Demographic Marketing: Tips for Reaching Different Generations

Alyssa Doebler on February 10, 2014 - 9:27 am in Marketing

marketing demographics

Does your business market primarily to Millennials, Generation X, Baby Boomers, or the Silent Generation? Or, maybe you market to a few or even all of these groups. Depending on which generation your business targets, it’s helpful to know what each group values most in making purchases. Are they motivated most by price, quality, or comfort? How you market your products will depend upon their specific motivating factors.

Millennials (born 1981-1995)millennials purchase decision making process

This group is young, optimistic, eager to learn, and oftentimes, impatient. They’re interested in living for the moment and are dependent on technology. If you’re targeting this group, you want to make sure you’re staying up-to-date on the latest and greatest technology trends and have a strong online presence. Millennials typically ask for product purchase advice via texting, blogs, and Facebook. If you send out emails, make sure they’re mobile friendly and personalized for their specific preferences. This group is more likely than the others to make impulsive purchases. Upon checkout, offer them additional items to purchase, and always have items set up at the register they can buy on their way out.

Generation X (born 1965-1980)

generation x marketing demographicThis group values flexibility, freedom, self-reliance, and open communication. They are often skeptical, making it harder to reach them with marketing efforts. You need to earn their trust. Focus on using traditional, conservative marketing since this group isn’t as interested in following trends. They are most likely to ask product questions via email and social media, so you want to make sure you’re reaching them using those methods.

Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964)

This group works hard and values individualism and social causes. They seek relationships, loyalty, and trust. Tailor your marketing to this group by offering a sense of community and togetherness. Baby boomers are motivated by price more than the other groups. They think low prices are important both in stores and online. Bybaby boomer purchase decision making process running good sales and discounts, you will be able to sell more to this group. They typically rely on product advice by phone, email, or face-to-face communication with people they know and trust. It’s important to really take the time to get to know these customers and make sure that they know who you are and what you stand for.

Silent Generation “Traditionalists” (Born mid-1920s to 1945)

silent generation purchase decision making processThis group values comfort and quality and works hard to overcome obstacles and get things done. Emphasize the quality and value of your products when marketing to this group. When buying products online, they believe free shipping is very important. They also value flexible return policies, whether the product was bought in store or online.

 

Universal Preferences for Every Generation

Over 80% of consumers will at least occasionally seek advice before making purchases, either by seeking the counsel of friends/family or reviews online. More than one-third of consumers read reviews before making purchases. Make sure your business is on the right websites to get online reviews. Yelp and Google Places are great places to start. Check out this HubSpot blog for more ideas to get online reviews. With the rise in online shopping, also make sure your shop is providing extra value and personalized help that can’t be found online.

online product research

Across the Ages: Generational Impact on Spending, National Retail Federation. Data comes from Prosper Insights Monthly Consumer Survey, December 2013. Only top responses shown among those who regularly or occasionally research items online before buying in a store.

Market your products in a way that appeals to your target generation while remembering the universal wants and needs of all groups. By doing this, you’ll reach more of your customers and sell more products.

* Data & statistical facts for each generation were taken from a report done by the NRF: Across the Ages: Generational Impact on Spending.

 

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