Remember your first day at your first job? You probably started as an intern or a junior and your managers or colleagues were one or two generations older. The workforce globally is rapidly shifting and becoming more diverse. Not just in gender, age, or race but from one Herculean aspect as well: generational.
“Each generation has something different at which they are all looking.” – Gertrude Stein
People of all ages are increasingly disregarding traditional social norms. Septuagenarians are receiving their high school diploma, more middle-aged individuals are going back to university, newbies are leading the Great Resignation and the list continues. While it is important for marketers to take note that each generation is different and unique, there are also commonalities in terms of characteristics and motivations, to ensure successful marketing strategies. No doubt, the pandemic has continued to reshape habits and behaviours of all generations on planet Earth. Thus, presenting numerous opportunities for brands to capture their attention.
Marketing tactics must be adapted accordingly to avoid diminishing the personal connection that most people look for in a brand. Let’s break it down, shall we?
Boomers will spend HOURS online before making a purchase. This is because almost half their life has been without the presence of the Internet and for many, it is unfamiliar territory and less intuitive to them. Nevertheless, they have embraced it with the use of social media. According to a report by The Washington Post consumers aged 65 and older spent 49% more money online in 2020 than they did the year prior. They are utilising online shopping, healthcare wearables and conducting online transactions.
Furthermore, half of the people in this age group use Facebook as their primary social media platform. They use the platform to keep in touch with friends, family and loved ones and to stay informed.
Suggested marketing platforms: Facebook marketing, Email marketing, WhatsApp
In the middle of baby boomers and millennials, Gen X is the smallest generation of lot use both digital and traditional forms, from email to direct email. In other words, they are a little boomer and a little millennial. They are in their prime spending years and likely to have settled into a career, home, and family. While they are not on TikTok, it is interesting to note that many Gen Xers rely on YouTube for entertainment, staying informed, and even learning how to tackle DIY home and family projects. They also tend to appreciate a good loyalty programme. Loyalty and rewards provide incentives for them to go back to the same brand.
Suggested marketing platforms: Facebook marketing, Google reviews, loyalty programmes
This generation is the largest and the first to be exposed to modern technology. According to Accenture, millennials worldwide spent $1.4 trillion on shopping in 2020. Many in this demographic have growing purchasing power and influence as they reach their prime spending years. Different from generations above, they have gone through all the interfaces of Facebook and Instagram and are poised to reshape how brands approach them. As the world around them continues to change, millennials are forcing companies to re-examine how they do business and re-evaluate their impact on the environment. Marketers need to consider that millennials are a value-based generation particularly when it comes to purchasing. According to The World Economic Forum, 2022, 71% of millennials deem sustainability is important when making a purchase.
Suggested marketing platforms: Instagram marketing, eCommerce platforms, multichannel platforms, user-generated content, YouTube, Influencer marketing
Here, we have the most tech-savvy and diverse generation out of all the four. Armed with their greatest tool – the internet, Zoomers are considered more pragmatic and analytical in their decision-making compared to previous generations.
Gen Z live and breathe online; everything they do is online from studying to shopping to working to streaming. 97% of Gen Z consumers say social media serves as their main cause of shopping inspiration; 65% say it is their major source of entertaining content; and 61% are particularly likely to watch more video-oriented content. These digital natives are also the most passionate advocates for environmental and social causes and will support brands who are aligned with such values. Additionally, 61% of Gen Z say they would pay more for products or services produced in an ethical and sustainable fashion.
Suggested marketing platforms: Instagram shop, TikTok, Influencer marketing, User-generated content
Despite the differences between generations, brands can capitalise on the commonalities of each generation. While companies may not use the same channels or messages, strategies can take similar approaches. Honesty, integrity, and personalisation are important qualities for brands to reach all generations.