Marketing to the Generations

OSG Social Media Marketing

Customer communications is a tricky business. There is no “one size fits all” approach to servicing customers and that includes the art and science of communication. To truly connect with consumers, being aware of the distinct decision-making behaviors among different age demographics makes all the difference.

Studies show that marketing preferences vary tremendously across the age spectrum. They are largely influenced by the world and the times in which these individuals were raised.

For the “Greatest Generation” (born between 1920 – 1944), communication through a straightforward and summarized approach works best with an emphasis on strong values and guaranteed quality.  While they are the least likely to embrace newer technologies, it cannot be completely ignored that within any given demographic, they are the fastest growing population to convert.

 “Boomers” (born between 1945 – 1964), respond to multimedia messaging with an emphasis on youthfulness, vitality and obtainment of all the American Dream promises. This group, whose birthdates span World War II and the start of the civil rights movement, are no strangers to change. While they still respond best to direct mail marketing, technology plays an increasingly larger role in their search for information.

After decades of cultural and social shifts, Gen Xers (born between 1965 – 1980) grew up in a time when it was ok to explore and have fun. Today, they bring a renewed interest in balancing their work and personal lives. Considered technologically “bilingual”, this generation adapts well to both traditional and newer marketing methods. They respond to messages concerning their health and their new or growing families.

Gen Ys (born between 1981 – 2000), the most technologically savvy, challenge traditional business and communication methods. This generation is the most comfortable with change, and is comprised of savvy and keen consumers. They are the most difficult to capture because of how keenly aware they are to marketing and advertising methods. The best way to communicate to this group is through social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

Businesses have to stay cognizant of the shifts and adaptations taking place among their consumers.  Understanding each generation and communicating in a meaningful way will not only get their attention but help steer decision-making behaviors. Utilizing all available data metrics, employing targeted marketing campaigns and monitoring responsiveness are just a few of the ways to make sure you are being heard.

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