When people discuss marketing trends, baby boomers and millennials seem to dominate the conversation. In a way, these two groups represent the two extremes in the marketing world. Boomers tend to respond best to traditional marketing methods, while millennials prefer the digital space. Stuck in the middle, however, lies Generation X. Marketing to Generation X requires understanding the unique motivations and experiences of this age group. The better you understand how to tap into the needs of Generation X, the easier it will be for you to engage and build a relationship with this customer base.
Who is Generation X?
Generation X includes those born in the 1960’s and the 1970’s. From their position as the ‘middle child’ between the baby boomers and millennials, they have characteristics in common with both the generations who came before and after them.
Like the baby boomers, this age group generally saw more affordable home ownership and easier job hunts following high school or college. However, they also experienced economic crises alongside millennials, as well as the Cold War and the AIDS epidemic. Members of this generation tend to have a sense of responsibility to fix the mistakes of previous generations.
3 tips for marketing to Generation X
1. Use email marketing
Email marketing remains one of the strongest marketing strategies, particularly for Generation X. Many brands have experimented with alternate means of reaching customers, including text messaging and social media. Compared to younger generations, however, Generation X members strongly prefer email over these newer forms of communication.
Generation X uses the internet at higher rates than baby boomers. They also use mobile devices, including smartphones, more often than baby boomers, keeping them perpetually connected with their inbox. Clearly, email marketing is crucial to your marketing strategy if you want to reach this generation.
2. Incorporate coupons and direct mail
Although members of Generation X use technology, they have not completely abandoned the old ways. An estimated 63 percent of this generation reported using paper coupons in 2018. To make this work for you, consider incorporating direct mail into your multi-channel strategy.
3. Capitalize on local search
Members of Generation X straddle the period between the technologically advanced millennials and the traditional baby boomers, and this characteristic is reflected in their buying habits. Although they grew up shopping in person, they have also discovered the appeal of online shopping.
Since members of Generation X appreciate both, your marketing strategy should reflect these options. Capitalize on local search to help those using technology to find your brick-and-mortar location. And build relationships and loyalty by ensuring a consistent buying experience for customers, regardless of whether they are online or in-store.
Generation X is frequently overlooked as people tend to focus on the contrast between baby boomers and millennials. Taking the time to get to know this ‘middle child’, however, can help you capitalize on this generation and their spending power. The better you understand the different generations you want to reach, the easier marketing to Generation X will be for your brand.