Should marketing be the same to different generations? Well, I think we all agree on this one – no, it shouldn’t. But do we use different marketing strategies to target different generations? Do we adjust our sales techniques to fit the needs of different generations? You don’t have to answer that, I’m sure we want to, but in the real world, it doesn’t always happen.
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First, let’s define several generations that we will touch upon:
- Traditionalists are people who were born 1900-1945 (can also be called Veterans, Silent, Moral Authority, Radio Babies, The Forgotten Generation)
- Baby Boomers: born between 1946-1964, can also be called “Me” Generation, Moral Authority
- Generation X: born between1965-1980, also referred to as Gen X, Xers, The Doer, Post Boomers, 13th Generation
- Millennial generation: born between 1981-2000, also called Generation Y, Generation Next, Echo Boomers, 24/7’s
Why should we change our strategies to target different generations?
We all know that interaction with technology, email and social, and even to buying varies so much across different generations, hence there is a need for generation marketing. Compare your buying habits, online interction with how, for example, your mother or your uncle prefers to do their shopping. You should see the difference.
You need to shift your promotional and sales strategies to be successful. Generation X marketing should be different to Baby Boomers marketing, and so on.
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How to adjust your marketing and sales strategies to fit various generations?
Here are some pointers. Campaigner surveyed online shoppers to find out – and so we shall review their findings.
44% of consumers that responded prefer to interact with brands over email. However, almost half of them indicate their biggest complaint about email marketing as the volume of emails they receive.
It is easy to get carried away with email marketing – and not to take into account that your recipients are getting many other emails for various companies – thus most of us are getting way too many emails.
I think we all have to agree on that. I do. My Gmail account currently has 6416 unread emails. See? I will probably have to do a bulk delete soon…
Here’s a tip for millennial generation marketing: Generation Y / Millennials like emails. 22% are “very likely” to open email — that is more than the older generations. So use it, reach out to them by email, but remember, that it’s not about the quantity anymore, but the quality.
You can disagree on this one.
Campaigner found that only 24% of consumers prefer to interact with brands on social media. And the best place to do it is Facebook. Have a look:
I will introduce you to another term – couch commerce. To put it plainly, it is buying products or services online from the comfort of your home.
Couch commerce and shopping habits for different generations:
- 80% of Traditionalists do their shopping at a desk
- Overall, 50% of all respondents like shopping at a desk
- Millennials prefer shopping from the couch (47%) to their desk or bed. But nearly one in five of this generation will browse and buy from bed
- Overall, 34% buy products or services on their couch
- 10% do their shopping in their bed
Store versus Online
The survey looked at where the different generations like to interact with brands:
- Shop wins: 79% of traditionalists prefer buying in a store
- Shop wins: 67% of baby boomers prefer buying in a store
- Online wins: 66% of Generation X prefer buying online
- Online wins: 64% Millennials prefer buying online
Morning versus night
What time of day is best for different generations – this is a great tip for generation marketing:
- Morning wins: Traditionalists and Baby Boomers are more likely to shop in the morning
- Night wins: Generation X and Millennials are more likely to shop at night
Why not focus a more intensive online marketing campaign in the evening to target the younger generations? Or do more online advertising for the Traditionalists and Baby Boomers in the morning – the more targeted you are, the better results you will get.
The research found that the interest in coupons decreases with age.
- 80% Millennials and 75% of Gen X prefer coupons
- 64% of Baby Boomers and 56% of Traditionalists will be interested in coupons
Here you go – these findings definitely show you that behavioural differences in different generations should impact your generation marketing and your sales strategies. Millennial generation should be targeted in one way, at their preferred time, and same goes for all the other generations.
I have also created an infographic and you can view it here.
Good luck and let me know your thoughts.