When it comes to developing a digital marketing strategy, the first and most important step is to define your target market. While doing this, demographics—and specifically age—should not be neglected. The generation your customers belong to has a huge impact on their personality, goals, and how they spend their money.

As a consumer, you react differently than your parents or grandparents to sale pitches, marketing taglines, commercials, and advertisements. This is because the environment you grew up in has shaped your consumer behavior—influencing what you buy, how you buy it, and how you interact with the brand after purchasing.

When developing your digital marketing strategy, it’s essential to pinpoint the age group of your consumers and then consider their upbringing and attitude. After all, your marketing strategy is only as powerful as the feelings it provokes in your end-consumer.

Below is a breakdown of some important generational attributes to consider when marketing to different generations.

Baby Boomers (1940s‒1960s)

Baby Boomers make up of about 80 million consumers in the United States and most of them are retired or will be retiring soon. In general, this generation focuses on hard work, individualism, trust, and loyalty. In addition, they are known as the “me” generation for their self-involved qualities. Because of this, they expect businesses to cater to their wants and needs. Baby Boomers are also more price conscious so they are more likely to bargain hunt— they always appreciate a good sale!

Because Baby Boomers want products that will make their life easier and more efficient, when marketing to Baby Boomers, businesses need to communicate their product’s positive advantage. By focusing on the value behind your product or service, you will be more likely to avoid their price-sensitive tendencies. In addition, Baby Boomers are more comfortable with face-to-face communication. Although they use the Internet to information-hunt, they are more likely to purchase through face-to-face interaction.

What you should focus on:

If your main demographic is Baby Boomers, you should focus on content marketing. Explain through words why your product or service is different and convey your expertise. Clearly explaining this will persuade them to purchase through you!

Generation X (1960s‒1980s)

Currently, Generation X is an influential generation because they are at the peak of their earning and spending potential. This generation is made up of about 65 million Americans. Because they didn’t grow up during major economic issues, they aren’t as clearly impressed by offers or claims. In addition, they tend to think in terms of the community and tend to make decisions together.

When marketing to Gen X, focus more on action and less on words. Try avoiding really intense sales tactics and instead use research and testimonials to keep them engaged and focused on value. Although they weren’t born within the Internet era, they are still just as likely to use smart phones and social media.

What you should focus on:

If you are marketing to Generation X, focusing on social media will get you close to your target market because over 80% of Generation X has a Facebook account. In addition, creating a big following on social will tap into their need for community.

Millennials/Generation Y (1980s‒early 2000s)

Generation Y is quickly becoming the largest generation and are projected to pass the Baby Boomers in size within the next few years. Because Generation Y has grown up in the Internet Era and throughout economic hardship, they are historically very difficult to market to. They are more educated, grew up in a world with more choices, and have a strong thirst for knowledge and growth. They have an appreciation for humor, adapt to technology changes quickly, and tend to react off of impulsiveness.

If you are planning to target Generation Y, you need to have a strong online presence. Be present in every form of the internet and offer them the opportunity to purchase online. Try tapping into their appreciation of humor by sharing memes or funny phrases which stick in their memory but don’t push a sale. Because they tend to work off of sudden urges, offering additional items for purchase at checkout is a great way to increase the volume in their shopping cart!

What you should focus on:

Mobile, mobile, mobile! The Millennials do most of their shopping, chatting, navigating, communicating, and everything else through their mobile devices. Be sure to have not only a mobile friendly site, but a mobile responsive site to keep them navigating through your brand as efficiently as possible.

By understanding your target demographic’s generation, you can tap into their motives and understand more about their purchasing behavior. Adjusting your marketing strategies to their tendencies will help you become the brand that they relate to the most!

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