Marketing To Different Age Demographics

by Milly Hopkins

Marketing can be tricky, even once you've worked out your key target audience you need to consider the diversity of that group.

Some brands only appeal to one specific demographic of people; one age group or gender. But 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.


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 the table below:

Generation Name Births Starting Births Ending Youngest Age Oldest Age
Baby Boomer Generation 1945 1964 52 71
Generation X 1961 1981 35 55
Generation Y -
The Millennials -
Gen Next
1975 1995 21 41
Generation Z 1995 2015 1 21


There's a lot of overlap and debate about exact dates - but the guide above is a fairly accurate 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.

So how do you use this information to appeal to each group? 

The Baby Boomers

Marketers all seem so preoccupied with appealing to Millennials - the media savvy generation, that they've forgotten about the demographic who really has money to spend - the Baby Boomers.

This generation is becoming increasingly social media competent and has disposable income to spend. So how do you appeal to this group?

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. Assuming that the whole of your Twitter following are sub-25 is a huge mistake to make.

Take a look at the analytics software on your social media pages for a breakdown of who your audience currently is, and consider publishing content to appeal 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.

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.

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 can only dream of and a larger grasp on social media than their predecessors.

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.

The Millennials

Marketing to Millennials is the hot ticket right now, wherever you turn there's advice relating to this demographics.

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.

To target this group, make sure:

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, and promote your store information online - that's where Millennials look for information.

You're using real people. Celebrities are old hat, what's really selling now are real people and real stories. Focus your campaigns on ordinary people living their lives, this allows your target audience to empathise 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. Frankly, it just makes smarter business sense.

Generation Z

Luckily, Generation Z isn't a group marketers need to be focussed on too heavily (well, except for toy stores and children's products). The thing to remember about this group is that their lives are focussed on technology. Everything they do will be governed by an ever expanding internet of things.

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.

We'll see how that pans out in the next few years.

So there you go, all the major age 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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