It’s quite possible that this is the most difficult time in history for marketers. Never before have we had the technology available to reach millions of people with the click of a button, but how do we make sure we are marketing to multiple generations? From Baby Boomers to Gen X to Millennials, the marketing approach requires significantly different tones.
In order to maximize your marketing effort, you must first get to know the generational needs and wants of each group.
- The Silent Generation: Born 1928-1945 (74-91 years old) This generation makes up the smallest percentage of online usage. They have grown up without the internet and can oftentimes be skeptical of it. Traditional marketing works best for the Silent Generation – radio, print, and television. Fonts should be large and include a phone number. This generation appreciates wholesome ads showing moral values and conventional politeness.
- Baby Boomers: Born 1946-1964 (55-73 years old) Once the biggest generation (since being surpassed by Millennials), Baby Boomers were hard workers who are now retired or planning their retirement. They have amassed wealth and carefully guard it. Baby Boomers appreciate a mix of traditional and current day marketing. While they use technology and were the first generation with computers, most are not tech-savvy and prefer basic smartphone apps and short blogs.
- Gen X: Born 1965-1980 (39-54 years old) Gen X has been referred to as “the middle child” of all the generations. They are known to want the best products for the lowest prices and want to do very little work to investigate a product or service. This group carries a substantial amount of debt, but ate at the height of their buying power. They appreciate face-to-face contact and speaking to a live person on the phone. Gen Xers are loyal Facebook and YouTube users and like straight-forward email communication.
- Millennials: Born 1981-1996 (23-38 years old) The largest generation, Millennials have been born and raised on the internet and cell phones. Millennials are the most socially conscious group and therefore value green products and sustainable energy. They crave authentic content, appreciate social responsibility and are diligent in researching products and services before making a purchase.
- Gen Z: Born 1997-Today (0-22 years old) Generation Z is our youngest group of consumers, most of whom are just beginning to make purchases – sometimes with their parents money. This generation uses smartphones over laptops, desktops or tablets making an optimized website imperative. They are knowledgeable on trends and prefer new products over new experiences. Campaigns directed toward Gen Z should be edgy.
Marketing to multiple generations may require a campaign to be tweaked to target each demographic specifically. While your delivery method may vary, it’s important that your message does not. If you create an that is clearly communicated, honest, and entertaining – it will transcend all generations.