Are you sending appropriate messaging to your audience?
The study of how different generations interact within the marketplace is absolutely imperative when trying to understand buyer behavior. For the first time, there are four different generations in the workplace, meaning four different generations, or age cohorts, spending money. An age cohort is defined as a segment of people from a similar geographic location born roughly around the same. Their life experiences can be defined by certain events. The question, “Where were you when [some major event in time happened]” will always draw generations together. For Baby Boomers, it was JFK’s assasination, and for Generation Xers it was the Challenger tragedy. For my generation, it was 9/11.
So how do we break up the four different generations, and what are some major descriptive qualities of these generations?
1. Traditionalists (aka The Silent Generation)
- Born between 1922 and 1946
- Lived by the motto “Live to work”
- Civic minded and respects authority
- Called traditionalists because of their slow adaptation to new technologies and innovations.
- Very loyal
- Because many experienced the aftermaths of the Great Depression, they are not wasteful and are hardworking.
- To market effectively to traditionalists, you have to show the value of the product, and reward their loyalty to your product.
2. Baby Boomers
- Born between 1946 and 1964
- Tend to be workaholics, and are driven by success
- They sought stability, and wanted their children to have a better life than they did.
- More and more boomers are holding off of retirement because of economic downturn.
- Many are embracing technology, and are the leading users of online dating
- Boomers currently have the largest spending power, and account for 55% of consumer product goods purchased.
- Boomers prefer contact through email or phone calls. They are still to use texting and social media.
- Ageless is a quality they seek after.
3. Generation X
- Born between 1965 and 1976
- They are currently waiting for Baby Boomers to retire
- Were brought up in a time of huge layoffs, making them to first generation to be skeptical of loyalty to companies
- Divorce rates increased at this time, giving them different views on family makeup
- Overall, this generation is very distrustful of corporations and faceless entities. This means making the experience more personable for them.
- Generation X is more likely than any other generation to research a product or service before they buy it.
- To gain their trust, offer a money-back guarantee.
- Grew up with the introduction of new technologies, so they are true digital natives.
4. Millenials (aka Generation Y)
- Born between 1977 and 1995
- This is the fastest growing generation
- Tend to “live in the moment” and are the most social of the groups.
- This generation has embraced more technology than any other.
- Are delaying adulthood by 3-5 years more than any other generation
- Have short attention spans due to being raised with the Internet
- Love to challenge the status quo, so they do not trust traditional advertising.
- Are more likely to get behind a character-driven marketing campaign, rather than a product.
- Their spending power is just beginning to grow.
All four generations are marked by different needs and values, so it is absolutely important to know your audience. And now, without further ado, our infographic:
Preston Swincher, from Center for Generational Kinetics: http://www.genhq.com/whatthegen