Marketing success heavily relies on the target audience. Running a business includes understanding how one age group differs from another, and this is achievable through generational marketing.
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This article will explain what generational marketing is and how to implement it to the five generations currently existing in the market. Read along.
What Is Generational Marketing?
Generational marketing is about understanding the preferences of each generation. It involves different marketing strategies to target different age groups that share similar life experiences.
For a business, investing in generation-based marketing often provides more profitable results. It allows better absorption of the message you’re sending to the audience, which helps businesses gain better ROI, regardless of the platform you’re using.
What Are the Generational Definitions?
To understand generational marketing better, let’s discuss the different generations. Each generation has different experiences yet shares some core similarities that help marketers understand them better.
There are five main generations this marketing method focuses on. Let’s look at their distinct characteristics and how they differ from each other.
- Silent Generation. Born between 1928 to 1945, this generation owes its name to the living condition they grew up in – wars and economic depression. They are hard workers, loyal, value traditions, and have little technological advancement.
- Baby Boomers. Living post-war, between 1946 to 1964, boomers are the wealthiest audience demographic, thanks to the government’s economic compensation. They are self-assured and goal-centric individuals with strong work ethics.
- Generation X. Generation X, or the gen Xers, understand the work-life balance and value independence. Born between 1965 and 1976, they’re adept at technology, considering they witnessed the birth of the internet and cell phones.
- Millennials. The millennials generation marks those born between 1977 and 1995. Growing up with the internet and at prime age, this generation is social media savvy, curious for information, focuses on collaboration, and ambitious to achieve dreams.
- Gen Z. Generation Z’s birth year started from 1996 to today, with no endpoint yet. Mostly, this generation focuses on environmental, political, and social issues. They’re all about technology, unafraid of changes, and value genuine relationships.
5 Tips for Marketing to the Silent Generation (1945 and before)
Let’s talk about the silent generation. Firstly, this article will briefly describe their characteristics related to marketing. After that, we’ll discuss the five marketing tips for this generation.
About the Silent Generation
Considering their age range, the silent generation still holds the same values they had in their youths. As customers, they prefer honest, direct communication and a trustworthy brand before making purchases. The right marketing tips for this generation are listed below.
1. Prioritize Direct Mail
As a generation born in 1945 and before, they prefer direct mail. Based on their behavior and lifestyle, your audience prefers non-digital marketing gimmicks. So, forget about email and send promotional content through mail or build relationships the old-fashioned way.
2. Focus on Print Media
This generation’s audience prefers printed media, which is apparent from the newspapers they read. Therefore, bring your focus to brochures, posters, booklets when introducing products or services.
3. Earn Their Trust
Earning the trust of the silent generation paves the way for sustainable business growth and brand loyalty. As an age group that grew up with direct, face-to-face communication, they expect the same for modern businesses. Brand loyalty is what you achieve if you earn their trust.
4. Invest in TV Ads
The silent generation prefers TV as their primary information source, which makes perfect sense considering their lifestyle, attention span, and the media’s familiarity. Therefore, invest in advertising through TV. These ads can be a topical video, customer reviews, or an infomercial.
5. Learn From Feedback
Keep in mind that this generation prefers genuine communication. The silent generation will likely provide feedback for your business, so take the time to listen, learn, and gradually improve.
5 Tips for Marketing to Baby Boomers (1946-1964)
Let’s continue to the second generation, which is the baby boomers. When it comes to marketing, this group prefers beneficial purchases.
About Baby Boomers
Born between 1946 and 1964, baby boomers value the whole purchasing experience and brands that cater to their needs. This comes from their comfortable lifestyle, creating a higher expectation for businesses compared to other generations.
1. Focus on Social Media
Many baby boomers use social media, primarily YouTube and Facebook, in their free time. Make use of this audience on Facebook by sharing and promoting your content. Many brands create a page or complete profile for brand awareness and building customer engagement.
2. Optimize Ads
Promoting on Facebook also means you can start advertising online ads. Baby boomers mostly use desktop computers, which is advantageous for businesses. Start from Facebook and eventually optimize your ads. Launch Facebook ad campaigns that appeal to your audience.
3. Create Compelling Content
For compelling content, include informative, video-based, or insightful material for the target generation. So, apply it to your website and social media content. Aside from content marketing, email marketing can also be a good strategy to target baby boomers.
4. Provide Great Customer Support
As a generation that mostly grew old wealthy, baby boomers expect a great experience as customers. Providing great customer support equals higher brand loyalty. Have your customer service team use direct communication, email, or social networks.
5. Apply Mobile-Responsiveness
Baby boomers born in the early 60s have adequate knowledge of technology, and some use smartphones. That’s why it’s important to create a mobile-responsive website. Aside from giving a better user experience for boomers, your website will rank better in search results.
5 Tips for Marketing to Gen X (1965-1976)
Generation X understands the way the multi-generational society works. However, they’re often neglected as a target audience yet have a significant impact. Read along to know how they expect brands to market products to them.
About Gen X
Being in between baby boomers and millennials, Gen Xers is a unique group of people. Still holding boomers’ values yet with better digital knowledge, this generation prefers a combination of better internet practices and genuine marketing techniques.
1. Prioritize Video Marketing
Generation X consumes visual content, and this can apply to video marketing tactics. Create and focus on developing digital videos for your audience. This will result in better conversion rates, increased trust in your brand, and encourage customers to engage.
2. Create Authentic Content
Generation X enjoys authentic and informative content before making a purchase. Content producers can focus on this to increase message absorption, genuine interests and increasing the customer base. Create content based on their behaviors, trending topics, and emotions.
3. Choose the Right Social Media
Many generation Xers use social media, and among the most popular ones are Facebook and Twitter. Take advantage of the gen X audience on those platforms to nurture leads and share nostalgic content. Growing up with pop culture, gen Xers enjoy nostalgia-based content.
4. Build Brand Loyalty
Younger gen Xers have similar buying habits as millennials, which means they take time to consider the best product purchasing options. They’re also the most loyal to brands compared to other generations. To support this habit, build brand loyalty by providing discounts and creating loyalty programs.
5. Use Email Marketing
Sending an email can be beneficial when connecting with generation Xers. They have the largest spending power, and it’s a great way to boost loyalty. Establish a clear goal, choose the right content, and include promotions to make your newsletters more effective.
5 Tips for Marketing to Millennials (1977-1995)
Marketing to millennials can be tricky yet not impossible. Read along to understand the best ways to reach this target market.
As the largest generation, millennials are often the primary target market. They’re tech-savvy and enjoy pop culture references in products. Millennials share their era with Xennials, those born between 1977 and 1985. They also value experience and diversity.
1. Keep Up With the Trends
The first thing to keep in mind when marketing to millennials is keeping up with the latest trends. This age group understands digital marketing and how it works. Thus, this generation prefers a genuine, up-to-date product that is relevant to their lifestyle.
2. Focus on Influencer Marketing
As one of the most popular marketing efforts, influencer marketing is targeted at younger millennials. Using social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook to promote products can be a great way to increase conversion rates. The influencers are typically beauty gurus, gamers, or famous families.
3. Apply Strategic Pricing
Millennials conduct research, product comparison, or word-of-mouth reviews before purchasing. For marketers or brands, this can be an opportunity to understand the generation’s preferences better. Alternatively, build positive online reviews to increase trust.
4. Optimize Your Website
Content marketing plays a significant role in reaching millennials and gaining more awareness. From copywriting to website design, it’s always important to optimize your website. Investing in online content can also be a good idea, as this generation enjoys their digital time daily.
5. Timing is Everything
Millennials live in a fast-moving world, both professionally and personally. To cater to their needs, provide information quickly through social networks. Send product-related messages at the right time. For brands, this increases customers’ interest in purchasing.
5 Tips for Marketing to Gen Z (1996-TBD)
Last but not least, it’s generation Z. As young adults and teenagers, they value entrepreneurial aspects in life and purposes in businesses. Read along to understand more about them.
About Gen Z
Generation Z is the youngest generation mentioned in this article. Similar to millennials, they prefer businesses that speak to them and connect through the right platforms. Here are five essential tips for you to implement.
1. Be Genuine
Generation Zers is brand-conscious and all about building authentic relationships with brands. Therefore, a business needs to be genuine in its approach, have stories it can relate to. Focus on developing the right service or product and reflect it into content marketing.
2. Leverage Ephemeral Content
Short-lived and viral content is often shared via social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. It’s a great way to catch their attention using the concept of fear of missing out (FOMO). From this, Gen Zers will pay more attention to the content meaning, which will pique their interest.
3. Engage with Customers
Connect with this generation and nurture them on social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. Use email to make it personal, and include brand transparency as much as you can. Also, connect with Generation Z through current social or political issues.
4. Optimize Mobile Experience
Generation Z is tech-savvy, especially considering they grew up with the latest tech present. Based on this fact, Gen Zers understand a good user interface and experience in mobile apps. Therefore, focus on optimizing mobile-friendliness and overall performance.
5. Focus on Visual Content
Related to the point about mobiles and tech, this generation prefers visual content best. It’s also because of their attention span, which is lower compared to millennials. Prioritize spreading your message through videos, Instagram stories, or illustration-based content.
Characteristics of Effective Generational Marketing
Applying generational marketing can increase your conversion rates and profit. Some effective generational marketing examples are listed below.
- Understand the changes in time. Starting from door-to-door sales to online stores, marketing tactics change over time. By staying up-to-date, you can effectively market to different age groups – both the current and future ones.
- Cater and adjust to different needs. Marketing is more impactful when it’s personalized. Therefore, adjusting how you sell to different customers is a great way to increase trust.
- Acknowledging different lifestyles. When setting up marketing strategies, remember that each lifestyle is unique and based on different personal needs. For example, millennials enjoy online content more than the silent generation. Stay in the loop and up-to-date with your target market’s lifestyle.
- Use the right communication channels. Keep in mind that one group uses communication channels or social media differently than the other. By continually reaching out and engaging with the customers, you can stay on top of using the right methods to communicate with them.
Why Is Generational Marketing Important?
Generational marketing is important because it acts as guidance. It provides a way to conduct different marketing activities and adjust them to different generations.
Understanding this type of marketing also means understanding generations. From time to time, different age groups dominate the market. So, whatever business industry you’re in, it’s crucial to learn the core ingredient of successful marketing: your target audience.
Doing so will help you make a solid marketing plan in the short term. In the long term, it will pave the way for sustainable income and growth.
From generational marketing definition to examples, this article has explained why generational marketing is important. We’ve also discussed how to market your business to different generations while covering what approach is more likely to be effective.
There are five age groups mentioned in this article, ranging from the silent generation to generation Z. Each age group has its characteristics and specific ways they prefer to be approached. Regardless of the tips included, the final decisions depend on you.
Marketing to generations doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution, so we highly encourage you to research and find the best way to capture your market’s attention. Good luck.