Marketing to multiple generations - Discussion of different marketing/event management strategies to reach different generations


The most effective way to market your growing business is to customize the marketing strategy to your target customer demographics. Until a few years ago, you would have been right in thinking that differentiated marketing is for the big players with big budgets. However, that is no longer true. The internet has become the great marketing leveler, allowing growing businesses to effectively customize their approach to marketing to different generations at affordable costs.

Apart from your product itself, demographics are a major influence in buying behavior. Individuals born at different points of time have distinct preferences in what they value, how they spend their money, and what advertising channels they use. Recognizing these behavioral differences in your customers is essential for maximizing gains from your marketing spends.

source: Vanity Fair Magazine From Millennials to Boomers: The Ultimate Generation-Gap Guide - October 2015

The Silent Generation. Also known as “Traditionalists,” this category has 50 million consumers. This generation displayed tremendous resolve to overcome the impact of the Great Depression and World War II. They seek value for money, comfort, and a sense of belonging. Many of them are active seniors and do not like to be regarded as ‘old or dependent’. They are the least likely to make an impulsive purchase.

Target them with traditional marketing tools such as flyers, newsletters and postcards, although keep in mind that some of them will use the internet to search for information.

The promotional material should be in larger font for ease of reading

Use grammar and language that they will appreciate

Use a single image (one that conveys emotions) rather than a collage

Customizing marketing campaigns as per customer demographics is one way to appeal to your customers. As a smaller business, every customer contact offers you the unique opportunity to ask valuable customer research questions like “Have you tried this product before?”, “Did you like the product?” and “When do you use this product the most?” Knowing more about your customers will help you design products /services attuned to their needs and lifestyle choices.

Baby Boomers

Comprising 76 million consumers, this demographic represents individuals who focused on hard work, individualism, and social activism. They value trust, loyalty, and sense of community. Many baby boomers are retired or will be retiring soon. According to the Across the Ages report, Boomers are the most likely to be bargain hunting; nearly 28.9 percent Boomers say they only buy clothing when it’s on sale, a larger share than any other group. Here is what you need to know about this group –

They will search for product information online, and through calls and emails.

However, they place higher faith in face-to-face communication.

They would be interested in knowing what your business stands for

Discounts and bargain deals will appeal more to this demographic than any other

Generation X

The Gen X demographic covers some 65 million Americans. This generation is an important target market because these individuals are at the peak of their earning and spending years. While they weren’t born in the internet era, majority use smart phones and regularly access social media. This generation does not want to just follow trends/ styles and is not easily convinced. When marketing to this demographic –

Avoid hard core sales tactics

Convince them of your business claims with research and customer testimonials

Combine traditional marketing efforts with digital promotional tools such as Facebook, email marketing, and online adverts.


According to the 2013 report ‘Across the Ages: Generational Impact on Spending’, there are more than 80 million millennials. This young generation that has grown up on technology will soon surpass baby boomers as the largest age group. Millennials are more educated and have more choices than any other generation before them. They are unpredictable, not always brand loyal, and are just as comfortable buying online as they are buying off the rack. If you are targeting this group –

Have a strong online presence, including blogs and social media

Adopt the latest technology trends to market to this generation

Ensure that the promotional e-mailers are compatible for mobile viewing

Benefit from their impulsiveness by offering additional items for purchase at the checkout point.


DEFINING DIGITAL ADVERTISING: Digital advertising is the tactic of leveraging the internet and its properties to deliver promotional ads to consumers on various channels.

Like it’s predecessor—traditional advertising—a digital ad can help tell the story of your brand. Unlike traditional advertising, digital advertising is more universal and exible, enabling you to tell your brand story on the channels that your buyers frequent—through text, images, video, and more.

Digital advertising has evolved considerably since the rst clickable ad hit the internet in 1994. Today, instead of advertising creating noise that distracts from the content your buyers want to read, digital advertising can be part of an ongoing conversation that your brand has with its customers.


Digital advertising creates powerful opportunities to tell brand stories at scale and in context. Through ads on various devices and channels, marketers can reach larger audiences in a way that is real-time and increasingly personal.

There are three reasons why digital advertising is critical in today’s multi-channel, multi-device buyer landscape:

1. Your Buyers Are Constantly on Digital Channels

2. Marketers Have Greater Targeting Capabilities

3. The Availability of Customer Intent Data Enables Personalization and Seamless Conversation

Marketing to Multiple Generations - Danny Aguilar, CFE - Delaware State Fair -

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