How to Digitally Market Your Product to Every Age Group
Author: Dalia Gopstein
Regardless of the product or service, every successful business should know what marketing strategy each generation responds to best. Understanding each generation’s values and general buying behaviors will bring your marketing tactics to the next level. This article will outline the four major generations: (1) Baby Boomers, (2) Generation X, (3) Millennials, and, finally, (4) Generation Z, and discuss what marketing strategies are most effective for each (1).
Marketing To Baby Boomers
Growing up in a world of economic prosperity without cell phones or computers, baby boomers value loyalty, personal connections, and company relationships (1). Therefore, this generation looks for brands that invest in high-quality personalized customer service. Personalization is a critical component of this generation as they vastly prefer communicating with real people on the phone or by email (2). In particular, language is important to them. Baby Boomers respond more positively when an ad takes a more formal tone and doesn’t include younger slang terms or suggestive wording (4). Additionally, boomers are much more active online than most people think. Around 64% of boomers are on at least one social media platform, and about 70% of baby boomers ages 50-64 use Facebook in particular, meaning it would be unwise to forego boomer-targeted marketing on social media (4,5). Marketing toward baby boomers should include fantastic customer service, clear and formal language, and a personalized touch for every ad or communication (2).
Marketing To Generation X
Like Baby Boomers, Gen X was introduced to cell phones and computers much later. They tend to value getting the lowest price for a product and maintaining financial security and a work-life balance. Gen X is at the age where many of them are financially supporting their parents and children. Therefore, Gen X keeps in mind financial decisions that impact themselves and the generation before and after them (2). Gen X is very frugal with their money and is unlikely to respond as positively to social media tactics geared towards a younger audience like Gen Z (5). This generation is a group of avid couponers and reacts very positively to deals that feed into their desire for financial security (2). Additionally, a work-life balance is highly valued by this group which feeds their need to get the products they want for the lowest prices (5). Overall, Gen X would respond best to a marketing strategy that heavily focuses on couponing for a better deal on older and well-established platforms like Facebook (2).
Marketing To Millennials
As one of the largest generations, millennials grew up heavily exposed to technology at a young age, making it a pivotal part of their childhood. As a result, they highly value corporate transparency and authenticity and strive to find the best product for the lowest price. Like Gen Z, millennials appreciate brands that care about social issues and make that clear in their messaging (2). Therefore, companies that are honest and value-driven in their marketing would be highly effective with millennials. Millennials are particularly active on social media and frequent online shoppers. They greatly rely on and trust the reviews of products and services they find online, so much so that about 90% of people aged 18-34 bank on product reviews to help make their purchasing decisions (5,4,2). Millennials generally respond best to marketing strategies involving value-driven language, effective social media ads, and integrating positive product reviews (2).
Marketing To Generation Z
Lastly, having grown up with enormous-scale issues like the climate crisis, Gen Z values social responsibility and corporate honesty. About 70% of Gen Z prefer to buy from companies linked to some social or environmental cause, making transparency a key component in marketing for this generation. Companies that include sustainability or charitable work with their products or services have a huge leg up in reaching the Gen Z market (2). Gen Z grew up on the internet and social media, making them the most digitally integrated generation. It would be foolish not to use social media as a platform for marketing as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Tik Tok are very effective places to target Gen Z consumers (4,1). To effectively market to Gen Z, it is best to be blunt with your language, authentic and clear in your messaging, and upfront with your company’s values (2).
The above information is not set-in-stone rules to follow, but rather suggestions of generalized trends to help you understand each generation. It is more valuable to listen to the wants and needs of your specific customers/audience rather than strictly following what has been outlined above. Inclusive and diverse messaging in your marketing strategy by a professional digital marketing company can be just as impactful as a Facebook ad targeting specifically millennials. The goal is to reach as many people as possible with your product/service, which can be achieved in several ways, incorporating several strategies listed above (3).
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- Hyder, Shama. “5 Key Trends in Marketing to Different Age Groups.” Newsweek, Newsweek, 6 Oct. 2022, www.newsweek.com/5-key-trends-marketing-different-age-groups-1749232. Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.