As marketers, we know it’s hard to acquire customers. We draw potential customers in with content marketing and then keep their attention by sending cycles of emails in the hopes that they’ll be interested enough to purchase our product. However, it is more difficult to advertise a product to many different groups because each group will react differently to the same advertisement. For example, a Facebook ad will respond differently to a 20-year-old who is familiar with digital marketing than a 50-year-old who is not familiar with digital marketing.
I can tell when brands target me online because of their cute branding and slightly-sarcastic lingo!
How can brands ensure that they are appealing to all demographics? What are the most effective ways to reach different generations, and what motivates them to take action?
Don’t worry. I’ve done my research.
What Is Generational Marketing?
This marketing technique involves targeting different age groups with unique marketing messages. A generation is a group of people born in the same period and share similar ages and experiences. However, they are often shaped by their time’s events, trends, and developments.
Now, on to the generational marketing strategies. Looking for Gen Z? We have gathered the essential characteristics and statistics of Gen Z, along with some marketing strategies to help you tap into this market.
Marketing to Baby Boomers
Who are Baby Boomers?
The group still leaves and listens to voicemails. The Baby Boomers were a generation of Americans born between 1946 and 1964. They grew up during a time known as the American dream, which was a time when many people lived in suburban areas and had white picket fences around their houses. Although they are older, this generation is gradually learning to use technology from the younger generation. In 2014, 65% of adults aged 50-64 used social networking sites, with most of them using Facebook to interact with people they know from the past.
The Baby Boomers are likelier than any other age group, not to understand why there are Facebook ads related to things they have recently looked at clogging up their Newsfeeds. However, they are still receptive to direct marketing/sales tactics. They prefer to talk to real people. The Boomer generation has the highest value as consumers in the market today. They tend to spend more money per shopping trip than most people, and as they approach retirement age, they are more likely to impulse-buy items they don’t need. This generation is surprising because they spend the most money on technology-related items, from premium cable to the newest smartphone.
Tips for Marketing to Baby Boomers
Take Advantage of Brand Loyalty
I’ve learned loyalty is essential from watching my aunts and uncles who are Baby Boomers shop. My uncle was worried that his favorite deodorant, Old Spice Original, would change its formula, so he bought enough to last a long time. When my aunts find their favorite wines at Trader Joe’s, they believe every bottle as if it’s the end of the world. If you show that your product is high quality and will be needed for a long time, you can get some Boomers as customers.
Go for the Up-Sell
If you want to make the most of the money that Baby Boomers are spending, you should use up-sells. This generation is particularly fond of entertainment and wins and buys more prescription medicine than any other generation. TAs a result, they prefer when service is presented to them in a way that makes their lives easier, without feeling pressured. One way to avoid seeming pushy is to ask if someone would like to add $10 per month for an extra 100GB of storage. In other words, upselling can help improve your relationships with customers, and it’s easier to upsell than to make an entirely new sale.
Tie in Cashback
To earn cashback, you need to spend money. This can be a commitment for someone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money. The fact that Boomers are willing to spend money at certain places shows they are committed to those places. Therefore, programs that give them cash back for their spending would appeal to them. A great example of this is credit cards! Almost half of all Baby Boomers say they would rather spend money than have it just sit there, and most are using credit cards to do i. Most Boomers I am acquainted with are enamored with American Express because of the rewards they rack up through costly purchases—points that can be used to finance a vacation or buy a Nutribullet for their niece.
If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It
This generation is most likely to respond to traditional marketing and sales techniques. Boomers are more likely than other generations to want to speak to a real person before purchasing, but they don’t want to be called during dinner. Consumers do not enjoy feeling like their personal lives are being intruded upon by marketing tactics, but they are okay with traditional television and newspaper ads. Most Boomers reportedly use social media to keep up with long-lost friends, which means they will most likely report your Facebook Ad as spam.
While Baby Boomers may be less likely to read long-form blog posts, they report that the shorter articles are the ones they enjoy the most.
This is an excellent opportunity to reevaluate your mobile checkout for Boomers, who are the least likely to purchase smartphones. Could your grandmother get through it seamlessly?
Plot Twist: Skip the Discounts
As baby boomers retire or have already been enjoying retirement for a few years, they can reflect on years of hard work to reach this point. According to the AARP, US adults over 50 spend $3.2 trillion annually and have accumulated $15 trillion in financial assets, more significant than the total GDP of countries such as Italy, Russia, the UK, and France! This means that this age group has much spending power and influence.
Despite the over-50 crowd making up 50% of all consumer expenditures, marketers only spend 10% of their budgets on this age group. There is an enormous opportunity to obtain the extra money that Boomers are giving! Try marketing full-price or “top-shelf” products to them. No-one wants to be stuck drinking cheap wine in their 60s or having to furnish their house with second-hand furniture from Craigslist once their last child moves out. People from the baby boomer generation are more likely to be comfortable with spending money on themselves during retirement.
Marketing to Gen Z
Although you may think young people don’t listen to what you say, they do. They choose not to hear you. Because a filter isn’t just for Instagram. The next generation constantly filters the information they receive from the world around them, including the marketing messages they’re sending.
I admit it. I’m guilty of making assumptions about Gen Z. I think about my adolescence and try to imagine what it would be like for them, but I’m wrong. The world is different now.
When I look at the daily decisions young people make online, I’m surprised by what is revealed.
Marketing to Gen Z? You must change some of your marketing approaches. Here we will look at how you can change your marketing methods to make them more attractive to people in Generation Z.
Digital natives have a different perspective.
How many technology devices do you have around you right now? They’re everywhere, like a supply of digital oxygen. It’s all young people have ever known. Even though the internet is a big part of life, growing up with it is not unique. Many of the same things that happen to kids without the internet happen to kids with the internet.
Kids have to deal with hate on and offline. They see things they can’t un-see. They are trying to determine what is safe and how to trust people.
It’s tough. But the difference is everything is amplified online.
Hundreds of thousands online have agendas and try influencing others with their messages. Offline, you can hide. It takes willpower to ignore the noise online and focus on your actions. Filtering becomes a lifeline.
It would help if you had a solid reason to convince Gen Z to let you in.
Your purpose is critical.
A recent study from Google found that teenagers place a high value on brands that reflect their values and expectations for themselves and their peers.
If someone adopts a brand, what does that say about them as a person? Are they part of something extraordinary? When I think “cool,” I imagine companies that do great things for customers/employees or have beautiful/unusual products. Gen Z use brands to help shape their world.
Take a look at YouTube. Though teenagers love it, it is also one of the Top 100 brands in the world. YouTube’s mission? To give everyone a platform to share their stories and to show them different perspectives from all over the globe.
How to communicate more effectively
Words have the power to affect people emotionally. This is true for every generation. The words we choose to use can influence our moods and thoughts, pushing us in specific directions. Some clear themes emerge from the Google study mentioned above. First, the most popular brands share the same outlook when marketing to Gen Z.
Here are three quick tips to instantly adapt their approach:
Apple promotes its watch by talking about its features, not its ability to tell time. They talk about freedom:
- “Answer a call from your surfboard.”
- “Stream your favorite songs on your run.”
- “Run your day. Right from your wrist.”
Instead of focusing on how the technology works, think about how using the product or service feels. Nobody cares about that. Not when they are about to do something exciting or thinking about someone special.
Use inclusive language
YouTube wants to “give everyone a voice.”
Apple has “a watch for everyone.”
Spotify has “music for everyone.”
People who grew up writing letters to pen pals worry that technology is driving us apart, but young people respond best when it brings us together. This community spirit is something to celebrate because it keeps us together when technology changes and moves on.
The show, Don’t Tell.
Cold and inflexible brands are a turn-off for youngsters. So they’re on the lookout for a more meaningful exchange. Like this one, described by Starbucks on their About page:
It happens millions of times a week that a customer gets a drink from a Starbucks barista, but each interaction is unique. It’s just a moment in time when one person hands a cup to another person. But it’s a connection. We prioritize honoring our connection to coffee and customers by constantly striving for the highest quality coffee and being responsible for our community engagement.
Any brand can make a promise. But Gen Z wants to see you keep it. Starbucks has teamed up with Powermat further to delight people on the other side of the counter. They promote independence from “cumbersome cables” to celebrate freedom, which already makes teenagers very happy.
The presence of mobile charging points in stores assures young people that they will not lose contact with their loved ones. Starbucks is trying to appeal to younger customers by giving them what they want. The success of a brand is built on good marketing, but the most successful brands are those who live by their messaging.
Don’t hide your extra-curricular activities from your audience. If you offer anything else besides coffee, make sure to include it in your marketing campaign. It gives young people an extra opportunity to succeed.
The Meaning Behind the Brand
The National Retail Federation and IBM did a study and found that young people like to follow brands supporting a cause. This generation is more serious about this than any other generation, so you should make sure you can communicate a strong sense of purpose.
What are you going to do to help our cause? Young people don’t want brands to say they’ll do better; they want brands to do better. They want to see the brand improve, or it will be filtered out.
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