Chances are you know at least one person from each generation, right? And when you interact with these people, you probably notice how different the dynamic is with each of them.
Well, marketing strategies are similar to these dynamics. We must learn how to cater to the needs of each target audience. To keep authenticity in your campaigns and reach your audiences properly, you must understand them first.
Let’s put it this way: You wouldn’t have as much success trying to reach someone from one of the first generations if you did it through TikTok. Similarly, if you want to reach Generation Z, then odds are you will be successful in doing this through mobile devices and social media platforms.
In this article, we’ll help you target millennials, who currently hold the most significant percentage of adults in the world. We’ll show you the different marketing tactics you can use to reach this group and help you know what millennials tend to search for, what they like, and what brands need to be mindful of when they want to reach the millennial generation.
Before we begin our journey, we must learn what each generation includes. From the decades that set each generation apart to some sociological facts, look further into crucial information for marketers.
The silent generation, known as the traditionalist generation, goes from 1925 or 1928 to 1945. They got the “silent generation” name after a Time essay published in 1951, which says:
Youth today is waiting for the hand of fate to fall on its shoulders, meanwhile working fairly hard and saying almost nothing. The most startling fact about the younger generation is its silence. With some rare exceptions, youth is nowhere near the rostrum. By comparison with the Flaming Youth of their fathers & mothers, today’s younger generation is a still, small flame.
This generation believes in the quality of hard work and loyalty. Additionally, they faced some of the most important historical events: World War II and the Great Depression (1929-1939). These events resulted in individuals who became tough, understandably so.
Baby Boomer Generation
Moving on to the next generation, we have the baby boomers. This generation goes from 1946 to 1964. They got this group name given that they were the product of the reunion between their parents after World War II, generating what was called “the baby boom.” The result of this reunion went as far as having a more robust economy in comparison to that of previous years, leading parents to want to have larger families.
As expected, this generational group was raised by parents who had just faced tough historical events, which led to a childhood impacted by these moments. Many baby boomers talk about how strict their parents were, especially their fathers or father figures, mentioning it was similar to a military structure.
The age range for this group is around 59 to 75 years. Some of their characteristics are that they believe working hard to have a successful retirement life is a crucial factor everyone should be mindful of. Furthermore, they believe in the value of working not only hard but correctly. Getting things done in the right way is essential for this generation.
As we get closer to younger groups, we find the X generation. It goes from 1965 until 1980. One factor many highlight about Gen X is their significantly smaller population number in comparison to baby boomers and millennials. There is an estimated 65 million X group adults globally, a decrease compared to the 75 million baby boomers and 81 million millennials.
In these decades, many grew up through significant historical moments like the Vietnam War and the boom of media forms like Betamax and VHS. Video Content became extremely popular in these decades, and pop culture arose. With phenomenons like The British Invasion, which took place around the mid-60s, art became a fundamental part of our lives.
With an age range of 43 to 58, this generation is characterized by liking stability and having a somewhat pessimistic view of their chances of retirement. In our time, you will likely meet a Gen X person in an office environment, especially in higher-rank positions.
Getting to one of the most popular generations, and the one we will focus on the most in this article, we got the millennials. Here is where the age and years definition get slightly complicated, as the numbers vary. Many sociologists believe this generation group was born between 1981 and 1996, whereas others believe it goes until 2000.
Their age range goes from 23-27 until 42 years. Their name comes from being the group that became adults when the new millennium came around. Some of this generation’s characteristics include tech-savvy and speedy skills.
Furthermore, many believe this cohort expects to have access to information quicker than previous generations, as most of them grew up with internet access at home or in their local libraries. However, this results in the belief that they get bored faster, given the many entertainment sources they had while growing up.
In this generation, we see the popularization of email as a communication channel. Game consoles like Nintendo and Tamagotchi became a staple in many kids’ lives, and adults of the previous generations witnessed these changes while trying to get accustomed to them as quickly as possible.
Likewise, this generation holds the boom of two industries that came to stay: digital marketing and influencer work.
Finally, let’s talk about another popular generational group. As with the previous one, the age and decades defining it are in constant discussion. Some sociologists believe they go from 1997 until 2012, while others consider they go from 2001 until the current date.
One of the main characteristics of this generation is how they use social media. Many Gen Z people admit to having issues with mobile phone usage, stating it goes as far as becoming an addiction for some.
Generational marketing is targeting your marketing campaigns based on each generational group. To visualize it better, let’s put it like this: You would not create the same campaign for millennials as you would for baby boomers.
Understanding what product or service works best for each generation is crucial to making the most out of your campaigns. Doing this will ensure the best possible Return On Investment (ROI). Don’t focus on targeting each generation instantly, as not everything will work for all.
For example, imagine you are creating a campaign for a new mobile phone, several millennials will be interested in what you want to sell compared to older generations. Likewise, Gen Z individuals could come across an ad for retirement homes via social media, but, likely, they will not pay attention to it.
Now that you know targeting each generation at once is not the best idea, how do you carry out this task effectively? We got your back.
Logically, they are the oldest age group to target. If you want to create a marketing plan for this generation, you are likely catering toward health services and other service-related companies.
You want to focus on calmer strategies. It might sound obvious, but it would be hard to reach this group through social media channels like YouTube (although this does not mean many don’t use social platforms!).
Think about it this way: imagine you are around 80+ years old. Would a fun but full of high-impact activities summer vacation sound appealing to you? Probably not, considering you would want to rest, and vacation leisurely. You can create vacation marketing campaigns for elders, but they will be highly different from the ones millennials like.
Try creating calm campaigns highlighting the benefit of investing in your product or service. Many people in this group tend to join community centers where they can enter local activities, so consider trying printed ads to let them know what you are advertising.
Most traditionalists rely on magazines or paper to learn about the latest products and services. And while this might sound outdated to you, remember we are talking about the eldest generation globally.
Here is where social media starts playing on your side. Unlike traditionalists, many baby boomers are social media users. With 82.3% of baby boomers online, they are also called Silver Surfers. It means you can use social platforms (especially one of their most used platforms, Facebook) on your campaigns. However, try to keep it simple.
Some industries that might have to target baby boomers are cosmetics, healthcare, and anything that caters to improving and taking care of an individual’s future.
Creating complex ads will lead many potential clients to leave your Business page or website. Furthermore, similar to traditionalists, this generation believes in brand loyalty, so try incorporating this fact into what you want to promote. Also, they enjoy open, effective communication, so make sure to have many communication channels available and verify you offer high-quality customer service.
Gen X consumers will allow you to use one of the most common and effective digital marketing tactics nowadays: email marketing. They prefer this type of campaign, as this is their go-to communication channel. Social platforms like Facebook can be relevant to your strategies, too.
Be mindful that this generation lived through the Great Recession (2007-2009). The impact it had led to them being known as penny-pinchers, almost. So try offering discounts, coupons, or any other offers you can think of
You will find this generation in markets such as real estate or might have an online business. Remember! Targeting this group can be challenging, as they are known for being mostly office workers, which means they spend a lot of time at their workplaces.
Now we reach the digital age in its entirety. Today’s millennials have an account on at least two or three social media platforms. Furthermore, this generation is tech-savvy, meaning you can offer more elaborate ads to them. This group uses older social platforms like Twitter or Instagram and newer ones like TikTok.
Some of the tendencies millennials have include shopping online and paying attention to what their favorite influencers say. So consider adding influencer marketing strategies to your campaign, if possible.
However, just because millennials use social media and make online purchases, it does not mean it is a piece of cake. You must verify your website is optimized to its best capacity. It has to load quickly and work just as fast, as this generation can be just a bit impatient.
Targeting this generation is similar to the previous one. However, don’t focus on platforms like Facebook as much, since many Gen Z people don’t have an account on it.
Try using trendy platforms and media content. TikTok, for example, has revolutionized the way we interact with short videos online. Almost every platform now has a form of this type of content. So, use this to your advantage.
As we get to the end of our generation exploration, let’s focus on our main target today. You probably think it is easy to reach millennials, and you’re not wrong, as this is one of the easiest generations to approach in terms of content marketing.
Unlike Generation Z people, a high percentage of millennials are on this platform. If you want to use it, consider making the most of Facebook Ads and boosted posts. Also, try to optimize your Business page to the max, as this will help them check how legit your business is.
Another platform you can use to market to millennials is Twitter (which is currently going through a rebrand). With an estimated 450 monthly active users, you want to keep an eye on the formerly Blue Bird platform.
Like Facebook, Twitter allows you to boost posts and have ads in it. And, if you manage the platform’s content correctly, there are high chances of your tweets going viral (a helpful tool to build your brand on it)
A platform worth mentioning in our article is Instagram. As one of the most popular social media platforms, Instagram is crucial for millennial marketing success.
Since it is part of the Meta brand, created by Facebook, it offers similar marketing features to the ones on the mentioned platform. However, it has other vital tools for your business, such as Instagram Story Ads.
YouTube is one of the sites that allow you to work with influencers. Be mindful that the influencer market began through millennials, so what better way to reach out to your targeted audience?
YouTube also allows ads, but most marketing appears on user-generated content.
Millennials spend much time on their phones, so consider adding mobile advertising to your campaigns. Online shopping is one of their primary acquisition forms, so optimize your website and Business profiles across platforms to work correctly on mobile phones.
According to studies, millennials spend most of their consumption time on social media. Additionally, millennials have a higher probability of contacting businesses on Facebook, with 70%, Instagram, with 63%, and Twitter, with 33%.
The most notorious consumption trends for millennials are that they tend to invest the most in convenience-related expenses, online shopping, restaurants, and streaming services. And while this isn’t a consumption trend, it is crucial to highlight this generation deals with debt related to college, housing, and more.
It is known that most millennials prefer written communication to any other communication channel. This generation uses customer service chats or any other written channels your website offers often, so ensure they work properly at all times.
We hope this article helped you learn more about different generations and how to target each one.
If you want to turn to social media to carry out your campaigns, you must be aware of the best market channels for millennials and Generation Z, as these two groups are the ones who engage with brands online the most.