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Marketing Toward the Right Customer Group

22nd Nov 2015
Freelance SEO Digital Marketer Freelance Consultant
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When it comes to marketing toward customers, it is important to keep your demographics in check, and make sure you are targeting the right crowd. And although a brand manager could create an amazing marketing campaign, if it targets the wrong age group, then it will have all been for naught.

Generational Differences

Of course, it isn’t easy for a small business owner to target different demographics, due to the costly nature of splicing data and obtaining high quality market research. One solution is to target potential customers on a macro level, and understanding generational differences in order to properly target the right marketing campaigns toward the right audiences.

To explain this, let’s first break down the various generations:

·         Born 1946-1966: Baby Boomers

·         Born 1966-1980: Generation X

·         Born 1980-1995: Millenials

·         Born 1995-2010: Generation Z

Marketing toward different generations is important:

Baby Boomers: Life is Good

Though marketing agencies probably don’t bother with marketing toward Baby Boomers, I would not completely ignore them. They still represent a sizable population, have significant spending power. Marketers tend to get caught up in the future, and though Millenials and Generation Z certainly sound sexier, Baby Boomers are still have more spending power than each of these 2 groups.

Boomers are known for being optimistic, having been born in the post World War II economic boom. Boomers worked hard and earned their money. At this stage in life, many of them are retired and are likely interesting in spending their money. One important thing to keep in mind – don’t be fooled by their retirement – Boomers are always looking to improve their life, and 57% of them actually plan to move out of their current homes. This indicates both a willingness to spend as well as an openness to newer things – whether it is a lawnmower or a house. 

Generation X: Keep it Real

Gen X had it a bit harder than their parents. This generation was brought up in dreary aftermath of the Vietnam war, energy crisis, witnessed higher divorce rates, and earned less money than their elder counterparts. This caused Gen X to be a big more skeptical in general. That is why the best piece of marketing advice for this generation is one word: authenticity. A further dive into authenticity includes elements of quiet – Gen X craves safety, after witnessing severe inflation and job losses in the 70’s and early 80’s. That is why marketing campaigns geared toward them should avoid anything too loud or noisy, and rather evoke calmness.

Another attribute is realness – Gen X has no appetite for anything remotely misleading, regardless if that misleadingness is borne out from bombast. Brands should emphasize that their products protect not just their consumers’ money, but also their homes, families, and even the environment. Reassuring customers is the best way to improve brand messaging toward them.

Millennials: Earn Our Trust

Millennials are all the rage today, and have been the focus of employers and marketing campaigns for the last few years. Millennials are a unique bunch because they overlap the pre-internet era, yet grew up with it and as a result are more technologically inclined than their parents. As a result, millennials are considered to be less brand loyal, and not worried about tradition. Marketing campaigns geared toward millennials can certainly afford to be edgy. Another interesting aspect is though they are career-oriented, they worry more about life, and are extremely protective about work/life balance. This leads back to the idea of brand loyalty – millennials crave transparency, and brands that show this are more likely to acquire trust and loyalty from a young adult. 

Generation Z: Hurry!

Tomorrow’s generation has rapidly ascended upon us, as Generation Z is a logical extension of Millennials but influenced by their Generation X parents. Generation Z is known for having short attention spans, constantly connected with multiple screens (sometimes as many as 5!), and extremely ambitious. That is why connecting to and understanding Generation Z means recommending quick advertising campaigns, ideally in video form. Today’s teenagers are not only ambitious, but also very independent, with 75% hoping to turn their hobbies into full time jobs, and 61% plan to be entrepreneurs when they graduate from college. Marketers would be wise to respect Generation Z, and bring in elements of authenticity that they apply toward Generation X.

Future Customers

They key takeaway is to remember that although your product might fit many age groups, it would be wise to create different campaigns to target different age groups. By honing in on different age groups, a brand will be more likely to create more organic followings, create more customers, and better spend their marketing dollars. Once target markets are set, the focus can shift toward personalization and keeping customers satisfied and loyal.


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