Marketing To The Generations: Part 2
Born between approximately 1963 and 1978, Gen Xers have at least one foot in midlife. They’re also the most poorly defined generation, as sociologists can’t quite agree on exactly what birth years represent the beginning of this group.
Besides being poorly defined, they’re also labeled as the MTV generation, the forgotten generation, and the sandwich generation.
Here are four important things you need to know about Gen Xers… including why you should be talking to them, and what you should be saying.
1. Pragmatic But… A lot of adjectives have been used to describe Gen Xers, including independent and individualistic. While they’re definitely not joiners, and have innate distrust for traditional institutions, parenthood has caused a shift in some of their values. Ask any teacher and he or she will tell you this generation of parents is very demanding and highly protective of their offspring. They’re pragmatic, but also innately cynical — hence their distrust of ‘the establishment.’
2. Laid Back Until… Like Millennials, Gen Xers expect transparency in personal and business transactions. They’re plenty laid back as customers… until something goes wrong. Then, they’re demanding and expect immediate results from the business in question to fix things fast.
3. The Parent Trap. Want to sell to Gen Xers? Focus on the health aspects of products and services, especially as they relate to their kids. More than other generations, they’re going to listen to messages like eyecare and healthcare that focus on the well-being of their children. In other words, win over the Gen Xer as a parent, and you’ll get their business… and their kids’, too.
4. Messaging. Make sure your communications with Gen Xers come across as authentic. Nielsen reports that “real-world situations and authenticity appeal most” to this generation. Play into their passion for stability, education, and individual freedom. If you’re marketing to Gen X women, focus on real-life situations, especially those focusing on family. For men, it’s more the traditional, all-American experience that pulls them in.
You need to provide a mix of delivery modes if you want to communicate with Gen-X. Print, social media, mobile, and even email — this generation needs to get hit with them all. Whatever its form, your messaging always needs to sound genuine and real for Gen Xers.
Do you focus on Gen Xers in your marketing? If so, what works and what doesn’t? Please tell us below and join the conversation on our ClubZero Facebook page here.