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Adapting Your Marketing Strategy to Reach Different Generations

When it comes to developing a marketing strategy for your business, it can be overwhelming determining where to start. Most businesses today that operate as a Business to Consumer, or B2C, have more than one age group or demographic in mind as their target audience. But how do you go about reaching these audiences efficiently when they all utilize different social platforms and mediums for receiving their information? This question is unique in itself, simply because marketing can take place on a large variety of different platforms.

Essentially, you should develop a different marketing strategy for each audience segment you plan to target. Although a different marketing strategy may be the best way to reach each of your target audiences, you also need to ensure that your message remains consistent.

Defining Your Generations

Let’s say for instance that you want to reach your target audience through social media. Chances are your target audiences would fall into either the generation of Baby Boomers, Gen X, or Millennials. So what specifies each of these generations and what are the best mediums for reaching them?

What are Baby Boomers?

Baby boomers are anyone who was born between 1946 and 1964, often known for following the World War II era. They got their name because of the sudden boom in population. They’re oftentimes known for being goal-centric, resourceful, and sometimes stubborn.

Baby boomers written out in block letters on a wooden background

What is Gen X?

Generation X is anyone who was born between the mid-1960s to the early 1980s. This is the group that preceded the baby boomers, making it a relatively smaller generation. Gen X-ers are more than likely at the peak of their careers, meaning that they’re financially better off than the generations after them. They’re oftentimes categorized as being family-oriented, self-reliant, and financially responsible.

People's hands holding up letters to spell out Gen X

Who are Millennials?

Millennials were born between the mid-1980s and the early 1990’s. This generation is known for being tech-savvy, meaning they strongly favor digital media outlets as opposed to traditional media. They are also known for being fearless, hopeful, and educated.

millennials written on a sticky note with doodle images on a white keyboard

How to Market Baby Boomers:

Baby boomers make up nearly 70% of the nation’s disposable income. So how do you effectively reach this demographic?

Because baby boomers grew up in a tech-less generation, many baby boomers today prefer traditional media opposed to digital media outlets. However, even though the baby boomer generation is viewed as a relatively older demographic to reach, they still prefer to do the majority of their buying online.

Don’t mistake this however for being a mobile-friendly population. Many baby boomers don’t enjoy using their mobile phones as anything more than a communication tool. Computers and PC’s are the best way to reach this generation when targeting an advertisement at them.

Another large misconception about baby boomers is that they don’t use social media platforms. However, that statement is just that, a misconception. Many people today view baby boomers as a relatively older generation. However, nearly 68% of baby boomers utilize Facebook, making Facebook the primary social platform when targeting this audience.

How to Market Gen-X:

Generation X can be thought of as the generation that straddles between traditional media and digital media. This is primarily because they didn’t grow up with technology as many of the newer generations have. However, they did likely have access to it when first starting out in their careers.  Because of this, they are thought of as a relatively tricky generation to market.

It truly all depends on each individual and their own preferences. However, traditional media should not be rolled out when trying to reach this generation. Although many people today beg to differ. This is primarily because many Gen X-ers still receive a large portion of their information traditionally. Nearly 48% of Gen X-ers still listen to the radio, 62% still read the newspaper, and 85% still watch traditional television. Because of this, it may be best to consider a marketing strategy that incorporates a mixture of both traditional and digital media.

However, they’re also likely to utilize social media platforms over that of baby boomers. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the largest three platforms they utilize, with nearly 81% of Gen X-ers having a Facebook account.

How to Market Millennials:

When it comes to developing your marketing strategy, digital media would be the best route to take when targeting the millennial generation. This is primarily because many millennials grew up with technology and it’s what they’re familiar and comfortable with.

Marketing to millennials is easiest when you utilize social media channels such as Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, or Snapchat. Video content is extremely captivating to the millennial generation, and may be a very good form of marketing to reach this demographic.  

When marketing millennials, also ensure that you’re marketing efforts are mobile-friendly. Many millennials today use their cell phones when browsing the internet or social channels. However, older generations prefer the traditional PC or laptop.

Millennials also do a large portion of their shopping online making social media outlets the easiest and best way to market to them. Whether you attempt to market them through a platform website, a blog, or a social media channel, taking the digital route is the best way to reach them.

Adapting your marketing strategy can be tricky, but the first step in reaching these audiences is to get a better understanding of them. By simply doing your research, you can successfully reach your target audiences regardless of the generation or demographic they belong to.

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About the Author:

Jaclyn King is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Butler Technologies. Butler Technologies is a printed electronics solution provider that develops User Interface and Printed Electronics.

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