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Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation

Generational Marketing is a hot topic, but what exactly does it mean? In order to explore that, we first need to take a step back and look at what ages make up each generation, and a little bit about each generational profile:

Baby Boomers (Ages 58 – 76)

Baby boomers were born between 1946 – 1964. This post-war generation grew up in a time of prosperity and economic growth, and they hold the most purchasing power and discretionary income of all the generations. Today, most are empty-nesters that are close to retirement or already retired.

How to reach them: They use traditional media but also tend to use laptops and PCs more often than the younger generations for non-work activities such as browsing or visiting news sites. They’re highly motivated by good deals – 75% are more likely to make a purchase if they have a loyalty discount or coupon – and are very brand loyal. Although they spent most of their lives without modern technology, 86% research products online before purchasing and 82% are active on at least one social media site.

Generation X (Ages 42 – 57)

Born between 1965 – 1980, Generation Xers are now juggling homeownership, child care, and peaking careers. They’re busy, and they’re engaged on social media – more than 80% are on multiple social media sites. They are on par with technology adoption and use with millennials. They claim to be the most dedicated to lists while shopping but also confessed to making the most unplanned purchases on their shopping trips.

How to reach them: Gen Xers are a true hybrid when it comes to marketing. They still enjoy a trip in-store shopping, but have also fully embraced online shopping. They love coupons (68% have used coupons they received in the mail), and are more likely to support a service or product that somehow benefits society or the environment.

Millennials (Ages 26 – 41)

Slowly outnumbering Baby Boomers, Millennials were born between 1981 – 1996. They began entering the workforce as the economy crashed, and are notoriously soft-hearted and soft-shelled, valuing societal issues far ahead of economics. They are the least frequent in-store shoppers and are most responsive to online shopping, recommendations from family and friends, and are motivated by shopping ease.

How to reach them: Millennials love the next big thing. They rely on reviews a lot, seeking peer input on decisions, so make sure your online reviews and customer experiences are up to par. They use social media a lot – 68% are more likely to ‘check in’ to a business on social media if they’d receive a discount or coupon. They enjoy brand loyalty programs – 77% already do or are willing to participate in rewards and loyalty programs. And contrary to popular belief, millennials listen to a good amount of radio – 93% report listening to a total of around 11 hours per week!

Generation Z (Ages 10 – 25)

Gen Z was born 1997 – 2012 and are currently the most diverse and most tech-savvy generation. While many of them are still young, they already hold a significant amount of spending power. They value financial stability above all else due to economic uncertainty stemming from the Great Recession, and are responsible spenders.

How to reach them: Gen Z relies more on reviews, recommendations and social media than any other generation. They engage best with brands that are environmentally and socially responsible, and engage with them as individuals, offering personalized products and experiences. They’re less likely to sign up for loyalty programs. A whopping 81% prefer to shop in stores instead of online for the social aspect of it, and 90% check with their parents on a product or services’ affordability before making a decision.

With so many different generations and customer profiles, it’s clear that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ way to reach your audience. We’d be happy to talk with you about ways to reach your audience, no matter what generation they are!


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