Posted by Kristine Jacobson

Marketing to Gen X

In our last post, we talked about the generation with the most buying power in today’s marketplace, the Baby Boomers. It begins by talking about why defining and analyzing your target market is so important when it comes to developing a messaging platform and strategy. The more you know about your audience, in this case marketing to Gen X, the easier it will be to reach them and speak to them - in a language that they understand and respond to.

In today’s post, we are going to talk about Generation X, sometimes called the “Baby Bust” generation.

The Facts: Gen X

Gen Xers were born between 1965 and 1980, give or take a couple of years. They are active information seekers, yet many of them still prefer paper over digital. They are the smallest generation, but also the most financially powerful. They still read newspapers and magazines, watch TV, and listen to the radio… they may even have a stash of CD hidden away in a closet or in the car console.
Gen Xers:

    • Are worried about retirement. Half of Gen Xers have said that paying for their children’s college education is a major goal. This objective comes with a cost, though; nearly one-third have already withdrawn money from retirement accounts for miscellaneous expenses. And, on top of that, over 50 percent plan to work past 65 – or not retire at all.
    • Believe in hard work. Almost 75 percent of Gen Xers believe that “hard work is the key to getting ahead.” The majority also enjoys flexible working arrangements, preferring independent work environments.
    • Embrace technology – sometimes. When 95 percent of a generation has at least tried one social media platform (i.e., Facebook), you know that they enjoy technological perks. Over a third use LinkedIn and about a quarter regularly use Twitter. When it comes to programming, though, 85 percent still want to watch their favorites on the TV.
    • Use the Internet for research. More than 70 percent will go online to research products and companies. The good news is that even more than that – 81 percent – have made a purchase online.
    • Are brand-loyal. Nearly three-quarters of marketers believe that Gen X is the most brand-loyal generation. The only problem is that Gen Xers are also skeptical and wary of marketing efforts, so it takes a smart strategy to get them hooked.
    • Read reviews. They also visit more opinion sites than any other generation.

The Approach: Gen X

Gen Xers have a "BS" meter that is much more sensitive than any other generational segment. They've seen and heard it all, and it is difficult for many of them to take something at face value. They trust the bloggers that they follow and appreciate marketing that speaks directly to them and their needs.

When creating your messaging, here are some things to keep in mind:

      • Heed their priorities. About half of Gen X is more concerned about their child’s education right now than their retirement account. They strive to give their children everything they didn’t have while growing up.
      • Recognize their hard work. This generation includes many dual-income families. To get kids through college, it takes a lot of money. Acknowledge their sacrifices and applaud their parenting efforts.
      • Meet them in a comfort zone. Over 65 percent have used coupons that they received in the mail. With the rush to advertise digitally, print marketing nearly vanished – and consumers have noticed. A postcard or brochure in the mail almost seems like a novelty item, so take advantage of it – especially with a generation in which 86 percent still bring in the mail every day.
      • Find them online. Facebook may seem like a no-brainer, but the number who use it daily is much lower than the number of those who have simply set up a page. Look to platforms like Pinterest and Twitter that have rising usage rates, too, when crafting your strategy.
      • Partner with influencers. Bloggers can really do a lot when it comes to launching a new product or service. Find the right influencers in your industry and get them to recommend your new offering.
      • Monitor reviews. Just like Millennials, Gen Xers are big on reviews. Make sure that someone in your organization is keeping track of them and handling anything negative in a professional way.
      • Give them a reason to be loyal. Whether it’s supporting a non-profit, using recycled packaging, or giving out free, quality content, make sure that you give Gen X a reason to appreciate your efforts. Once they do, they may be loyal to your brand for life.

Who’s Your Target Market?

In Part 3 of our series, we will talk about Baby Boomers. You won’t want to miss it!

If you feel like you need a little help figuring out your target market, Conveyance can help. Our skilled team of marketing professionals can prepare a custom-tailored marketing strategy to reach your audience – when, where, and how they want to be met.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a team of bright, innovative and talented veteran marketers dedicated to big ideas, fresh insights and measurable results. We pride ourselves on taking challenging marketing issues and turning them into opportunities for our clients, on pointing brands in the right direction, and on getting our customers noticed both online and off. From branding to websites to digital marketing, and public relations, we handle all your marketing communication needs! Web Design and Development | Brand Strategy | Inbound Marketing | Social Media | SEO | PR

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Kristine Jacobson

Kristine Jacobson

Kristine Jacobson has more than 25 years of marketing and communications experience with notable corporate leaders as well as emerging market contenders. She offers expert marketing strategy with a touch of creative flair. Her extensive knowledge of strategic marketing, marketing plan execution, and branding illuminate the big picture without losing sight of the details.