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Marketing Tactics for EACH Generation


Creating a marketing strategy is one thing, but making sure it is effective is another. Effectiveness comes when your message reaches, is seen and understood by, and affects your target market’s actions. The tricky part comes when you are trying to reach a general public (of all ages) at one time. It is important to educate yourselves on the different generations that you are trying to reach in order to make your marketing initiatives worth the effort. The generations are:


  • Silent Generation/ “Traditionalists:” born prior to 1946 (ages 69-plus).
  • Boomers: 1946-1964 (ages 51-69).
  • Generation X: 1965-1980 (ages 35-50).
  • Generation Y/Millennials: 1981-2000 (ages 15-34).


Let’s go through each generation and find the best ways to market to the segment:


Generation Y/Millennials:

There are more than 80 million Millennials. They grew up on technology, are more educated on research, and have more choices available to them. Their consumer behavior is unpredictable, and they are not always brand loyal. Most are extremely comfortable online shopping.


  1. Have strong online presence (through blogs, social media)
  2. Always stay up to date with newest technology (don’t let them beat you to the punch)
  3. Make EVERYTHING you do mobile friendly and incorporate humor


Generation X:

There are roughly 65 million Americans in this generation. This segment is at the peak of their earning and spending years. They have been introduced and some are fluent in smart phones and electronic devices. They act less on impulse decisions, are not easily convinced, and believe in actions over words (“Show Me”). They also rely heavily on advice from peers.


  1. Utilize word of mouth advertising by focusing on customer testimonials
  2. Avoid sales tactics and give them the facts and how they will benefit
  3. Market traditionally (direct-mail) as well as digitally (e-mail)


Baby Boomers

There are about 76 million Baby Boomers. Their key values are hard work, individualism, and social activism. Most Boomers are focused on loyalty, trust, and community. Entering retirement, they aren’t likely to spend freely, but focus on deals and discounts.


  1. They care about company values
  2. Face-to-face communication is most effective with this group
  3. Target promotional campaigns to this segment


Silent Generation/Traditionalists:

This segment contains 50 million consumers. These people overcame impact of Great Depression and World War II. They look for value in exchange for money. Most seek comfort and a sense of belonging and don’t like being overlooked because of their age.


  1. Focus on traditional forms of marketing, but have easily understandable product information on your website
  2. Single images have more of an impact, use larger fonts and proper grammar
  3. They respond positively to message that convey appreciation and respect


Whether you are targeting one or all of these generations, it is safe to say that the more you know about your customers, the more familiar you will become with their needs and lifestyle choices. All of this knowledge will help you more effectively reach the right audience, at the right time, in the right way. What more could you ask for? Need help on messaging? We are here for you. 


Sources: Yahoo! Small Business, Smart Hustle Magazine

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