We often hear certain phrases being thrown around, being used to describe different generations. Whether it’s ‘Generation X, Y or Z’, ‘Baby Boomers’ or ‘Millenials’, the list goes on… this jargon, whilst confusing, is important when it comes to marketing. Each of us fits into one of these brackets, and as marketers we need to learn to tailor our strategies to successfully engage each audience.

Chances are, you will be looking to advertise your product, brand or service to different generations, and you should be tailoring your strategy by understanding how important it is to successfully market to different generations. Creating an effective marketing strategy isn’t easy, there is a lot to take into consideration and research must be undertaken to really understand how your strategy will work across different platforms and to different generations. Here, we look at how important this is and how you can learn to understand how marketing to generations really works.

marketing for the generations

First up, what do these phrases mean? Well, let us break it down for you, or at least a few of the most recognisable anyway…

Baby Boomers

1960’s – 1980’s

So called because this generation grew up in an era of economic prosperity and people indulged in individuality, self-expression and social reform. Looking for quick and simple solutions and products that they think will make their life easier appeal to them, this means that marketing to this generation can cause you to come across a few stumbling blocks. It is the traditional forms of marketing that will attract them, but they are also not adverse to new forms.

Generation Y (Millenials)

1978 -1994

Researching this generation was quite interesting, as this is me and most of my friends; what is interesting to see is how we are described as ‘incredibly tech-savvy and self-absorbed’, and apparently we know how to block out unwanted information… When you are marketing to us, subtle messages will work best, as we do not like being obviously advertised to and will easily switch off if we are. We also just about know what it is like to grow up without technology, and are keen to learn more about new technology.

Generation Z

1995- early 2000’s

These guys are ambitious and engaged, they comprise over a quarter of the population in the UK currently, and they have grown up in an increasingly digital environment, constantly connected to whatever device is the most popular at the time. Increasingly, this is the generation that marketers are looking to focus their efforts on, and it is quite hard to attract their attention and engage them as they tend to not remain loyal to brands, and consume media on various platforms constantly.

Successfully Marketing For The Generations

It’s important to note the different attitudes, buying trends and ways of consuming media that the different generations undertake, personalisation and tailored content has become hugely popular in the past few years; each brand has their target markets, and within this we can delve in to their age brackets, gender and what they are interested in. This information helps us create personas and helps us understand which generation you will be marketing to.

Creating personas for your brand can help you understand how to tailor your strategy to each demographic of your target market; for example, if you are targeting someone in the millenial generation, you wouldn’t actively seek them out by sending them direct mail.