How to do generational marketing effectively? Read on to learn more about how to effectively market to different generations – from baby boomers to millennials.
Customers come in all shapes and sizes. They have different backgrounds, perspectives, and desires, meaning that the old adage “one size fits all” couldn’t be further from the truth. As a marketing expert, you need to be aware of the differences between potential customers, so as to construct an effective and successful marketing plan.
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Generational differences as a byproduct of varied ages are one such factor you must consider when formulating a marketing strategy. Whether a customer was born into the digital age when social media prevails or has only been introduced to the strange world of hashtags and likes at a much later stage in their life are examples of a critical aspect that could greatly influence your marketing plan. Thus, understanding how members from different generations operate when it comes to purchases, products, and services is a crucial part of your overall marketing strategy. This can be a tricky and daunting process, so here are some tips to help you effectively market to different generations:
Familiarize Yourself with Different Generations
While no two people are completely alike, you must not overlook the fact that generational groups can be categorized according to behavioral patterns. People born and raised during the same time period have been exposed to the same historical and social events. These similar circumstances tend to shape the members of a particular generation into a relatively generic lot, leading to at least superficially similar attitudes and perspectives. Being able to categorize customers by generation, then, can give you a good starting point when it comes to your marketing strategy.
According to experts at Podium, the three major generational demographics that you should be aware of are the baby boomers, Generation X, and the millennial generation. Baby boomers comprise people born roughly between 1946 and 1964 and tend to have the most spending power. Finding themselves amidst the bliss of retirement, they often have plenty of free time and money and make for great customers.
Generation X consists of those born between 1965 and 1980 and are also called “The Checkbook Triplethreat.” To quote the article by Podium, “Most Gen X’ers are taking care of a parent and child, so their influence stretches further than millennials’ or Generation Z.”
Finally, millennials are the tech-savvy-constantly-connected-multi-taskers who seem to expect instant gratification in all areas of life. These individuals were born between 1981 and 1996, and even though they aren’t always the biggest spenders, they are arguably the biggest influencers in everyday media.
Identify Generation-Specific Traits
Now that you know what the different generational demographics are, is it important to consider how each generation works when it comes to spending money and making purchases.
The typical baby boomer, for instance, is most concerned about being able to trust the brand that they are buying from. When they are thinking about making a purchase, they tend to prefer to have a real conversation with a sales representative, whether in person or over the phone.
Baby boomers like to be able to watch YouTube videos that teach them about a product. They also place an emphasis on reviews from past customers as these help them to decide whether to trust a product and service. These are things you should consider when marketing to baby boomers — you could tweak your strategy to include “How To” videos for the product/service in question, as well as foster engagement from past customers and incentivize them to leave reviews.
Generation X is obsessed with two things: Facebook and practicality. As a marketer, you would be smart to use these two factors to your advantage. Gen Xers are not worried about the latest and trendiest fad — rather, they are concerned about their savings and getting optimal value for their money.
A well-crafted Facebook advertisement that highlights usability would appeal to those in Generation X. It’s good to remember that Gen Xers were around for the advent of email and are subsequently quite reluctant to let go of it. With this in mind, you might want to consider email marketing tactics for customers in this generation.
Millennials seem to be all about ethics and convenience. If a business can show that they offer an authentic product or service, as well as care for the environment and community, they are more likely to appease this generation. Businesses should also find a way to get the product or service to their customers in a quick and convenient manner, thereby satisfying the millennial generation’s appetite for instant gratification.
Millennials are the “ask Google” generation, and their choices are significantly shaped by social media trends. With this in mind, you should consider social media networking and search engine optimization tactics to target millennial customers.
Understand the Internet
We live in a world where using the internet to reach your customers is not a suggestion, it’s a necessity. You should have a proper knowledge about Internet to effectively market to different generations. Whether the customer is a mom in her late 40s or an active Instagrammer in their 20s, you are going to have to use the internet to reach them. Keeping this in mind, it’s best to make sure that you understand how the internet and all its applications work. Understanding how customers search for products and services on Google, for instance, is central to any marketing strategy.
Google BERT Update
One place to start would be to acquaint yourself with BERT, the algorithm that SMB Team states is, “the biggest change that Google has made to their organic search platform in years.” BERT stands for “Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers” and while you don’t have to know what this means, you should understand BERT’s purpose. BERT is an algorithm that uses AI technology to determine the intent behind a user’s search query. The key difference here from past algorithms is that BERT tries to gauge intent, rather than base results off of keywords that have been typed in.
This is a game-changer for marketers and plays a huge role in shaping marketing strategy. With BERT, you need to change your strategy to create web pages that solve a problem BERT can pick up on, as opposed to building web pages around keywords alone. This crucial development can be tailored to ensure that your marketing strategies accommodate people of different ages. For example, if you were targeting millennials, you might create content that solves problems that millennials care about, such as a response to the question “how to ensure the products I buy are not polluting the ocean.”
Leveraging the internet and Google, in particular, is a great way to market to different generations — you can easily create and/or curate content based on generational preferences, and optimize this content to show up in searches based on an understanding of BERT. In this way, you can use your marketing content to maximize your reach to people of all age groups.
Ultimately, as a marketer, you need to be aware of the differences in preferences and needs amongst various generations. Only then can you create a multifaceted marketing strategy that allows you to realize business success.