There is a lot of confusion and many misconceptions about every generation. See for yourself and Google “Baby Boomers / Generation Xers / Millenials are…”
I bet you saw some negative suggestions by your favorite search engine. Don’t worry, we all got them, regardless of the generation to which we belong.
The truth is that in the end, every generation is a “me” generation; every generation wants everything. Who wouldn’t? We all want essentially the same things, with one big difference.
Every generation is similar to their parents and grandparents when they were the same age, under new circumstances.
Imagine the caveman who invented the wheel claiming his kids and grandkids are lazy and entitled because they ride bikes.
Jump forward to the person who invented the compass claiming his kids are wimps for not venturing out into the world without one.
Now, imagine a little kid back in the day when TVs had dials, being asked by his dad to stand up from the couch and go change the channel on the TV. Then, picture this same kid all grown up and a dad himself.
He has a remote control in his hand and now asks his son to get up and turn the channel dial on the TV. His son replies, “Dad, you have a remote control in your hand. You can change the channel just by clicking that button — and what dial on the TV?”
The dad looks at his son, and instead of changing the channel he sets the remote down and gives him a lesson on disrespect, talking back, and the value of hard work.
The problem is that there is no dial on the TV anymore, and there’s technology that replaced the need for one.
That’s what is happening today.
None of the generations are lazy, entitled, or full of wimps; they’ve all been full of hard-working people who want to succeed. We’ve just been given technology and advances by previous generations and know how to leverage it.
Leveraging technology in Marketing
As marketers and business owners, we understand the struggle to get new customers, and it’s even harder when you’re trying to market to so many different demographics.
Someone in Seattle in his 50s who is unfamiliar with digital marketing will react very differently to a Facebook ad than the El Paso girl in her 20s who knows about digital marketing.
You may be surprised to learn that Generation X is the most active on social networks, even more than millennials. Think about this: if your main buyers are Generation Xers, and you are not on social media targeting them, you’re neglecting a potential source of new business.
As a millennial, and a marketer, I know when brands are targeting me online, and when done successfully, I gotta give it to them — they know how to do it. Their ads feel like they were designed specifically for me.
And that’s the beauty of digital marketing: you can target your market with laser precision. The tools are online and digital marketing is in your reach, but how do we make sure you are targeting all the demographics effectively? Which generations respond best to telephone calls, who is most likely to click on a facebook ad, and what about mobile marketing? Don’t worry, we did some research so you didn’t have to.
Facebook – 82.3% of Boomers belong to at least one social networking site, and Facebook is the most popular site among them. Targeted ads and relevant content will catch their attention.
Online videos – According to DMN3, Boomers spend 1 to 2 hours per week watching videos on the two top video sites they visit: YouTube (50.1%) and Facebook (35.3%). Boomers usually watch online videos to look for more information (48.7%) or visit a company website (34.4%). Use videos to pack in a lot of information, and don’t be afraid of using longer videos.
Content marketing and blogging – Baby boomers grew up before the whole “140 characters” limit, and they enjoy reading, so content marketing will be effective. Invest in content marketing of all varieties.
Email marketing – An oldie but goodie. Email is still one of the most powerful channels to build brand awareness, convert customers, and retain them. Its effectiveness shines across all demographics.
Direct mail – 68% of Baby Boomers prefer direct mail over other forms of outbound marketing. If you are reaching this demographic, don’t be afraid to give it a try.
Coupon marketing – A proven smart approach, coupon marketing is always effective.
Digital video – 78.7% percent of Gen Xers download or stream video online at least once per month. Video holds appeal across generations, but Generation X seems particularly attached to it.
Facebook – Gen Xers spend nearly seven hours a week on social media. It’s safe to say that this generation is firmly in the camp of active Facebook users.
Twitter – Generation X prefers Twitter, so don’t give up on finding them on this social media network.
Content Marketing and blogging – Content of value will help you reap rewards when it comes to every demographic. Keep a laser focus on their pain points and aspirations, and deliver with your content.
Mobile marketing – Everything is about mobile and smartphones. If your marketing isn’t mobile-friendly, it’s ineffective with or even invisible to this generation.
Social media – Dare to go where no one has gone before. Dig deeper than Facebook. Find the specific social networks where your target market hangs out. Think Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
User-generated content – Millennials aren’t just content consumers; having been born closer to the social media era, they are content creators, curators, and sharers. Give them something to talk about.
Word-of-Mouth marketing – Whether it’s a family member, friend, social media friend, or online reviews, millennials respond a lot better to word-of-mouth recommendations and their social influence.
Digital videos, shorts, and GIFs – Short videos, GIFs, and on-demand streaming services are changing the style and consumption of video marketing. There’s a certain authenticity to Periscope, Snapchat, Vine, and other video platforms that appeals to millennials.
We’d love to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments, and share this blog with someone who could use some marketing insight. At 8 Signal we believe you can outsmart, rather than outspend, your competition, so we’re ready to help with any and all aspects of your marketing strategies. Feel free to call us at (915) 585-1919 or fill out our online form to learn more about the services we provide.