Advertising that speaks to one customer may strike another as complete nonsense. From one generation to the next, it can seem like you need to know a whole other language just to be understood.
There’s a good reason for that. Just as the Tower of Babel split us up by language, the differences dug by time, technological, and cultural shifts have divided us across generational lines. The good news is, you don’t need a translator to speak to everyone from the Silent Generation to Generation Z—you just need data.
You marketing messages will only matter if your target audience cares about what you’re trying to say. And, when it comes to what consumers care about, they tend to be pretty self-involved. So, you need to get to know them. That’s why it’s important to do your research to understand who your current customers are and discover what motivates potentials. Not surprisingly, age, cultural influences, and lifestyle can provide insight that will help you do everything from selecting the right advertising formats and platforms to crafting messages that inspire action.
Insight Is What You Need
The Beatles believed that all you need is love, but that’s not the case when it comes to marketing. What you do need is research and insights to grasp who your consumers are and how they behave. Though there are sub-segments based on everything from geography to psychographics, understanding what makes each generation unique will take you a long way.
Let’s look at some key traits of each generation.
The Silent Generation – This group was born before 1946, and there are over 20 million of them in the U.S. They’re loyal shoppers and avid gift givers. Though they tend to respond best to traditional media, they’re going online with increasing frequency.
Baby Boomers – Much has been said about this highly sought after demographic. These are people who were born between 1946 and 1965, and there are over 70 million of them in the country. They redefined American culture and broke long-standing traditions. Though traditional media still resonates, they’re largely online.
Generation X – The name doesn’t say it all. This much-overlooked group is between 36 and 51 years old, 65 million strong, and at the peak of its spending power. Sandwiched between the much-hyped Boomers and the up-and-coming Millennials, this generational middle child is busy balancing work and life. Though they’re no strangers to traditional media, they’re tech-savvy and connected.
Millennials – Though they’re far from meek, this generation is poised to inherit the title for most sought after demographic. Millennials are known for being brash and bold, and, by some estimates, there are over 90 million of them in the U.S. Due in no small part to its evolving consumption habits and affinity for technology, this large, influential generation is forcing marketers to rethink advertising strategies.
Generation Z – There may not be much in their wallets yet, but this group of youngsters is tugging at their parents’ purse strings. These kids were born after 1995. And this group isn’t done growing, but current estimates have their numbers at over 80 million. Their consumer personalities are still developing, but they love technology and live life between screens.
We’ve got the resources, insights, and strategies you need to reach and motivate all your target audiences. Download our Audience Marketing whitepaper today to learn more about who your customers are and how to appeal to them.
Source – “American Generation Fast Facts;” CNN; October, 20 2016