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Marketing toward Each Generation: The Ultimate Guide

Brands

When it comes to marketing, one size does not fit all. Identifying your audience’s age demographic is the key to finding ultimate marketing success. Each generation requires a nuanced marketing approach tailored to their preferences and behaviors.

No matter which generation is your key audience, Glewee has made it easy to start assembling a winning strategy. Discover the key traits, channel preferences, and messaging strategies for each generation and craft the ultimate campaign to resonate with your audience.

 

Marketing to Baby Boomers

Young woman shows baby boomer a feature on her phone

The Baby Boomer generation was born between 1946 and 1964. They grew up through notable events such as the Civil Rights Movement and the moon landing. Their generation has experienced the most technological evolutions in their lifetime, having grown up with the rise of household television, the invention of cell phones, and the creation of artificial intelligence. Though they may have a reputation for resisting new technology, two-thirds of Baby Boomers have smartphones today.

 

Channel: Facebook

Baby Boomers are learning and adapting. Most notably, they have joined and still regularly use Facebook for social interactions and networking. Facebook is the most popular social media platform among this demographic, while other social sites lag behind.

When crafting campaigns toward Baby Boomers, think Facebook first. This is by far the best social medium to reach their age group based on behavior and adoption. While typical methods like Facebook ads are great, keep in mind that Boomers are also more likely to share on social media compared to other generations. This means, developing compelling organic Facebook content or branded User Generated Content (UGC) can be just as useful and effective as paid channels.

 

Medium: Videos

While there has been plenty of research on social media and its impact on attention spans, Baby Boomers seem to remain resilient. Boomers are more likely to watch longer, slower-paced videos than other generations. However, ensure there are captions or subtitles! When marketing toward Boomers, try a mix of long-form and short videos, focusing on different aspects such as usage, features, benefits, and lifestyle to test what works best for your audience.

 

Strategy: Price

Beauty items next to a store sale sign

Boomers may have more discretionary income compared to a few other generations on this list, but that does not mean they take their dollar for granted. No matter which channels a marketing message may be going in, ensure the price is the priority. Large, clear price incentives pay off.

When crafting messages, think of value first. Make sure all prices and any limited-time promotions are clear and easily identifiable.

 

Strategy: Large and Clear

Keep in mind while creating messages and designing assets that this generation is older. As such, making things large and clear is essential for capturing their attention and allowing them to navigate to the action you desire them to take. For example, when dealing with colors, choose high contrast to allow Boomers to easily read the ad. When crafting a CTA, consider boxing the action item to draw attention compared to a simple hyperlink. And of course, when in doubt, make the font size large for easy legibility.

 

Marketing to Gen X

Gen Xer online shopping from his phone

Gen Xers, born between 1965 and 1980, are the generation immediately following Baby Boomers and perhaps the hardest generation to create clear guardrails for. Unlike other generations, Gen Xers are more fluid between those closer to mimicking Boomer’s behaviors and the younger half, opting closer to the Millennial behavior. This generation interacts with both traditional and digital media and outspends all other generations in terms of housing, clothing, food, and entertainment.

 

Channel: Email

58.2 billion Gen Xers are logging onto the internet every day from their smartphones or desktops. With such heavy and frequent internet usage, email inboxes are a popular destination. When targeting this generation, consider email marketing. Not only is it a flexible and cost-effective channel, but it also falls naturally into a space Gen X is already checking regularly.

 

Channel: YouTube

Person opening YouTube app from their phone

Many Gen Xers use Facebook to stay in touch with family and friends, but more and more are turning to YouTube for both entertainment and “how-to” knowledge. Just like Facebook, there are plenty of standard ad options on YouTube as well. However, organically, this also means the opportunity to provide branded informational content around how-to’s, tips and tricks, or product recommendations. Additionally, for brands branching into YouTube, leveraging a known and trusted YouTube influencer in the space can provide quality content for your brand.

 

Strategy: Discounts

Gen X may be outspending every other generation for fun and entertainment, but they still love a good discount. Offering discounts or limited-time offers is a great way to capture their attention and reel them onto your site. Coupons and discounts are especially compelling for brand-new customers as a way to incentivize them to try something new.

 

Strategy: Loyalty

Loyalty programs can be a powerful tool for Gen Xers. Though they are incentivized by discounts, that is not the only option for loyalty programs to leverage. Follow-up emails, first-chance access, and referral bonuses are all ways to build a loyalty program worthy of Gen Xers’ attention.

 

Marketing to Millennials

Millennial mom working on her laptop by her daughter.

Falling between the years 1981 to 1996 is the Millennial generation. Though all generations are connecting with the internet frequently, Millennials are spending an average of 7.2 hours a day online. Additionally, making up nearly half the workforce means this group has disposable income to spend, though not nearly as much as prior generations.

 

Channel: Instagram

Millennial mom working on her laptop by her daughter.

With 48 percent of Millennials using Instagram, this is one of the best platforms to focus on for Millennial audiences. Instagram utilizes a blend of both static and video content. As brands, it is important to experiment with different Instagram posting times, days, and formats to find what works best for your audience. Above all, engagement is the key to building a following and keeping customers interacting with the business.

 

Medium: UGC

User-Generated Content (UGC) is a great way to continue building interaction and loyalty with brands. This method works by having brands encourage their audience to share their own experiences or pictures (for example, with a contest or hashtag) and then allowing brands to reshare. This builds authenticity and opens a new path for the audience to engage.

 

Strategy: Short-Form Storytelling

Between Reels and TikTok, short-form video is heavily consumed by this generation each day. However, just because it is short, does not mean it has to be boring. Craft an engaging and compelling story in thirty seconds or less to keep Millennials from scrolling on. Avoid information overload, and instead lean to creators and snackable stories to get your message across.

 

Strategy: Align with a Cause

Millennials tend to shop with a cause. For brands, this means looking for meaningful partnerships with causes that align with your audience and can build deeper loyalty connections. Choosing a cause may look like partnering with a charity or, it can also mean working with influencers or social advocates to stake your position with authenticity.

 

Marketing To Gen Z and Gen A

Gen Z boy works on his tablet

Gen Z, sometimes referred to as Zoomers, are born from 1997 onward. This is the first generation to grow up as true natives of the digital era, and as a result, they use digital platforms heavily. Gen Z is predicted to take over Millennials in terms of population size and spending within the next few years, so they are an important demographic for brands to consider.

Gen A—or Gen Alpha—is the youngest generation of all, born between 2010 and 2025. Much like Gen Z, Gen A kids are digitally savvy; they’re the first generation to grow up with smartphones and tablets.

 

Channel: TikTok

As one of the more recent social channels, TikTok has steadily risen in popularity since its launch a few short years ago. TikTok continues to be heavily used by Gen Z and now Gen A. For brands looking to build their audience or connect more personally to potential consumers, starting a TikTok channel is worth the effort. Now with more options to advertise, livestream, and utilize creators, TikTok offers many different marketing approaches.

 

Medium: Mobile

While every generation has adopted smartphones, Gen Z and Gen A use their mobile devices more than any other group. In fact, they watch videos on their phones two times more than the generation above them. This means that regardless of where advertisers are launching—Instagram, Facebook, search, or affiliates—they should be sure to include mobile-friendly sizes and text. Mobile format is how the majority of Zoomer and Gen Alpha marketing will be consumed.

 

Strategy: Utilize Creators

Influencer sets up her ring light and camera

While the older generations may be less likely to incorporate peer opinions into their decision-making process, Gen A, Gen Z, and Millennials lean more heavily toward trusted creators. 72 percent of teenagers have reported following at least one influencer on social media. Partnering with authentic creators who can develop high-quality content for your brand is a great way to build trust with customers and grow your audience reach.

 

Strategy: Interaction

As true digital natives, Gen Z and Gen A require advertising to be more disruptive to catch their attention. Interactive elements such as polls, carousels, and giveaways create more thumb-stopping moments within their social feeds.

 

Adapting to Each Generation

No matter what their size or spending power, every generation has its own marketing preferences. Do not try to capture a new generation with the same strategy as another. Instead, carefully consider each channel and the messaging strategy behind it to reel in a new demographic. Start finding your brand’s inspiration by reviewing our top 10 standout brands on social media!

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