For marketing messages to be successful, it’s essential that they’re tailored to the different target audiences and markets. “Generational” marketing is the term coined for segmenting and targeting markets by age rather than other demographics such as gender, location, or income.  Marketing in general and especially content marketing is more effective if the motivations, challenges, and habits of each generation are understood and the content is tailored accordingly.

Obviously, it should go without saying that generalizing thousands of people as a single homogeneous group just because they fit into the same age range is not a great strategy either. Further segmentation of the target market is almost always necessary. But beginning a marketing plan by keeping generational marketing in mind can ensure that there’s not a huge chunk of the target market being excluded from the start.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials are the current three main generations to focus on. Each generation has its own unique marketing opportunities and challenges.
  • Different generations consume different types of content online and spend their time on different platforms.
  • It’s imperative to go where the target audience is and adapt the brand voice and tone accordingly.
  • Each of the three generations has its own unique media usage and behavior.
    • Baby Boomers (1946-1964) – Traditional marketing is the norm and they tend to watch more television than younger generations, but 64% of people ages 50-64 use at least one social media site with Facebook being the most important.
    • Generation X (1965-1976) – This is the last generation who lived their childhood without computers, cellphones and the Internet being an integral part of everyday life. While tech-savvy group, they are often more comfortable using the technologies they’ve been accustomed to using since a young age. They can be suspicious or intimidated by newer social networks aimed at a younger audience.
    • Millennials (1977-1995) -This is the first generation that grew up around technology. They can’t imagine a world without the Internet and are lost without their smartphones. They’ve lived their entire childhood and youth in an “always on” world and expect instant information and gratification. This group is highly active on social media and is not loyal to any particular channel.