Different strokes for different folks—like all things, this is the case in marketing. What works for some consumers does not work for all. So how can marketers determine what will resonate with their audience? Targeting consumers by generation enables marketers to gain a better understanding of the unique expectations, experiences, generational history, lifestyles, values and demographics that influence their buying behaviors and modify their strategies accordingly.
The Silent Generation (1945 or Earlier)
Named for their cautious, conservative nature, these consumers were children during some of America’s worst economic conditions, the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. To successfully market to this group, marketers must earn their trust and appeal to their values of rationing, saving, morals and ethics. Reach out to them with traditional marketing tools such as flyers, newsletter and postcards.
Baby Boomers (1946-1964)
Baby Boomers grew up during the American Dream white picket-fence era and have the highest value as consumers in the market today, spending as much as $3.2 trillion annually (US Census Bureau). These consumers will search for product information online, but place higher value in face-to-face communication, as they tend to want to talk to a real person before making a purchase. Focus on building value across multiple channels as baby boomers prefer options and flexibility.
Generation X (1965-1976)
Generation X is the smallest—yet busiest generation, now juggling child care, homeownership, and reaching the peak of their careers. From saving up for college, home improvement projects, business endeavors, and planning for retirement, these consumers love coupons. To reach these consumers, combine traditional marketing efforts with digital promotional tools such as Facebook, email marketing, and online advertisements.
Coming of age during the early 2000s, millennials were born into a technological, electronic, and wireless society with computers in their homes. Millennials are the most responsive to online shopping opportunities and are motivated by recommendations from friends and family as well as shopping ease. They love the next big thing. Marketers can capitalize on this by focusing on innovation and taking an approach that shows a new perspective on a common problem or task.
Generation Z (1996-Present)
As America’s youngest consumers, Generation Z’s are truly digital natives—with many learning to swipe before they could even walk. They are accustomed to high-tech and multiple information sources, with messages bombarding them from all sides. Generation Z is influenced by new media, virtual friends, and the power that comes with technology. To reach these young consumers, take your digital efforts a step further—use social media to its full potential and implement video to appeal to short attention spans.
No matter what generation you’re trying to reach, Redi-Data can custom tailor your perfect list with hundreds of demographic variables to target the best prospects and leads for your product, service or research.
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