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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Digital Tactics


Often, the biggest hurdle for advertisers is making sure that the right message is seen by the right people at the right time. And over the years, advertisers and marketers have developed and implemented creepy, but cool, ways to make that happen through the use of different digital tactics.

Digital targeting takes on many different forms and can be executed multiple ways – it really just depends on what’s best for your message and your target audience. Below are five digital tactics that the TAG team has found extremely effective.

1. Mobile Targeting

Advertisers have the ability to target their intended audience through their mobile devices. Targeting ads on a mobile device are cool because you can capture, or target, people who have visited your competitors – online or in-store – with your messaging. Mobile targeting also allows you to vary your messages by time of day, what they’ve searched for online, or what’s happening with the weather!

2. YouTube

Bumper ads are the 6-second, non-skippable ads that play before a user’s video on YouTube. Because of their length, bumper ads are great for building brand awareness and they act as a nice reinforcement for other digital strategies. Another digital tactic we love is YouTube TrueView which are longer in length and more educational than a bumper ad. TrueView ads are connected to Google, meaning you can get extremely granular with your targeting because it knows your audience’s search history and patterns. Just be careful your messages don’t become too targeted because you may miss someone in the upper funnel.

3. Native Advertising

Native ads are great because they take on the form of whatever website a user is visiting, making your advertisement come across as less intrusive and more conversational. Click-through-rates for native ads can perform up to 10x higher than other display ads, just make sure that your ad doesn’t come off as click-bait.

4. ConnectedTV

Connected TV is defined as a television set that is connected to the internet via built-in capabilities, a media streaming device, gaming console, or Blu-ray player, and facilitates the delivery of streaming video content. As of right now, there are three different ways to advertise on ConnectedTV: in-stream video, interactive pre-roll and home screen placements.

Creepy but cool, right?! What’s even crazier is that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to digital advertising tactics! If you’re wanting to take your digital strategy to the next level, drop the TAG team a line and let’s talk.

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