How To: Generational Marketing- The Silent Generation
Who They Are-
Born between 1925 and 1942- this generation consists of about 20 million Americans aged between 78 & 95 years old. This generation has seen some of the greatest and worst moments in the history of our country. Defined by experiences such as the Great Depression, the threat of communism, and the moon landing, this group understands the importance of financial stability in life.
Defined by fear of war, the Silent Generation lives in modesty and fear of financial insecurity. Making up the vast majority of senior living centers, this audience is transitioning from independent living to assisted care.
-Work Ethic- This generation knows nothing in life comes easy, mostly because they had to earn everything on their own. Growing up in a nation coping with war, and the tail end of a deep recession, the Silent Generation earned every penny along the way.
-Smallest Generation in 100 years- Born to parents serving overseas and in factories, the Silent Generation is the smallest generation in modern American history.
-Modesty- Living well below their means, this generation doesn’t like to focus on the unnecessities of life. Born in an age without many modern technological advancements, the group loves hand-made and durable goods.
-Low unemployment- The Silent Generation was fortunate enough to face low unemployment throughout much of their career in comparison to other generations. This is likely because they were able to fill the void of the GI generation before them to quickly climb the corporate ranks to the senior management positions open in their absence.
-Loyalty- A generation centered around patriotism and hard work, this segment remains loyal to the brands they buy and the companies they work for. If your brand can drive home consistent marketing with this generation, land their sale, and provide good quality, the vast majority of the generation will likely stick with you for the rest of their lives.
What They Like-
-Outdoors- Unphased by modern technology, the Silent Generation understands the importance of the outdoors and a good book. Keeping it simple could be the motto of the Silent Generation.
-Work- Unlike many of the generational segments we will highlight in later blogs, this group loves work and doesn’t complain about long days. Although well into retirement age, its common to see this generation continue working as advisors or board members simply because they don’t want to stop working.
-Family- Family is of the utmost importance to the Silent Generation. Getting married in your early 20’s and having kids by 30 was certainly common for this group, so a good Nuclear Family structure is crucial to their success.
How To Market-
-Simplicity- Keep your ads simple, to the point, and clean. The Silent Generation doesn’t like to have their time wasted, and they certainly don’t want to be lied to. Keep your ads simple and your print size large, no matter what medium you are using. Likewise, keep in mind that much of this cohort is still not connected to the internet, and if they are, they can oftentimes find it quite challenging to use.
-Grit/Durability- A common theme you may see in advertisements targeting the Silent Generation on television and online, are the characteristics of grit and durability. Unrelentless since birth, they expect products to work for many years post-purchase. Handmade and American crafted goods generally sell well with this audience, as well.
-American Spirit- Born into a nation at or on the brink of war, many in this audience grew up with parents and family that served in the military. National pride and commitment to one’s country distinctly carry this generation.
What To Say-
Don’t say. Do. Audiences vary, but the Silent Generation relies more heavily on past performance than almost any other generation. Even if it means paying a premium price, they will largely support brands that cut massive spending on flashy marketing, and rather prove to them why the brand deserves their business.
With certainty, we recommend face to face communication or print advertisements. Largely unresponsive to digital media, this generation prefers quality communication that is physically present. Consider marketing through the mail or calling to schedule a time to grab a coffee. Be physically present to succeed with the Silent Generation.