Do the interests, media consumption habits and digital savviness change between people of different ages? Of course they do, and for this reason understanding how to market to different generations is imperative. Generational marketing segments individuals by generation, assuming similar behavioural, psychographic and consumer habits common in people of the same generational cohort.

There are six living generations in North America today; however, for the purpose of marketing we usually discuss four, and they are: Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y (Millennials) and Generation Z. Here are some tips and tricks to reaching each generational segment with your marketing.

Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964 and are also considered the ‘me’ generation. Although they are embracing modern technology, they still consume a lot of television and just can’t seem to shake the voicemail. About 64 percent of this generation use social media, and Facebook is the best social media channel to reach Baby Boomers. Boomers like to watch the news, they consume content both on television and online (they love consuming information!), and they favour the desktop computer over tablets and mobile.

If you’re wishing to reach this demographic, print media, online, and Facebook are ways to do this. They’re still skeptical with direct marketing such as email, and the best time to reach them online is in the morning.

Generation X

Gen X includes people born between 1965 to 1976 who are characterized as having a strong work ethic while being adaptable with technology. It is suspected that 80 percent of Gen Xers use Facebook, making this the most powerful social media channel to reach this audience, although they do hang out on Twitter too. People in generation x still prefer desktops over tablets and mobile when consuming media, and they love consuming video content. Email marketing is another powerful marketing tool to reach gen xer’s and the best time to target them is in the evening.

Generation Y (Millennials)

Millennials have been all the hype lately and that’s because they are the most populous generation, and are now coming into their years of purchasing power. Millennials are born between 1977 and 1999, they are the biggest generation of entrepreneurs and are driven by experiences and lifestyle satisfaction over money and material possessions. Millennials are well versed in online shopping, are well connected on and offline, and can research information easily and efficiently on the internet.

Nearly 90 percent of millennials are on social media with the main channels (in order) being Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Only 59 percent of millennials are interested in the news, and they watch less television than older generations at 26.5 hours a week on average. Millennials are a mobile-friendly generation and the best time to reach them online is in the evening.

Generation Z

Generation Z, who are teenagers right now with the older ones coming into adulthood, are considered digital natives. This generation grew up with internet and smartphones, and has the best technology know-how out of any generation. Instagram and Snap Chat are popular social media platforms for Gen Z while the majority of them are on Facebook too. Youtube is consumed more than television and this generation is almost exclusively mobile, with the average Gen Z individual using their smart phone 15.4 hours a week. Video is the preferred media format and this generation responds will to memes, short videos and GIFS, and user generated content.

Understanding the behavioural patterns of your target market is essential, and generational marketing uses common characteristics of generational cohorts to identify marketing trends and opportunities. Cloud9 Marketing is a creative marketing agency based in Whistler, BC. We specialize in brand story-telling, graphic design and social media management. For help marketing your business, anywhere in the world, contact us today.