How to efficiently reach the three biggest age groups in the society, Generations X, Y and Z? – finding an answer to this question it’s a struggle of every marketer. Each of those groups has different shopping behaviors, habits, ways of looking for information, preferred communication channels. When planning marketing strategy targeted to the chosen audience, it’s essential to consider its characteristics, preferences and needs. Let’s try to take a look at every one of these generations and think how to plan marketing strategy to achieve desired results and attract these audiences.
It is considered that Generation X includes those born between 1965 and 1980. Their most commonly pointed features are dedication to work and career, but also responsibility and family values. This generation uses technology more frequently and comfortably than Baby Boomers, but they need it mostly for work and can live without internet and social media. Although Gen Xers grow up before the rise of Ecommerce, online shopping become one of their favorite internet activities.
How to reach Generation X?
- Email marketing. This is the preferred communication channel for about 80% of Gen Xers! They use it all the time at work and to stay in touch with family and friends and react positively to emails sent by the brands.
- Coupons. For this age group saving money is of great importance, therefore they are grateful if they get promo codes. Up to 85% of them admit that their last purchase was influenced by a coupon they received.
- Loyalty programs. Although Generation X is not as loyal as they predecessors, Baby Boomers, a vast majority of them (88,6%!) uses loyalty programs that allow them to balance their budgets.
- Facebook Marketing. The favorite social media platform of the Gen X, where they seek for entertainment and funny content. Engaging posts on brand’s fanpages make their relationship with Gen X customers stronger.
Generation Y – Millennials
Born in the 80’s and 90’s. Digital technologies are an integral part of the reality for them, as they use it smoothly to make their lives easier and find entertainment. There are lots of myths about Millennials. Mainstream media very often describes them as entitled, spoiled, unrealistic. But there are two sides to every story and Millennials have also a better side: what matters to them is to “be” and not to “have”. The quality of life and experiences matter more for them than the necessity of buying stuff and putting work before anything else. Their rejection of an unrestrained consumerism is a challenge for brands that should come up with something more persuading in their communication than the need of material possessions.
How to reach Generation Y?
- Millennials have a soft spot for brands that offer an additional value, for example charity support or build worthy principles that the organization model is based on. Storytelling or creating an alluring ambience around the brand, such as a philosophy or a lifestyle that it represents may be the strategies that can attract Millenials’ attention.
- Social media. Gen Y eagerly uses this channel to communicate with brands, so it’s worth to use it not only in marketing, but also in customer service. This is where bots come in handy, for example SALESmanago’s Automatic Sales Chat that you can easily connect with your company’s Messenger.
- Participation in a brand’s actions and User Generated Content. Millennials enjoy creating and they love the feeling that they are part of a community. That is why they enthusiastically participate in activities and contests held by brands (especially if they are in line with their values) or use hashtags related to their favorite companies, etc.
- Real-time marketing. Generation Y appreciates improvisation and an informal style of brand communication. This is why so many examples of real-time marketing employed by companies become viral. There is no recipe for a perfect viral – you’ll surely need luck to seize the opportunity and design an engaging creation on time.
The youngest generation that includes those born since the late 90’s. Since early childhood, they live among screens: laptops, smartphones, tablets. They are immersed in the digital world and can’t imagine life without internet, social media and tech gadgets. Moreover, members of this age group are focused on themselves and expect to instantly get what they want.
How to reach Generation Z?
- Personalization. Individual one-to-one messages and delivering exactly what they need is the key to every Gen Z heart. Product recommendations based on their preferences, shopping and visits history is a perfect solution here.
- New social media platforms. The good ol’ Facebook and Twitter are not the most popular among the young any longer. Recent investigations show that only a half of American teens use Facebook. Social media based on visual content such as YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram become more and more popular.
- Influencer marketing. This generation really appreciates authenticity and trust bloggers’ and youtubers’ recommendations more than companies’ publicity. Members of Gen Z identificate themselves with influencers that represent a similar lifestyle, hobbies or values, so they are more likely to buy a product promoted by a creator they like.
To sum up – useful tips
- Create segments of your audience on the basis of the generation they belong to. A Marketing Automation platform will help in your contact base segmentation. Use the knowledge about every generation’s preferences and habits to decide what kind of a message about your brand is suitable for a specific group.
- All three generations are present on social media, but they use it in different ways and with different intensity. Don’t lump everyone together! The main feature of social media ads is that they offer many targeting options. A great example is Facebook Custom Audiences that also can make use of data from SALESmanago thanks to the integration with Facebook Ads.
- Your brand marketing strategy should seamlessly leverage distribution channels. If you limit yourself to activity on Facebook only, then you won’t reach half of the Gen Z that don’t have their accounts on this platform! You can’t allow yourself to omit this growing audience. Embrace omnichannel marketing approach: integrated communication in a multitude of channels. How to do it? Read our ebook 12 ideas for Omnichannel Marketing.