When it comes to digital marketing, you want to make sure that you can reach the largest audience possible. But different age groups react differently to advertising. The digital transformation the world has undergone has brought millions of people online. If you want everyone from the youngest generation to the oldest to buy your products or services, then generational marketing is the best way. Generational marketing brings you customers from every age range by developing marketing strategies designed to specifically target different age groups.
By July this year, more than 4.75 billion people actively used the internet. Compare this against the fact that 4.13 billion people used the internet in 2019 and you’ll instantly see a jump in the number of active internet users. Now that people are stuck at home, they’re turning to the internet for everything, from entertainment to necessities.
What is Generational Marketing?
Digital marketing can look complex if you’re targeting consumers from multiple age groups. A Baby Boomer won’t respond to your ads in the same way a Millennial would. Their mindsets are completely different, and both age groups have grown up in a world with very different value systems.
Is there a one size fits all when it comes to digital marketing? Unfortunately, no. The best way to ensure that your brand is reaching people from across generational gaps is by adjusting your marketing strategy to target different generations. That is where generational marketing comes in.
In generational marketing, you create unique marketing strategies for each generational age group. This helps you expand your consumer base to encompass everyone irrespective of their age group. But is this important or necessary? Absolutely. If you think that Baby Boomers don’t have the money to splurge on your goods, that’s not true. If you think that they don’t want to, then think again. They hold nearly 2.3 trillion in spending money.
Every generational group has massive spending power. To gain as much traction as possible to your business, you need to segment your digital marketing strategy to increase your reach to each of these groups.
What Marketing Strategies Are Used in Generational Marketing?
Digital marketing isn’t limited to social media marketing anymore. Different age groups use different social media platforms for different reasons.
Baby Boomers are more likely to use YouTube and Facebook. In fact, 70% of Boomers reportedly used YouTube the most, while 68% used Facebook in 2019. Compare this to the Gen X who prefer Facebook and Twitter. Younger generations like the Millennials and Gen Z have different online habits as well.
According to Statista, between 92-95% of Millennials use YouTube, 70-78% use Facebook, 69-79% use Instagram, and 53-64% use Snapchat. Only about half of all Millennials and Gen Z use Twitter.
Social media algorithms also make it harder for your content to show up to the right target audience. Baby Boomers for example, tend to not read long blog posts. So if your content is over 300 words, a significant portion of your consumer base could skip past it. Millennials and Gen Z like creative content, so a simple blog post isn’t enough to catch their attention.
So who are the Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z? And how can you raise awareness about your brand among these generations?
Who Are the Baby Boomers?
Baby Boomers are the people that were roughly born between 1946 – 1964. They grew up in the post World War II era. The world around them lived the American Dream. This was a period of economic growth and prosperity that came on the heels of the turbulence of the Second World War.
As the oldest generation you’ll be targeting, they are used to traditional marketing techniques that have prevailed through the ages. This generation is also still opening up to new technology. They may be slower in responding to creative online marketing campaigns, especially smartphone-based ones.
Pew Research reports that while only 5% of adults used the internet in 2005, by 2019 that number had jumped to 72%.
How do you target Baby Boomers?
Baby Boomers respond better to direct marketing and in-person sales. While they’re getting used to the internet and online purchasing, Boomers are still a long way away from thinking of the internet as their go-to place for making regular purchases. Here are a few marketing strategies that will help you target Baby Boomers:
- Traditional Tactics: Boomers grew up in an environment where advertisers called them directly. There were ads in the newspapers, ads on television, and ads on billboards. In the new normal, TV ads, newspaper ads, and phone calls are your best options.
- Develop Loyalty: Baby Boomers are fiercely loyal about the brands they use and endorse. If you’re already a brand like this, then great! But if you’re a new brand that’s trying to target the older generation, what do you do? Build on nostalgia. Boomers are fiercely loyal. Once you get them to turn to your product, they will likely want to commit to your products.
- Don’t Be Pushy: Boomers like honest and direct interactions. They don’t like to be pushed into buying anything. Most modern advertisements tend to be persuasive. This strategy is unlikely to work when the consumer is a Boomer. Instead, be direct and sell the value of your product. In your interactions, present direct facts that show how your product will benefit their lives.
- Discounts Aren’t Always a Good Thing: Baby Boomers don’t look for products with large discounts before purchasing an item. They’ve worked all their lives and are entering the retirement phase of their lives. They want to buy quality products that will enrich their lives.
To attract Baby Boomers, focus on easy to read short content that directly and effectively communicates your message to them.
Who Are the Gen X?
According to digital marketing guru, author, thought leader, and entrepreneur Neil Patel when talking about data-driven Generation X is also known as the Lost Generation. Born roughly between 1965 and 1980, they lived during a time when the economy wasn’t in their favor. Right around the time this generation was ready to hit the workforce, the Great Depression hit. This affected income, purchasing power, and overall life quality. Due to this experience, Gen X tends to be more conservative when it comes to their money.
The people that belong to Gen X are now paying off their home loans, have families, and are an active part of the workforce.
How do you target Gen X?
Generation X loves shopping lists, even if they don’t always buy everything they list out. Occasional urge based spending is also common. However, this is still a generation that grew up without the presence of the internet. Generation X however, loves emails and email marketing. Here’s how you attract Gen X to your brand:
- Email Them: Outlook was popular before online marketing took up. Back before the explosion of social media platforms, people interacted through emails. It was a new thing— and people were interested. Email marketing is still popular today, and this age group is most likely to respond to it. Emails and newsletters are great ways to attract Gen X.
- Coupons: Coupons were another popular part of their youth. Gen X responds well to coupons. Introduce coupons into your digital marketing campaign, especially if you’re sending out E-mailers.
- Targeted Reminders: Facebook’s targeting options can help you here. Send them messages during their birthdays or anniversaries. You can target new mothers with childcare products, stay at home parents with lifestyle products, or even hobby based products. Targeted advertisements help you find the people who are most likely to purchase from you. It also helps your potential customers find exactly what they need, or what they might be interested in.
Generation X likes products that give them value for money. They also like products that improve their lifestyle. So if your brand focuses on health, organic food, or other lifestyle improvement products and services, this age group will respond well to you.
Who Are the Millennials?
Millennials are the second-largest single age group and the single largest consumer of online products today. Born between 1981 and 1997, this generation grew up alongside the explosion of the internet. They’ve seen the dial-up connection phase. They were there when Wi-Fi was born, and they were already actively using the internet when smartphone accessibility became common. This age group spends more time online than any other age group, and they use the internet for a variety of purposes.
How do you target Millennials?
Millennials spend around eight hours a day online. They use the internet for everything, from work to social interactions and entertainment. A well conceived digital marketing strategy can easily help you attract this age group. Millennials also have more entrepreneurs than any other age group.
Millennials present a very lucrative audience when it comes to online sales. So how do you attract them?
- Trends Are Cool: Millennials love trends, even though they change and shift quickly. This means that you should make use of current popular content to target a wider user base online. You should also research the next best thing to stay ahead. Innovative content works great with Millennials, especially if they’re related to current events. Trends give you an easy way to create and curate new content, so you should use this to your advantage.
- User Engagement: As active social media users, Millennials like to interact with brands. Whether you have a Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube account, brands should always respond to comments and messages. The more you interact with your audience, the more likely they are to revisit your pages. This is crucial towards developing brand loyalty.
- Reviews and Word of Mouth: Millennials are also the generation that trusts reviews and their friends over advertisements. This is why brand loyalty is important. If you gain one customer and they tell their friends, you gain more loyal customers. This is also why you have to consistently and promptly engage with your audience on social media.
- Environment Focus: Millennials respond well to environmental issues. If your company has done anything to help the environment, use that in your campaign. If your brand has nothing to do with the environment, then donate to an environmental cause to win brownie points.
- Social Media Marketing: This remains the best way to target Millennials. Use different social media platforms, create relevant content, and keep interacting with your customers. The more engagement you generate, the more news about your brand will spread.
Millennials have huge purchasing power, and they love to use it. Don’t post sporadically or respond late to comments. Consistent and quality customer care is important when it comes to Millennials.
Who Are the Gen Z?
The youngest age group, these are the people who were born between 1997 – 2001. While most people in this age group are still in school and college, they still have huge purchasing power. However, they are also the generation that easily detects inauthentic content. Authenticity is important to Gen Z, and your digital marketing strategy should focus on this.
How do you target Gen Z?
Gen Z grew up in a world where the internet was already a part of everyday life. To them, the internet is a place they turn to for everything. More importantly, they use it as a place for refuge. Content that is enjoyable and can be consumed alone is important to attract Gen Z. Here is how you target Gen Z:
- Authenticity: Make your brand’s mission and vision known, and make it worthy. Don’t appear hypocritical on social media, or you’ll run the risk of getting cancelled. As long as your content is true to your values, Gen Z will respond well to you.
- User-generated Content: Create polls and use livestreams to draw in Gen Z. Submissions, contests, hashtags— these will help your digital marketing campaign.
- Be Nice: Gen Z values work ethics. And this isn’t about how your employees are performing, but about how you’re treating them. A ‘cool’ brand that treats their employees well draws in Gen Z and turns them into loyal customers.
Gen Z is still growing, and with time, their purchasing power will increase even more.
Digital marketing strategies are changing to adapt to the current world climate. Eight Media can help you develop a digital marketing strategy that will enable you to attract consumers from every generational group. From planning, to developing a strategy, from analyzing your consumer base, we do it all. With us, your brand can take full advantage of the digital transformation the world is experiencing today.