In order to develop a successful marketing strategy, it’s important to customize our efforts towards our target end consumers. For many businesses, this could mean an extremely diverse set of demographics. Multi-generational marketing has become increasingly important with five distinct generations that encompass our region's overall buying power. In order to communicate effectively to our consumers, we must properly identify which generation they are categorized in.
Traditionalists (Born 1922-1945) Traditionalists represent the most loyal and conservative of all generations. They are extremely detail oriented and very logical in their decision making. This group began consuming information through early forms of media such as newspapers, yellow pages, direct mail and local radio stations. Because they are creatures of habit, these forms of advertising are still viable options for reaching traditionalists in today’s market.
Baby Boomers (Born 1946-1964) Baby Boomers make up an estimated 70% of the disposable income in the United States. Along with their massive buying power, they are also the most content-heavy generation in the mix. To be successful in your marketing efforts, avoid mentioning “getting older” and stick to email and print campaigns. Also, consider loyalty incentives to enhance their brand loyalty characteristics.
Generation X (Born 1965-1979) Generation X encompasses almost 1/3 of the total income in the United States. Their core values include health, security, savings and family. Members of Generation X are more likely to read an email than any other generation. In addition, article-based promotions are proven to be incredibly successful.
Generation Y (Born 1980-1999) Generation Y seeks fun, convenience, connectivity and prefer experiences over material things. This generation relies heavily on reviews and testimonials of friends, family and other consumers. Facebook, along with text messaging, the selfie and the rise of Google all began with Gen Y. A marketing plan heavy in online, mobile and social media is the best fit for effective communication.
Generation Z (Born 2000 or later) Generation Z is considered the NOW generation. With technology constantly at their fingertips, Gen Z is extremely informed and price savvy and often identified as being “too connected”. To keep their attention, you must advertise on a variety of platforms with a consistent message. Social media, banner ads, videos, images and texting are recommended media to grab and maintain their attention.
We must truly understand who our customers are in order to build promotions that best suit their wants and needs. Who are our current customers? Are they local or regional? Do they typically shop in store or online? What are their spending habits? Are they driven by promotions? What products and services do they seek? The best way to dissect our customers’ demands is to ask for feedback.
Often, we put our marketing plans on autopilot, utilizing the same advertising over and again and expecting our businesses to continue to expand. If we focus solely on one generation and place our entire marketing budget in one means of advertising, we have completely shut the doors of our business to potential growth and opportunity. Consumer demands, just like technology, are ever changing. We are likely to evolve into a digital society, and we must be prepared for the consumers of tomorrow.