In the process of writing my book – Small Town Big Impact (You can order your copy HERE!) and then editing, I had to take out some content I initially was looking to include during the editing process. BUT as you know I absolutely LOVE a repurpose – so this blog is based on one of those chapters that didn’t make it into the book!
It’s all about generational marketing and the impact the different generations have on our marketing strategies.
Basically, it’s all about knowing your ideal client and knowing which marketing strategies will work best for them.
Below are some examples of how marketing differs for the different generations:
Baby Boomers 1946-1964
- Traditional Advertising Channels work well. Baby Boomers are more accustomed to traditional advertising channels like TV commercials, radio spots, and print advertisements. Including these channels in your marketing mix can effectively reach this generation.
- Trust and Reliability are qualities they hold dear. This generation values trust and reliability in brands. Highlighting your brand’s history, longevity, and customer testimonials can be persuasive.
- They like Personalised Messaging. While they appreciate clear and informative messaging, personalisation can enhance engagement. Address them by name and tailor offers based on their preferences.
- Offline and Online Balance is a must. Though many Baby Boomers are now online, they may prefer a slower-paced online experience. Ensure that your website is easy to navigate and doesn’t overwhelm with flashy elements.
Generation X: 1965 to 1980
- Authenticity and Real-Life Experiences are high value values. Generation X appreciates authenticity and brands that understand their life experiences. Use real-life scenarios and relatable content in your marketing campaigns.
- Convenience and Time-Saving Solutions are a must. As busy individuals, they appreciate time-saving products and services. Emphasise how your offerings make their lives easier. Think benefits just not features of the product or service you are trying to sell.
- Email and Social Media Engagement are good strategies. Email marketing can be effective with this generation. Engage them through social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn.
- Nostalgia Marketing – love them some nostalgia! Nostalgic elements can resonate with Generation X, as they often feel a connection to their past. Incorporate retro themes when appropriate. Gosh – enter the Barbie movie.
Millennials: 1981 to 1995
- Social Media Marketing and Influencers. Millennials are highly active on social media, making it an essential marketing platform. Collaborating with influencers can boost brand awareness.
- Value-Driven Purchases. Millennials tend to support brands that align with their values, such as sustainability, social responsibility, and inclusivity. This is a great lesson – make sure your brand values are obvious to your customers and clients.
- Experiences Over Possessions. Emphasize experiences and the emotional value of your products or services. Highlight how they contribute to personal growth and experiences with friends and family.
- User-Generated Content (UGC). Encourage UGC to build trust and authenticity. Millennials appreciate seeing real customers’ experiences with your brand.
Generation Z and Generation Alpha: 1996 to today
- Mobile-First Marketing. These generations are mobile natives, so ensure your website and marketing materials are optimized for mobile devices. **This is necessary for all generations really – but it is worth noting that this generation is the first to be “mobile natives” having never experienced the world without mobiles.
- Visual and Bite-Sized Content. They prefer visual content, like short videos, stories, and memes. Utilise platforms like TikTok and Instagram to engage them.
- Socially Conscious Brands. Similar to Millennials, Gen Z and Alpha are concerned about social issues. Show your brand’s commitment to relevant causes.
- Interactive Marketing. Create interactive experiences, quizzes, and challenges to involve them actively.
Seniors/Silent Generation: pre 1945
- Tailored Products and Services – Offer products and services that cater to their specific needs, such as accessibility features and senior discounts.
- Clear and Simple Communication – use straightforward language and avoid jargon or complicated technical terms. Watch the ads on TV for funeral insurance – you’ll see their marketing communication style.
- Physical Touchpoints – Since digital technologies might pose challenges, offering physical touchpoints like brochures or direct mail can be super valuable.
Remember that individual preferences can clearly vary within each generation, no two people are the same and some are more tech savvy and open to marketing than others. Stay up to date on current trends and insights, and this will help refine your marketing approaches over time.
But the biggest question I get when I start to talk about Generational Marketing is “Jenn, I only have x amount of time and x budget for marketing, how can I use different marketing strategies for different generations and not get overwhelmed?” – a question I 100% agree with.
So, here’s some tips:
- Understand your target market and which generations you want to reach. Focusing on specific segments will allow you to tailor your marketing efforts more effectively.
- Invest in a well-designed, mobile-friendly website. It serves as a hub for your business and enables potential customers of all generations to learn about your products or services.
- Social media platforms provide cost-effective ways to reach different generations. Identify the platforms most popular among your target demographics and focus your efforts there.
- Create valuable and engaging content that resonates with your target audience. This can include blog posts, infographics, videos, and more. Content marketing helps build brand authority and attracts organic traffic.
- Encourage customers to create content related to your brand and share their experiences. UGC builds trust and authenticity, and it’s often low-cost or even free.
- Rather than big-name influencers, work with micro-influencers who have smaller but highly engaged followings, or think about your team, your family and friends as micro influencers and use them too.
- Use email marketing to nurture relationships with your existing customers and potential leads. It’s a cost-effective way to send personalised offers and updates.
- Engage with your local community through events, sponsorships, or partnerships. Community involvement can create positive word-of-mouth and brand loyalty.
- Look for marketing messages and themes that have cross-generational appeal. Put your marketing hat on when you are watching TV, scrolling through socials, listening to the radio or reading blogs and other online content.
- Take advantage of free marketing tools and resources available online. For instance, use social media scheduling tools, free graphic design software, and Google Analytics to track your website’s performance.
- Experiment with different marketing tactics and measure their effectiveness. Focus on the strategies that bring the best results and optimise your marketing efforts accordingly.
- Encourage satisfied customers to refer your business to their friends and family. Positive word-of-mouth can be a powerful and cost-effective marketing tool.
- Attend local networking events, join business associations, and collaborate with neighbouring businesses to extend your reach within the community.
- Pay attention to online reviews and respond to them appropriately. Positive reviews can attract new customers, while addressing negative reviews demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction.
Remember, marketing is an ongoing process, and building a strong presence across different generations takes time. Start small, be consistent, and refine your strategies based on feedback and results and data. As your business grows, you can gradually allocate more resources to expand your marketing efforts further.
Not everyone is your ideal client or customer and not every generation is the ideal buyer of your product or service, so don’t be everything to everybody. The more niched you are and the more you understand your ideal client/customer, the less overwhelm you will experience with marketing.
Does that help? Want to have more conversations on generational marketing? Come join me and join in the fun in my Facebook group Like Minded Business Owners https://www.facebook.com/groups/LikeMindedBusinessOwners – love to hear from you over there.
And – if you know you could use some help with your approach to sales and nailing down your niche, I would love to help you! Simply go to https://calendly.com/jenn-smm/discovery and you can make an appointment to chat with me.
I would love for you to book a free discovery call with me to talk about how I can help your nail your business goals, planning, strategy, marketing and social media! Simply click the link and grab a spot!
My Like Minded Business Owners Facebook group is also a great community to join – full of awesome people in small business!
I wish to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land, the Yorta Yorta People, on which I conduct my business today and pay my respects to their Elders past and present. I extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples reading this blog post today.
About the Author:
Jenn Donovan of Social Media & Marketing Australia. Jenn’s an expert marketing coach and mentor from rural NSW. She is all about empowering business owners to earn what they’re worth so they can make a bigger difference in the world. Not only is she a sought after expert on all things marketing for Small Business, she is a keynote speaker, author of Small Town Big Impact, was the Founder of Buy From a Bush Business and a Co-Founder of Spend With Us e-commerce marketplace, and is the host of the very popular podcast Small Business Made Simple and Stories from the Bush. Jenn is all about community and humans interacting with humans! H2H Marketing – human to human marketing. Jenn talks the talk but importantly walks the walk!
Get in touch – www.socialmediaandmarketing.com.au
On Instagram – @jenndonovan_
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Or on LinkedIn as Jenn Donovan