Marketing can be tricky, even once you've worked out your key target audience you need to consider the diversity within that group.
Few brands only appeal to one specific demographic of people; one age group or gender, most companies will need to appeal to a much wider variety.
This article is going to cover some of the major age groups you'll encounter, along with the best ways to appeal to them right now.
If you're interested in maximising your success rate, read on:
Of course, there are more "demographics" in society than the ones we're covering here, but this is a good start.
The different ages
Generation X, Generation Y, Baby Boomers - it all sounds a bit confusing. If you're not sure what the major age ranges are, take a look at this handy reference table below:
|Generation Name||Births Starting||Births Ending||Youngest Age||Oldest Age|
|Baby Boomer Generation||1945||1964||52||71|
|Generation Y -
The Millennials -
There's a lot of overlap and debate about exact dates - but the guide above is a fairly accurate and standard representation. It's worth noting that this chart is applicable to Western nations, Asia and other cultures may have their own demographics and definitions.
What each of these demographics responds to is roundly correlated to the society in which they grew up.
The Baby Boomers lived through the sixties and seventies and are now financially stable, possibly retired adults. Generation X saw the beginning of the technological revolution at a younger age than the Baby Boomers but it wasn't as ingrained in them as it was with The Millennials - the group born on the tail end, just about remembering VHS but still on the cusp of every new emerging technology there is. And then there's Generation Z, the teenagers. A group whose entire lives have been coloured by technology.
How do you appeal to each group?
1. The Baby Boomers
Marketers all seem so preoccupied with advertising and promoting to Millennials - the media savvy generation, that they've forgotten about targeting the demographic who really has money to spend - the Baby Boomers.
I think they are really missing a vital trick. This generation is increasingly social media competent and has that important disposable income to spend.
- 82 % use social networks to connect with family and friends
- Baby Boomers spend 27 hours per week online, two MORE hours than those aged 16-34!
- They spend more online than any other generation (source)
How to target Baby Boomers on social media
Don't assume they don't use social media. As time goes by, more and more of this group are setting up social media accounts, embracing new platforms and downloading new apps and becoming increasingly competent and comfortable with this technology. Assuming that the whole of your Twitter following are sub-25 is a huge mistake to make.
Take time to look at the analytics software on your social media pages for a breakdown of who your audience currently is, and consider publishing content and revising your marketing strategy to appeal more to this demographic.
Don't underestimate the value of loyalty
This generation is much more loyal than the subsequent generation. They're the group who pioneered those major players, like Levis and Coca Cola. Nostalgia definitely sells, so to make yourself compete make sure you're playing up the reliability of your brand.
I know it's depressing to talk about Facebook and Twitter as "traditional" social media platforms, but that's what they are now. Baby Boomers are much more likely to be found on Facebook and Twitter than Instagram and Snapchat, so make sure you focus your efforts there, for the time being. Remember the speed in which social media trends can change so we recommend reviewing this to make sure you are still on the same platform.
Because the uptake of social media has been slower with this age group, they're naturally more sceptical and suspicious of online marketing. Make sure that your adverts are legitimate and interesting, and construct your posts in a way which tackles that scepticism to negate any fears or concerns.
2. Generation X
"The Forgotten Generation" isn't the funnest term for this group, but it is perhaps the most accurate. Straddling the gap between the technological revolution of the 90s and the economic boom and social development of the 60s and 70s, Generation X are a difficult group to pin down.
This group should not be underestimated. In fact, they're poised to become the new Baby Boomers, with economic stability Millennials may only dream of and a larger grasp on social media than their predecessors.
- 92% of Gen Xers own a cellphone, 69% own a desktop computer, 61% own a laptop, and only 5% own a tablet. (BrainBoxol)
- Gen Xers are the most likely to get their news from websites or apps (PRC)
- Gen Xers use social media 40 minutes more each week than millennials. They were also more likely than millennials to stay on their phones at the dinner table and spend more time on every type of device (Nielsen)
How to target Gen Xers on social media
Marketing to this age group is really a compound effort of marketing to Baby Boomers and marketing to Millennials. You'll need to bear in mind everything we said about loyalty, but also consider that this group has more than just a tenuous grasp on social media.
Embrace the technological side with this group, and you can explore some of the newer social media platforms - experiment and see where your audience are most engaged.
3. The Millennials
Marketing to Millennials is the hot ticket right now, wherever you turn there's advice relating to this demographics.
- Millenials are most likely to get news from social networking sites (PRC)
- 95% aged 18-34 (Millennials) follow brands through social media (MarketingSherpa)
- 92% of Millennials own a smartphone (PRC)
Well, marketing to Millennials is reliant on a few key things; Honesty, openness and an embrace of modern technology. More than that though, what really matters to this group is a sense of 'humanness', and not large-scale corporations.
How to target millennials on social media
You're active on social media. Technology is part of life for Millennials, and businesses which don't embrace it will be left behind. It can be difficult to get used to all the new platforms and networks available, but the time invested is well spent. Create profiles on the major networks,making sure to keep up to date with the latest trends and promote your store information online - that's where Millennials look for information.
You're using real people. Celebrities are old hat, influencers still have a few years left, what's really selling now are real people and real stories. Focus your campaigns on ordinary, real people living their lives, this allows your target audience to empathize with the people in your marketing, making them more likely to seek you out.
You're open. Openness really is the key here. The ease with which this demographic accesses information means any major transgressions will be seen globally within minutes. To avoid any scandal, stay as open as possible and be sure to highlight your integrity. Frankly, it just makes smarter business sense.
4. Generation Z
Luckily, Generation Z isn't a group marketers are currently focused on too heavily, yet (well, except for toy stores and children's products). The thing to remember about this group is that their lives are focused on technology. Everything they do will be governed by an ever expanding internet of things.
- Gen Zers influence $600 billion of family spending. Source: Chamber of Commerce
- Millennials use three screens on average, Gen Zers use five: a smartphone, TV, laptop, desktop, and iPod/iPad. Source: International Business Times
- Sixty percent of Gen Z individuals are more likely than average consumers to hang up if their call isn’t answered in under 45 seconds. Source: Precision Dialogue
How to target Gen Z on social media
The Z Gen want to be entertained in whichever media they flow to at the time. They don't want interruptions or barriers. This generation has never had to wait for content and been slowed down by advert breaks and slow connections. They can happily flick around keeping themselves amused for hours.
The key to making the most of your advertising here, is to take your Millennials marketing one step further. Keep ahead of the technology game, embrace new media and focus on the human aspect of your company.
So there you go, all the major demographic groups and how to market to them. We already said this, but do remember that these terms are all fairly loose, and different statistical channels refer to them in different ways - so your mileage may vary.
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