How to Reach Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers, and Millennials with Your Online Marketing

When it comes to marketing, it can be so easy to get it all so wrong. The truth is, you can never assume that the way you market your product/service will suit everyone because it won’t! Different marketing appeals to various types of people depending on where they’re from, what they enjoy and even how old they are.

Marketing to different age groups is one of the most difficult things to do. Sure, it’s difficult to market to all the other various categories of people, but age really is one of the hardest to do, because over the last fifty years or so, each generation has been different than the last. For example, the last three generations, Baby Boomers, Millennials, and Generation X (Gen-Xers) have all been incredibly different from the last.

The only way to successfully market the same product/service to a variety of age groups, such as the three mentioned above, is to use a trick called customer segmentation. Customer Segmentation is the act of dividing your customers by the type of person they are; for example, what kind of spender they are. Are they a convenience spender, a brand buyer, a casual buyer and so on? Of course, this isn’t the only way to divide customers from different age groups, but it is a successful one.

The worst thing you can do when it comes to marketing to various age groups- particularly the three primary groups mentioned above- is assume that because they are all from the same generation, they all shop in the same way and therefore the same marketing technique will work on them. However, it may surprise you to know that, actually, some Millennials respond to the same marketing techniques as Baby Boomers, or that some Gen-Xers enjoy the same marketing techniques as Millennials. You can never make an assumption about a group of customers just because they are the same age, and that is where the customer segmentation comes in handy- looking at buying habits is a far better way to see which marketing techniques will work for which people.

Another mistake that should not be made is making the assumption that every member of each age group can be reached through marketing in exactly the same way. Never limit yourself to one type of marketing per age category- utilize all different marketing avenues in order to successfully reach the different age groups.

So, what do you need to consider about Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers, and Millennials when you’re planning out how to market your product/service?

When it comes to Baby Boomers, you must consider their age- they’re around 60-70 years old and so, stereotypically speaking, the best way to reach them is through ‘traditional’ marketing avenues, such as newspaper adverts, radio and television adverts and flyers.However, do not completely disregard digital advertising, as in the US alone, 43% of baby boomers own a smartphone, and 60% of them use the internet for online shopping purposes. With Facebook being one of the original social media platforms, its not very surprising to learn that almost all Baby Boomers have a Facebook account, and so adverts targeted to them via the Facebook website are advisable.

Baby Boomers are the generation that has the largest quantities of disposable income in comparison to Gen-Xers and Millennials. Because of this, they are a little more free with their spending, particularly when it comes to swish techy products, such as new laptops and cameras, in order to try and keep up to date with the world and up to speed with the younger generations. This is definitely something worth remembering.

Gen-Xers are far more superior in the world of technology than Baby Boomers are, only because they were growing up as technology began to advance. While they’re nowhere near as advanced at technology in comparison to Millennials, they’re still pretty up to speed, and this means there is plenty of room for digital marketing when it comes to them. Video marketing, in particular, is an excellent avenue to choose. Most Gen-Xers are found to stream at least one video online per week, so opting to have an advert at the start of YouTube videos, for example would be very beneficial to you. Facebook and Twitter are also great ways to share campaigns and promotional posts that will reach the Gen-Xers, along with more traditional digital avenues such as emails. With almost every Gen-Xer owning a smartphone, emails can be sent directly to their pocket, targeting them at any given point in the day!

Millennials are, of course, the most modern generation to market a product or service too. They’re the largest of all the three top generations and have never known the world without technology. They are, in some ways, more intelligent and advanced in the world than Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers will ever be. Almost every single Millennial uses the internet every day, with most of them using it for up to 25 hours per week, if not more. Millennials are also the only generation that are likely to have an account on almost every single social site going- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube, Blogger, Flickr, Reddit, Vine, Snapchat and so on, making digital marketing the absolute best way to approach the generation. In addition to this knowledge, it is also important to remember that almost 70% of millennials buy a product or service because their friend, or someone they follow, has posted about it online. In order to successfully target Millennials, you must have an incredibly strong online presence that is relevant, interesting and up to date. Never forget that Millennials are so much more than just customers and consumers of goods and services; they’re content creators too. If they like what they receive, they’ll no doubt post about it online, influencing their friends and providing more sales for you. It is important to use this to your advantage.

When it comes down to it, all three generations are very different, but they do have some gray areas where the lines merge, and the generations become one, making marketing techniques a little simpler to narrow down. Digital marketing is by far the most successful and it can definitely reach all three generations, although it will only ever be super successful for Millennials- and that is why it is important not to give up on traditional marketing tools too. Marketing can only be successful if you understand who you’re marketing to. Don’t assume that everyone is the same or can be approached the same, just because they’re from the same generation. Use customer segmentation, get to know who your consumers are and you’ll have far more success with your marketing.

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