unfold during their childhood years, while Gen Z was born right into it. They are the babies who know how to swipe before they can even speak.
Both spend their time in a lot of the same areas—they’re more likely to be on Instagram than Facebook, and would rather communicate via text than email or, God forbid, a phone call. Their attention span is, well snappy. To get your message across, we recommend short videos and straightforward offers. When it comes to the content you utilize, the more authentic, the better. Both generations are attracted to genuine companies with socially conscious values. They value inclusion, giving back and community improvement. They see their investments as an extension of themselves, and therefore care about the ethics behind the product or company they give their money to.
Use User Generated Content
As far as giving up that money, they typically will only do so after getting their hands on as much user feedback as possible. Before buying (online, of course), they’ll consult friends in person and through social, as well as read customer reviews and search for customer images of your product. This means you should be offering review options, as well as making them easily accessible for potential buyers to read. Because these two can do so much research on their own, they consider themselves mild product experts. Therefore, be sure to steer clear of gimmicky sales hacks, which both Millennials and Gen Zers will see straight through and find unimpressive, even disingenuous.
The Marketing of Tomorrow
As marketing continues to evolve, we’d bet our bottom dollar that we continue to see strategies that apply to the fast-paced world of the younger generation. Short videos, interactive content and online shopping will continue to grow and evolve to promote fast information and ease of buying.
How do you think marketing will change in the next decade? Tell us what you expect to unfold in the comments below!
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