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Generational Marketing 101: Understanding Audience Segments

Do you know your millennials from boomlets? Is Gen Z driving growth in your segment or are you reliant on the baby boomers? In this post we delve a little deeper into demographics most commonly used in modern marketing and some of their key attributes.

Feeding the Giraffe - Media by WiX
Feeding the Giraffe - Media by WiX

Baby Boomers

The ‘me’ generation, born between 1946 and 1964, baby boomers are typically financially stable and probably now retired. While there is a lot of focus on millennials, marketers should never forget that this is a generation that has money to spend.

Here are a few things you should know about them.

  • They have disposable income and are better placed than any other segment to travel and spend.

  • They are loyal – more loyal than most other segments. If you prove your quality, they are likely to be your customers for life.

  • They may not be tech-savvy, but are certainly becoming social media competent. You’ll find them vary of online marketing and it is important to look and sound legitimate in all your digital communication to them.

  • They are said to be direct marketing receptive – emails, etc.

Millennials or Generation Y

Sometimes called the ‘Forgotten Generation’, this is the segment born between 1965 and 1980. Think of the 40-year-old who went to high school in the 80’s and is now working in green energy and has little kids to contend with. This generation remembers how video killed the radio star and are more pessimistic about having enough money to retire.

Marketing to this group is a complex task, but one that must be done as this is the generation that will take over from the baby boomers soon.

What to expect of them?

  • They have more than just a tenuous grasp of technology. So when marketing to them embrace technology, even newer platforms.

  • Loyalty is important to them – work it to your advantage.

  • They’re a super busy lot, getting through life, paying off a mortgage, etc. But they have time for online platforms – only they hate being bombarded with ads. So keep communication to them to-the-point and timely.

  • They use a lot of social media – target them there.

Millennials or Generation Y

Born between 1980 and 2000, these are the children of boomer professionals who opted for late parenthood and young Gen X parents. They also go by the names of 9/11 generation or echo boomers. Basically they are grown up versions of kids that Barney promised would be special no matter what. These digital natives are most widely talked to and about on social media and in pop culture.

Here is what you should know about them.

  • They’re technology obsessed, frequent online shoppers and you could say even averse to traditional marketing.

  • They can be a bit narcissist – it’s all about them and so social channels work well with this group. Forget celebrities; turn this group into social advocates for your brand. This group invented and swear by reviews.

  • They entered the workforce when the economy was slow and have a huge proportion of entrepreneurs.

  • Keep you messages to them short, funny and true – they like the real deal.

  • Causes prompt action from them quickly. And, they are out to save the planet and ‘natural’ lifestyle that the generations before them trashed.

Generation Z / Generation I

The Internet generation that is growing up with educational games on their own computers, smart devices and video game consoles. They’re still growing up so more relevant to family and kids/ teen brands. Marketers are targeting them with sophisticated in-context messaging on their digital devices.

In conclusion, it is important to keep in mind that each generation is comprised of unique personalities, not all people will respond the same way. Don’t throw your other demographic targeting and segmentation strategies out the window!

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