As a marketer, you would understand the need to segment your audience. Typically this segmentation focuses on age, gender, education, household income, and other demographic characteristics. Demographics are an easy way to understand the ‘who’ aspect of your target audience, but they do miss out on the ‘what, how and why’ audiences react and respond to your marketing tactics the way they do.
Marketing psychographics offer more valuable insights into the interests, activities and opinions of your segmented target audience. An easy way to gain this insight? Focus on the different generations. Currently it is more than likely that your target audience falls into these four generations: Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z. Marketing to these different generations will vary significantly and focusing on each group specifically can drastically assist your marketing approach. Let’s take a closer look at these different generations:
Born between 1946-1960s, Baby Boomers are a massive generational group worldwide. They heavily influence the economy and are hugely targeted when it comes to marketing. They did create a massive increase in need for goods and resources and are now amongst the most wealthy, active and physically fit! This generation redefined city living and essentially transformed society.
Although technology has changed a lot since Baby Boomers were born and they were introduced to the internet as adults, they have actually kept up nicely with the constant changes in technology and seem to be catching up on the online world. They are huge TV fanatics and are active online. This opens up a number of opportunities when it comes to marketing.
Marketing To This Generation
There are three main channels you want to focus on when marketing to baby boomers:
- Search Engines and Social Media
And when it comes to Baby Boomers, it’s not just about where but more importantly, what. You want your content to be interesting, engaging, relevant and timely for your Baby Boomer audience. Segmenting this group is paramount to success as it is such a massive generation. Be as specific as possible to cater to your exact audience’s psychographics.
Generation Xers are born between the 1960s and 1980s meaning they are between 50-30 and are often together to as the ‘sandwich generation’ simply because they’re at an age where they are taking their of their ageing parents (Baby Boomers) and raising their children. This generation is significantly lower in numbers than the other generations as it began at a time of an ‘anti-children’ movement due to the contraceptive pill becoming more common and accessible.
This generation is cynical and yet the most easily swayed generation. They have adjusted well to video games and social media becoming a part of everyday life. They are known to be the hardest working generation given the hardships they faced early on. These are also the founders of huge corporations like Google.
Marketing To This Generation
Generation X can be broken down into two specific segments. The older side of this generation have values and characteristics that hold true to the Baby Boomer generation and then there is the other end of the spectrum which aligns more closely with Millennials. Authenticity is key with this generation. Be honest, upfront and offer safety and security to the groups within this generation.
This generation is both used to and has taken advantage of the available technology and the internet while also still being easily engaged by more traditional practices like mail. This means that both paper and online mail can work for Generation X. Adjust your approach based on where they lie within this generation age breakdown. They also value video content so using that as a marketing tactic would be smart for this generation.
You can use this video on social media. Generation Xers have social media for different reasons, sometimes it’s to monitor the activity of their children. Maybe it’s to remain competitive in the business world by maintaining a strong online presence or perhaps they just enjoy using it. Whatever the reason, the majority of Generation X is on social media now. Focus your energy on Facebook. Remember to be as authentic as possible and represent your true self to have the best shot at gaining marketing success with Generation X.
Millennials are something else entirely. They are extremely unique as a generation. Born in the 1980s and 1990s, they see through a lot of what they see online and really crave a unique approach. They are considered the most difficult generation to market to as they have had the internet in their lives since birth and are extremely tech-savvy and smart when it comes to changes in technology and needing to adjust to suit these changes and keep up regularly. They’ve seen it all online, so to grab their attention you really need to stand out.
Millennials are extremely diverse so they can be segmented into so many different groups when it comes to psychographics. They are also the hot topic in generations and open new doors for marketing approaches as they focus so much on self expression and having a unique image. Marketers can play to this. This desire to stand out is a big part of why Millennials are so active on social media, it is an outlet for this burst of creativity and can facilitate the opportunity to prove who they want to project themselves to be.
This generation is reaching the point of having children. They are also one of the largest generations currently making purchases and looking online for services and products and will be influencing their kids to do the same. Don’t forget Millennials, they are extremely important now and going forward.
Marketing To This Generation
Content is king with Millennials. Create quality content that is engaging and Millennials will consider worthy of engaging with. Make sure you’re up to date with your website and social media to be sure that you are where your target audience is looking. You need to be quick to get their attention so be smart in what you are creating to reach them!
Influencer marketing is key for Millennials. This generation is very focused on the opinions of others before they make a decision and using influencers on social media, specifically micro-influencers is a great marketing channel to gain the trust of this generation. This generation are a bunch of ‘go-getters’ and they’re used to seeing ads and sales all day. Stand out from your competition, gain trust through influencer marketing and create content that is engaging and grabs their attention to have success with Millennials.
The newest generation on the block, Generation Z includes everyone from 1996 to now. They’re still young, with most of them being teens and younger. They’re hard to predict as their characteristics are still being developed. Looking at Millennials for inspiration in what Generation Z will be like we can predict that they will be self-driven and motivated.
While Millennials were born into a world already taken over by the internet, they were not born before the invention and absolute explosion of the smart phone and this is what separates Millennials from Generation Z. Generations continue to become more diverse, unique and tech-savvy and so, for now, we can assume that Generation Z will be no exception to this trend.
Marketing To This Generation
This generation is just as social media obsessed as Millennials BUT they aren’t really worried about Facebook, they’re more interested in Snapchat and Instagram. So, focus your energy on those social media sites with your posts and ads. Try and remain as unique as you can to reach out to this audience. If they are anything like Millennials they will crave individuality when they are looking at brands. they’re also not just looking at brands but also the products! Make them stand out and make sure they’re quality and you’ll have this generation hooked! And don’t forget to focus your energy on social media!
Another way to market to this generation is to focus your generation on their parents. Remember that a lot of the people within this generation are still under 18, their parents are making a lot of decisions for them, financial and otherwise. Reaching out to their parents may be an easy way to market your brand to Generation Z.
Understanding generations is key for segmenting your audience and gaining marketing success. Figure out the generation you will be focusing on in your marketing strategy and segment that generation accordingly to make sure you reach as many people effectively as possible to get leads and customers.