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How to Market to Different Generations Without Using Gimmicks

The world’s population currently spans several generations, which means businesses have more people to market to than ever before. While all generations expect advertising to be authentic and free of gimmicks, it’s important to remember each age group is unique, with its own distinguishing characteristics. In this 2-part blog series, we’ll take a look at each generation to see what makes them tick, and the ad strategies they respond to the most.

Baby Boomers

Born between 1946 and 1964, the Baby Boomer generation is the oldest and wealthiest generation, with the most disposable income. With purchasing power of $75.4 million dollars, Boomers make up 40% of consumers. Yet only 10% of advertising markets to this generation. This means advertisers are overlooking a great deal of potential revenue. Most Baby Boomers don’t consider themselves old or irrelevant; therefore, businesses still need to find ways to focus their ad strategies on that “Silver Dollar.”

market to different generations

In terms of advertising, Boomers have spent most of their lives engaging with traditional forms of media. Because of this, they would rather watch TV or listen to the radio than surf the web. In fact, 61% of Boomers view TV as the most trustworthy medium, and 60% claim they are more apt to make a purchasing decision after watching a TV ad.

Another great way to reach Baby Boomers is through print advertising. 45% claim print affects their purchasing decisions, and 61% view it as the most trustworthy form of advertising. 64% still read printed newspapers, and they don’t mind reading copy that provides more details about certain goods or services. Boomers tend to see each purchase as an investment and take their time making decisions, so the more information they have about a product, the better.

Generation X

Often called the “Slacker Generation,” people born between 1964 and 1980 represent just 25% of the population. But they hold 31% of the purchasing power. Still, they are often forgotten in the marketing fray, which could be a costly mistake. After all, Xers hold $2.4 trillion in spending money, and are often looking for items that can provide security for themselves and their families. With 70% of Generation Xers demonstrating brand loyalty (the highest among all generations), successfully advertising to them is crucial.

So what’s the best way to accomplish this? Although they have lived with the internet longer than Baby Boomers, Xers still well remember life before it and are partial to traditional media. Research shows 85% still watch TV, 62% read printed newspapers, and 48% were likely to tune in to AM/FM radio.

In fact, Xers reportedly watch around 165 hours of TV a month, and 39% claim they are more likely to look to television ads for information. Generation X even responds to print advertising, preferring direct mail coupons to digital ones. That’s why vanity numbers are ideal for advertising to multiple generations.

Knowing the types of media that Baby Boomers and Generation Xers respond to the most will help market to different generations. Next week, we will cover Millenials and Generation Z, so be sure to check back in!

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