Certainly it seems that the default marketing mindset these days is to focus almost exclusively on targeting Millennials.
After all, why not? With approximately 83.1 million members, this generation now represents more than a quarter of the U.S. population.
And there’s no shortage of media attention: everyone, it seems, is fascinated by this young, tech-savvy generation and fully intent on harnessing its power.
However, it doesn’t logically follow to neglect two of the other generations comprising a sizable segment of the population:
It may not be as hip to target these markets, but ignoring them means you’ll be missing some valuable opportunities.
Reaching the Baby Boomers
First, keep in mind that the Boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964) currently possesses 70 percent of the disposable income in the U.S.
Furthermore, according to a recent survey, over half of the Boomers are willing to splurge and one-third will readily upgrade to the latest model of a product, making this group a field ripe for harvest if targeted correctly.
And, contrary to the tired stereotype of the tech-challenged senior, Boomers are actually quite well-versed when it comes to new technology.
For one thing, they can easily afford to buy the latest and greatest tech releases (surprisingly, they purchase more Apple products than any other generation).
Because so many in this age group are grandparents, they’re also spurred by the ever-present need to keep up with their children and grandchildren via social media.
Baby Boomers typically value nostalgia, quality, and the tried-and-true, which is why they are often fiercely loyal to the brands they love.
So, in terms of reaching this group, a successful marketing campaign is one that hits the sweet spot in the Venn diagram where all three values intersect.
When you’re planning a marketing campaign, find a way to leverage your brand at an angle appealing to the Boomers’ foremost sensibilities.
Boomers don’t enjoy being thought of as “old” or “irrelevant” (who does?), so one tactic that some brands have employed is using Boomer actors to market a universally-loved product.
Nespresso, manufacturer of luxury coffeemakers, recently nailed this concept when it featured George Clooney and Danny DeVito in a TV commercial.
Another example of a brand perfectly balancing nostalgia and novelty is Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign, which played off Coke’s famously nostalgic feel-good appeal while still successfully reaching younger generations with its social media-friendly twist.
Connecting with Generation X
Generation X (born between roughly 1961 and 1981) comprises a smaller, yet vitally important, slice of the population pie.
Many in this generation are middle-aged parents, still in the throes of juggling family and work commitments.
They’re also avid Facebook and Pinterest users, (79 percent of Gen Xers use the former; 36 percent, a smaller yet significant segment, use the latter).
Some may have children in junior high and high school; others may be struggling with impending life changes as a child heads off to college.
Because they are constantly interacting with the mundane minutiae of everyday life as it pertains to their families, Gen Xers tend to be more realistic than Millennials.
Not surprisingly, this spills over into their values. Research from Nielsen indicates that Gen Xers value authenticity, security and relatability.
Thus, a successful marketing campaign targeting this demographic will use imagery and situations resonating with those values. Procter & Gamble did this beautifully in 2012 and 2014 with its Olympic ad campaigns celebrating motherhood.
Additionally, the magazine Country Living leveraged Pinterest’s broad age appeal in its 2012 Pinterest campaign/contest rewarding quality over quantity of entries.
Does Your Campaign Measure Up?
How does your marketing campaign look in terms of your target personas?
There’s no better time than now to to audit your campaign and make sure you’re not unconsciously pigeonholing yourself into a “Millennials-only” mindset based on current trends.
The Millennial marketing pool may be tempting, and it’s certainly useful, but you could be selling yourself short if you neglect the Baby Boomer and Generation X pools.
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Brainstorm ways to appeal to these groups alongside the millennials. You might just end up giving your campaign new wings.