How To: Generational Marketing- Generation X
Who They Are-
A generation dubbed the 'middle child', Generation X sits between Baby Boomers and Millennials- two massive groups with immense personalities. Plagued by debt and reaching their prime earning years during the Great Recession, Generation X is brilliantly unique. On one hand, Gen X is close to boomers, in that traditional media is always welcome to them – for example, 48% listen to the radio, and 62% still read the newspaper. On the other hand, their inner millennial is very much in touch with the media – more than 80% of this generation reports being on Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. This generation is the true hybrid when it comes to marketing; they grew up without the online experience, but they have fully embraced the wonder of the digital world.
Uniquely, Generation X can relate and be sold to through just about any medium. They love print but are nearly as fluent in digital media as a millennial. Active on social media, Gen X develops their personality through physical and digital relationships to merge the best of both worlds. Because of their track record with poor money management, Gen X will take a good coupon at every turn. Considering their love of blending multiple medias, look to apps like Yelp or Nextdoor to grow your business physically and digitally. Next in line, Gen X will overtake Baby Boomers in population size by 2028.
-Social Media- If they have a social account (80% do), then 95% use Facebook and 35% use LinkedIn
-Retirement- 54% plan to work past 65 or never retire
-Print- 62% read the newspaper
-Media- 85% prefer to watch their favorite shows on TV, not online
-Finances- Average debt of $125,000 ties directly into their late retirement age
What They Like-
-Achievement- Who doesn’t like achievement? Gen X likes feeling fulfilled in what they have done at work and home. Tie in rewards, but make them earn them!
-Freedom- Born into over-protective families, Gen X likes freedom of movement, freedom at work, and freedom at home. They don’t want to be forced into anything against their own free-will.
-Humor and Informality- Making the most of every moment, Gen X fills the gap between strict Boomers and laid-back millennials by finding time for work but having fun at the same time. With this group, relax and have fun to build a personality.
-Education- More educated than any group that came before them, Gen X relies on constant education to bring fulfillment and success in their daily lives. Once Gen X finished school, they never stopped learning.
-Work-Life Balance- No generation says work-life balance like Gen X. They fill their days with hard work, but once it’s time to leave, they check out from work. This means an emphasis on family and fun will make any campaign more relatable to them.
Favorite Medium & How To Market-
-Personality- You’ve seen commercials like ‘Jake from State Farm’ but may not know exactly the end goal of their target audience. More than likely, that audience is heavily built of Gen X. ‘Jake from State Farm’ is a key example of building your brand's personality, having a little light humor, and delivering on your track record. Consider building your brand by first building your personality.
-Mail- With such a significant portion of this audience still receiving physical copies of the newspaper, magazines, and other mail, consider a wide-reaching mail campaign to target the group. Though mail may not be as hot right now, understand that the lack of popularity in this medium allows for great market share. Fewer pieces of mail, still as many eyes, means significantly more time spent with brand material on average.
-Optimize Reviews- Reviews matter to every segment of your audience. Yet, the folks who care the most about your reviews online are Gen Xers. Monitor your Yelp, Nextdoor, and Google Review pages to make sure you are adapting to customer needs in a blend of physical and digital communication.
-Videos- Probably Gen X’s most captivating form of digital media, short videos grab the attention of this audience to pull them through your sales pipeline. Create quality, personal content and Gen X will watch!
-Mobile Optimization- Constantly on the go, it is critical to optimize any marketing material for digital viewership. Statistics point to the majority of this generation pushing for even more mobile use. So, in the future, drive home even more push notifications, digital designs, and online material to target these audiences’ interests.
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