Understanding customer behavior is critically important for every business. Each customer is unique and their behavior can be nuanced, making it difficult to know the best way to target them. One approach you might consider is generational marketing. Most people, despite their income, education or background, have a lot in common with others in their own generation. This includes purchasing tendencies.
Let’s examine three of the primary generations in the marketplace today: Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials.
Baby Boomers : This generation includes people born between 1946 and 1964. They are the soon-to-be retirees, and many are grandparents. Baby Boomers are characterized by the era in which they grew up, whether it’s the “hippie” generation of the 60s, or the “yuppies” of the 70s and early 80s.
This group was raised in a time of cultural upheaval and has experienced great change throughout their lifetimes. They value their independence, and appreciate honesty and a strong work ethic from those they do business with. When making a decision to purchase goods or services, baby boomers typically like being in control of their options, and buying from a trustworthy and professional organization.
84 percent of baby boomers are active on Facebook. Many companies don’t focus their social media for this generation, and are missing an opportunity. Make sure you’re posting educational, user-friendly content on Facebook to attract baby boomer consumers that your competitors are missing.
Baby boomers are the fastest-growing market in the health and wellness sector. This generation is nearing retirement, and many are looking for an active lifestyle full of travel and new experiences.
Generation X : Generation X was born between 1965 and 1980. They have very different views on purchasing decisions and brand loyalty. They are more attuned to their buying behaviors, and exhibit the highest rate of brand loyalty (84 percent) of any of the generations.
Generation X is often dubbed the “MTV Generation”. Gen X’ers watch more TV than the younger and older generations, and are more receptive to media that resembles TV ads. They respond to social campaigns that are informative, visual, and easy to digest.
Generation X places great importance on family values. They were a generation with parents of the highest divorce rates, which affected their views on what it means to have a traditional family. Gen X’ers are more likely to respond to companies that focus on family values.
This group is also the most active on social media, even more so than millennials. This is partially due to their increased technological skill over baby boomers. You shouldn’t limit yourself to Facebook either—Gen X’ers are also active on Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn among others.
Millennials/Generation Z : These two generations, which share many of the same characteristics, were those born after 1980. Millennials are highly sought-after in most industries, because of their purchasing power and potential for building brand loyalty. However, reaching them effectively and keeping their interest proves difficult for many companies.
Millennials value a company’s social influence, its culture, and its involvement in the community more than most generations. Millennials are more thoughtful in their buying decisions, not only because they are interested in the new trends, but because they can afford to be more selective. You need to make your company values, culture, and personality shine in order to create a loyal millennial customer.
A recent study showed that 40 percent of millennials connect with YouTube celebrities and other influencers as much as they do with their friends. Millennials connect ideas to people, so launching a campaign with a social media influencer can help you reach this audience. But it’s not just YouTube. Snapchat is one of the most popular social media platforms for millennials. Snapchat allows you to provide compelling content (via the “Stories” feature), yet allows them the freedom to choose when they want to engage with that content.
According to a study by Citipost Mail, 80 percent of millennials are more likely to make a purchase if they believe the company makes a social or environmental impact in their community. This shows that millennials care where their dollars are going, and want to be connected at a personal level to the companies they buy from.
For more ideas and information on generational marketing, contact the professionals at Tucker/Hall.