How To Reach Different Generations with Marketing

Your marketing strategy is more than likely focused on reaching your target audience. One important thing to consider with your target audience is their age, or what generation they’re from. You may only be marketing to one specific generation, or you may be marketing to multiple generations. Either way, there are going to be specific ways you can successfully market to members of each generation you’re striving to reach. 

To come up with ideas, content, and approaches for your generational marketing strategy, it’s important to know how each one is defined and what marketing efforts they are typically open to. 

Generational marketing

Generational marketing, according to Tech Target, is “when the target audience is segmented and targeted by generation, which is determined by the year in which they were born.” This strategy helps you work to remain mindful of each of the qualities that make a person from a specific generation unique so that your message and your content are engaging the right people in the right places. 

So, let’s break it down by each generation:

Marketing to the Silent Generation

People from the silent generation were born roughly between the years 1928 and 1945. They have key characteristics to keep in mind, including:

  • They are the “oldest” members of our community that you can market to
  • They lived through World War II
  • Due to their age, they’re most likely looking to invest in products that will make their lives easier
  • They value loyalty, stability, and respect when it comes to businesses they invest their money into
  • They are considered traditionalists and respond best to traditional forms of marketing
  • They aren’t generally very teach-savvy

Marketing to this generation is done best when you put a focus on earning their trust and loyalty (LocalIQ) as well as understand that they don’t spend as much time on their computers or their phones as younger generations do. Using larger fonts and a simpler design layout that’s easier to read as well as relying more on physical mail, television ads, and direct phone calls are also things to keep in mind.

Check out this link for more tips to market to the silent generation. 

Marketing to Baby Boomers

The Baby Boomer generation is made up of individuals who were born between 1946 and 1964. Some things to keep in mind when your target audience includes people from this generation include:

  • They grew up in a time of great economic success and the “American Dream”
  • People from this generation hold a lot of “purchasing power and discretionary income
  • They are much more likely to spend time thinking about what they want to purchase, if anything at all, as they see their investment as a commitment
  • Because they see their purchase as a commitment, they are much more likely to buy the superior product and make sure they understand the fine print 
  • They grew up without technology, but have taken the time to better understand it and how to utilize it
  • They are hitting the retirement age and are more likely to splurge

While they have a better understanding of the internet and social media than people from the silent generation, they still prefer more traditional forms of marketing such as direct communication, television and radio ads, and loyalty programs. They do tend to love Facebook, but more for getting in touch with old friends and family than for buying (though it’s still a good place for lead generation). 

For more helpful Baby Boomer marketing tips, check out this link!

Marketing to Generation X (Gen X)

Gen X is the population of people who were born between 1965 and 1976. This generation is particularly unique because of when they grew up. Some things to keep in mind include:

  • They grew up through a recession and are therefore much less likely to spend their money frivolously than other generations
  • They’re generally a lot more skeptical of brands 
  • “Innovation and change” aren’t something many Gen Xers are fond of and prefer to “stick with what they know”
  • Because they’re more unsure of change, they react positively to nostalgia 
  • Technology began to advance in their young adult years, so they’ve had it for more than half of their lives

When marketing to people from this generation, they respond best to traditional advertising methods such as TV ads as well as marketing done through social media and emails. Another great way to earn their business is through positive reviews and word of mouth from customers in addition to loyalty programs, “freebies,” and other incentives. 

If you’re looking for more Generation X marketing tips, take a look at this article

Marketing to Millennials (Gen Y)

Millennials (otherwise known as Generation Y) are an interesting generation to market to as they were born between 1977 and 1996. They were on the front lines of the technological boom we experienced in the early 2000s, though most of them remember what their childhood was like before we relied on computer games, apps, and social media. Some things to keep in mind about marketing to this generation of individuals include:

  • Their generation is the largest generation of people that you can market to
  • They value authenticity from brands and look for those that “support social and environmental causes”
  • Because they grew up with technology and witnessed the birth of social media, they respond well to marketing and advertising through these platforms
  • They prefer content that is user-generated

With their relationship to modern technology, traditional marketing efforts are kind of a waste of time. Additionally, they’re much more attracted to a product that’s being sold at a fair price, rather than something that’s received a price cut. Another great way to create more sales from Millennials is to get good online reviews for your business and your product(s). 

For more Millennial marketing tips, take a look at this site

Marketing to Generation Z (Gen Z)

Similar to Generation Y, Gen Z (people born between 1997 and 2012) is a unique group of people to market to because of their relationship with technology. Also known as Zoomers, things to consider when marketing to this generation includes:

  • They’re known as the “first generation of digital natives” and are considered very tech-savvy
  • They are extremely aware of mental illnesses and value talking about their emotions and feelings
  • On average, they spend around 3 hours a day online (if not more)
  • They are typically more culturally aware, considerate, and diverse as well as “left-leaning”
  • They rely on reviews, testimonials, and recommendations from previous buyers when making decisions

While this generation of people is still young, they recognize the debt that much of the American population, and the country itself, holds. Therefore, they value financial power and security and hold a lot of purchasing power for their age. Because they’re such a tech-heavy generation, they are much more attracted to influencer marketing and social selling and spend much of their social time on platforms like Snapchat, YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram. 

For more tips on Generation Z marketing, check out this link.

Marketing to Gen Z versus Millennials 

Some very key similarities between Gen Z and Millennials may make you think you can market to them simultaneously. Both generations have grown up in a world that’s saturated with technological advancements, a struggling economy, a larger focus on post-secondary education, etc., according to Business.

While their commonalities are important to consider as they’re part of what defines them, there are also key differences that will help you effectively market to each. According to Mention, some notable differences include:

  • Gen Z, valuing security and practicality, grew up during a recession whereas Millennials, valuing convenience and priority, had a little bit more of an opportunity to secure financial stability
  • Gen Z is much more likely to do their shopping from their phone, so a mobile-friendly website is a must
  • Social media is a necessary way to market to each generation, but Millennials spend much of their time on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube whereas Zoomers spend theirs on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok

While Millennials are growing into an older generation and Gen Zers are now just beginning to enter the workforce, they still have a lot of similarities in marketing strategies because of their proximity to the digital era. Additionally, both generations have started to grow up in a time where we are a lot more socially, culturally, and environmentally conscious, and they want to support brands that hold the same ideals as them. 

Even though they have a lot of similarities, it’s important to remember that they are still different generations of people and, therefore have different characteristics, spending habits, shopping habits, and social media habits to keep in mind. 

The bottom line

Generational marketing is a great way to segment your marketing strategy, especially when you’re working to market to multiple generations of people. Even though there are some similarities between generations (Boomers and Gen Xers, Millennials and Gen Zers), there are still key differences that you need to be aware of to successfully market to them – even if it doesn’t take a little bit more time.