Generational Marketing: Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennial’s & Gen Z

In order to effectively communicate your messages, you need to know who you’re talking to.

A lot of marketers like to create a persona who embodies the ideal audience member for their brand.

For example, Old Navy’s target buyer persona is named Jenny. According to Old Navy’s former president Tom Wyatt, Jenny is:

  • Aged 25-34
  • College educated
  • Married with kid(s)
  • Earns between $40,000 and $70,000 annually
  • Interested in: apparel, fashion and beauty – on a budget

 

By creating a persona that aligned with their brand and tailoring ads to speak to “Jenny,” Old Navy exceeded both of its upscale sister brands, Gap and Banana Republic, in profits.

So, after you’ve established who you’re talking to, along with their likes and dislikes, it’s time to figure out the best way to reach them. For example, if your target buyer persona is a sixty-some year old man, you’re going to use different strategies and platforms to share your messaging than you would if your persona was a twenty-something female.

Below we’ll walk you through what each living generation looks like, where they’re consuming media and how to target them with your marketing messages.

Baby Boomers

The first generation we’re visiting is the Baby Boomer. This generation spends the most money, yet they only make up 5-10% of digital marketing efforts.

  • Aged 54 – 72
  • Spend time reading blogs and online articles
  • Spend 27 hours per week online
  • 19% more likely to share content than any other generation
  • Facebook is their most-used social platform
  • Watch an average of three hours per day of traditional TV, most likely to consume traditional media
  • Interested in products and services for themselves, their children and their grandchildren
  • Famous Baby Boomers: Fabio, Madonna, Phil Robertson

The Takeaway: Traditional media, for Baby Boomers, is still alive and well and a great way to reach members of this generation. A carefully crafted and targeted Facebook Advertising campaign is also an opportunity to reach members of this generation, especially with Baby Boomers being more likely to share content than any other generation. If you do decide to create Facebook Video Ads targeting Baby Boomers, remember that they shouldn’t be as fast-paced as a Facebook Ad targeting Millennials or members of Gen Z.

Source: Smart Insights

Generation X

Members of Gen X make up 31% of the total U.S. income, yet they only comprise 25% of the population.

  • Aged 38 – 53
  • Make a middle class income
  • Outspend all other generations in: housing, clothing, eating out, and entertainment
  • 81% have a Facebook profile and use it to keep up with their children and to consume news
  • Spend seven hours per week on social media
  • 85% watch traditional TV, 62% read a newspaper and 48% listen to the radio regularly
  • Famous Gen X’ers: Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Reese Witherspoon

The Takeaway: Traditional media continues to work with marketing efforts targeted to members of Gen X, with high consumption rates in traditional TV, radio and even newspaper. This generation is more likely to spend money on nights out and entertainment than other generations because of their middle-class income, so try a campaign geared towards selling them an “experience” rather than focusing on a specific product or service.

Source: Vision Critical

Millennials

The largest group out of the living generations with over 92 million members in the U.S., and they make up a quarter of the nation’s population.

  • Aged 23 – 38
  • Least likely to shop for goods in-store
  • 95% believe their friends are the most credible source of product information
  • Spend a total of $600 billion in the United States annually
  • 41% use Facebook daily
  • Spend 25 or more hours per week online
  • 65% start interactions with a brand online
  • Consume more digital video and media than the average person
  • Most used social platforms: Facebook (83%), Instagram (53%), Twitter (37%), and Pinterest (34%)
  • Famous Millennials: Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Selena Gomez

The Takeaway: Millennials are learning about new products and purchasing them online so digital advertising is key. With this generation putting so much emphasis on peer recommendations as the most credible source of product information, encourage your social media followers to write a review of your business on Google or on Facebook. While not every review written will be positive, be sure you respond to everyone who takes the time to share their experience with your brand online. Doing so will build up your brand transparency - something that’s important to Millennials.

Sources: MediaKix, WordStream, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Ascend

 

 Gen Z

Makes up a quarter of the U.S. population and will account for 40% of all consumers by 2020.

  • Aged 6 – 22
  • Digital natives (they don’t know a world without the internet, smartphones)
  • Multi-task across five different screens
  • Have an attention span of 8 seconds – less than a goldfish
  • 85% learn about new products on social media
  • 50% of Gen Z’ers don’t think they could live without YouTube
  • 24% think Facebook is for “old people,” but use the platform to stay in touch with family and relatives
  • Most used social platforms: YouTube (95%), Instagram (69%), Facebook & Snapchat (67%), and Twitter (52%)
  • Famous Gen Z’ers: Shawn Mendes, Kylie Jenner and Yara Shahidi

The Takeaway: With an attention span that’s less than a goldfish, it’s important to peak Gen Z’s attention in three seconds or less, otherwise they’re already scrolling onto the next piece of content. Then, once you do capture their attention it’s important to get right to the point – what do you want them to do? You’ll find success in reaching and engaging members of Gen Z with YouTube bumper and/or TrueView ads, as they’re most likely to be on YouTube than any other social platform.

 

Sources: Vend, AdWeek

 

Want more? TAG’s team of professionals does this for a living. Let’s talk about your target buyer persona and build a killer campaign!

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Marketing to Generation Z


Knowing your target audience is important to effectively market your business. For example, audience members for an interior design business are typically going to look, and act, a lot differently than audience members for a company selling beef jerky. Defining your audience is key in getting your business’ message in front of people who are ready to engage and convert.

Just when you think you’ve mastered marketing to Millennials, a new generation comes running through the doors full speed ahead. Allow us to introduce you to Gen Z.

Who is Gen Z?

Gen Z is the generation born between 1996 and 2012. There are over 23 million people in the U.S. alone who identify as members of Gen Z and it is considered America’s most diverse, multicultural generation to date.

Unlike Millennials, Gen Z is characterized by their initiative and entrepreneurial skills. They grew up during tough times (post 9/11, the recession) and over half of the generation is already actively saving for retirement, in fear that they will never have social security to claim.

Celebrity endorsements really resonated with a Millennial audience and this remains true when talking to members of Gen Z as well. But, Gen Z puts importance on transparency so if celebrities are in the ads they’re seeing, they prefer the endorser discloses that they’re getting paid to talk about a brand or product. Authenticity is (major) key! 

What social platforms do they prefer?

While Gen Z spends most of their time on YouTube, they do still utilize other social platforms – but for different reasons.

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Source: Defy Media Acumen Survey (March 2017)

They’re most likely to keep in touch with friends on Snapchat, while Facebook is where they keep tabs on Grandma. YouTube comes out on top for where Gen Z is interested in getting shopping recommendations (product reviews) and how-to videos (tutorials).

Gen Z loves technology – and as they should. They grew up with accessibility to technology and don’t know a world without the internet, cell phones or Mark Zuckerberg. Gen Z’s dependency on tech has already impacted the way businesses are marketing their products and services. They consume information online – with YouTube leading the charge. YouTube is how members of Gen Z learn how to change a tire, bake a cake, learn an instrument, and more! In fact, 95% of Gen Z uses YouTube regularly and 50% believe they can’t live without it.

With so much focus on digital, traditional media (TV) has taken a back seat. But don’t get it confused, video consumption continues to grow – it’s just on more non-traditional platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and ConnectedTV. In fact, these platforms are instrumental in getting video messages across to members of Gen Z.

How do I reach Gen Z?

Gen Z is really in-tune with brands that are being genuine and authentic in their marketing, more so than any other generation. They identify and focus on meaningful brand interactions and are most likely to dismiss marketing efforts that come across as insincere. Because Gen Z prioritizes transparency, social channels, like Instagram, give consumers the opportunity to

learn and interact with businesses more organically. Gen Z prefers unobtrusive brand messaging, which is evident in the rise, and success, of influencer marketing.

Your business can also reach members of Gen Z by creating a YouTube channel and uploading engaging and informative content. Or, if you’re looking for paid advertising opportunities, YouTube TrueView and/or Bumper Ads will deliver your messages on platforms Gen Z is already using in a cost-effective manner.

To put together a comprehensive marketing approach for Gen Z, talk with the TAG Team. We build brands that matter.

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Which is Better for Your Brand: Snapchat or Instagram?

59% of 18-29 year-olds use Instagram (via SproutSocial) while Snapchat reaches 41% of 18-34 year olds in the U.S. every day (via Smart Insights). Needless to say, if you’re not on at least one of these platforms, you’re missing out on marketing to a large, and important, audience.

While Instagram and Snapchat are similar, the two cater to different audiences, with different content that can be interacted with in different ways, so we’re breaking it down to help you figure out which platform is best for your business.

 Similarities

Instagram was released in October 2010, just shy of a year before Snapchat’s launch in September 2011. Instagram and Snapchat allow their users to share their experiences through images, and both platforms eventually expanded to incorporate video.

Snapchat originated the “stories” concept early into its existence. A “story” gives you the option to share one or more photos and/or videos for up to 24 hours with your friends. Instagram implemented its “stories” feature in August of 2016 and, for many, blurred the lines between the two platforms. As you’ll learn below, Snapchat and Instagram are still very different when it comes to audiences and content.

Audiences

Instagram caters to an older audience when compared to Snapchat. 59% of its audience is made up of 18-29 year olds, with 30-49 year-olds making up 33% of its audience.

Instagram’s audience base is also more educated than audiences on other social platforms. 37% of adults with some college experience use Instagram and college graduates make up 33% of its users.

Instagram’s income demographic reinforces the fact that its users are college educated, as 37% of adults who make more than $75,000 are on the platform.

Source: SproutSocial

Snapchat is the most-used social platform for people aged 12-24. In fact, 13-24 year-olds account for 60% of Snapchat’s total audience. According to MediaKix, 60% of college students would purchase from a brand if they were sent a coupon on Snapchat and 77% of college students use the platform daily, averaging 25-30 minutes.

Source: Smart Insights

Content

(Fun fact: Kylie Jenner revealed in her E! series Life of Kylie that she pays nothing for advertising. The 20-year-old CEO of Kylie Cosmetics says that the only advertising she does is on her personal Instagram and Snapchat accounts.)

Snapchat and Instagram both offer a platform for people to share photos and videos, but the content being shared differs.

Content on Instagram is often edited and refined. Brands are easily found on the platform, and the content shared is accessible by anyone, as long as your account is not set as “private.” Posts on Instagram also have a longer life-span, as once they are “posted,” they’re available for people to look at and interact with forever (or until the person who posted it, deletes it).

Unlike Instagram, most of the content that’s shared on Snapchat is typically between two “private” accounts and isn’t open to the public. However, there are public profiles (brands, celebrities, public figures, etc.) and the content that’s posted from those accounts is raw and unrefined. This kind of authentic content really resonates with Gen Z, as they feel that the brands that share raw and real content are more trustworthy.

A lot of brands find success using Snapchat geofilters, which can be designed on Snapchat’s website with their pre-made templates, or personally designed and uploaded (Geofilters are photo and video overlays that are accessed within a set location). For example, if your business is putting on an event where you know a lot of its audience members will be on Snapchat (concerts, fairs, etc.), then a geofilter would be an easy, effective and cost-efficient way for that audience to interact with your brand.

Interactions

The content is different on each platform, so the way it’s interacted with is different, too.

Content on Instagram can feature custom hashtags, users may tag other businesses or people, and there’s the ability to “like,” “comment,” “share,” “save,” and “send” photos and videos. In fact, 7 out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded, according to SproutSocial. Much like posts on Facebook, when you’re posting to Instagram, you also have the ability to select a location to associate your post with, giving that piece of content yet another way to be found.

When Snapchats are played, users have the ability to privately respond either via text or by snapping back a photo or video. Recently, Snapchat gave its users the ability to attach a link to their posts when users swipe up, giving brands the ability to track traffic from Snapchat more easily. On Snapchat, users can also see who has viewed their posts, who has replayed a snap and which users have taken a screen shot of the post.

What’s best for your brand?

Now that you know the differences between Snapchat and Instagram you could go frolic in a field and throw paper hearts in the air in celebration (thanks for the transition, Chris Pratt), OR you could get serious about your social strategy and call TAG! Let’s talk about which platform is best for your brand.

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