Does your brand organically sell itself? Are you attracting customers to your website who actively buy from you, without you having to lift a finger?
No? Then, like almost every product and service ever invented, you will need to actively market your product or service to your target audience.
Simply put, we are in business to earn an income, and to earn that income, we need to let customers know we exist. Without marketing and channeling customers to your business – there will be zero sales and therefore, zero income.
Sounds pretty simple….but is it?! If marketing is about driving traffic to you – being either in-store or online. Do you know how to attract your ideal customers? The easiest way to do this is to understand their behaviours based on the generation they belong to.
There are currently 4 generations that would be your potential customers: Baby Boomers, Gen- X, Millennials, and Gen-Z. Below, we discuss their characteristics and how you can reach them.
They are brand loyal, not particularly interested in trends. Generally have money to spend, prefer to have a conversation, and think their purchases through, however, they can be open-minded. They do like an upsell if they can see the value, again taking note of the conversational approach. Boomers tend to hang out on Facebook – again where they can have a conversation. They like email and print media – while most of the world’s population have smartphones, Boomers do prefer to use screens over mobile phones. They are definitely not the “Tag and Share” type on social media.
Where to reach them: Facebook, high-quality informative blogs, Emails, and Videos that provide detailed information.
The only generation most likely to understand the life of a baby boomer and that of a millennial – Gen-x are tech-savvy but can relate to life without tech. Although they have grown up without online shopping – they have embraced both online and in-store shopping experiences. Right now this generation works the most, they are smack bang in the juggle of life; with home, kids, career. They are financially stable but time-poor and likely to be spontaneous on spending. Gen-Xer’s are not always brand loyal, however, if you can show you are trustworthy you will be able to connect with them (most will hold strong family values). This generation like to research online, receive emails, videos will attract their attention, along with live chats, discounts, and loyalty programs.
Where to reach them: Facebook, Instagram, Video, Twitter, Email, Valuable Blogs with high-quality content.
Otherwise known as Millennials: This cohort do not like being advertised to. Millennials demand authenticity with down to earth content. They use all forms of social media and enjoy video content. Almost all would own a smartphone, they are heavy mobile content users – this is important; your marketing needs to be mobile responsive. They enjoy podcasts, so advertising may work well on “radio”. Millennials prefer to shop online, place a high value on social issues, and will research based on reviews and customer experiences – especially their friend’s experiences. Most would be looking to spend more on an experience over material things. This group loves “Tag and Share” incentives.
Where to reach them: All platforms of Social Media, Video, Mobile, and SMS Marketing – they are the highest uses of mobiles, so portability is key.
The Video Generation! They are unaware of a time when the internet didn’t exist. Gen-Z are massive content users and watch the likes of YouTube more than TV. They’ve grown up with independent video creators and spend countless hours looking at curated feeds on Snapchat and TikTok. They are visual and whilst they enjoy watching influencers, they prefer to buy from brands that feel like a friend – so their influencer experience is different to a millennial, being attracted to niche products sold by micro-influencers. They love in-store experiences – being able to talk to staff, touch items, etc. Personal and unique experiences are key.
Where to reach them: Social Media, short videos in GIF, Memes, Photography….this is still a young generation – so think fast, eye-catching, upbeat music for videos, Gifs, etc. As they do like in-store experiences, catching them on social media promoting in-store experiences may benefit them. For example, you own a yoga studio and you have a new class; invite your fans to experience the new class for free.
Hopefully, these generational characteristics can be used as a guide for your marketing efforts. However, try not to let assumptions cloud your marketing tactics; like baby boomers are helpless, rather, they are independent and what you offer will enhance their lives. Or millennials are selfish; rather they are more socially conscious and want to make a difference to their environment.
It is possible to successfully market to multi-generations by reaching out to them on every platform available to you. Just try not to make one generation more important than the other. Make your message relatable to everyone so you are sending the right message to the right audience.