Take a second to really look at the next five marketing promotions you see. Who are they targeting? More than likely, what you’re seeing daily are campaigns and events geared toward Generation Z and millennials. But what about Generation X and Baby Boomers?
Misconceptions about Older Generations
Older generations tend to be left out of the newest marketing strategies for several reasons. Usually, it’s due to assumptions and stereotypes that aren’t true of the generations as a whole.
The biggest assumption marketers have is that older generations aren’t tech-savvy. Well, guess what? 81% of Americans over 60 years old have a smartphone. Did a millennial have to teach them how to use it? Probably. But nonetheless, most Gen X and Baby Boomers have adapted as technology has evolved and have at least a basic understanding of how to use it.
There are also many stereotypes about what older generations are interested in. Typical answers include knitting, gardening, and puzzles. Marketers usually don’t account for the fact that these generations are becoming increasingly more active. Most of this demographic is retired and uses their free time to explore and try new things or check items off their bucket lists.
Many marketers believe that older generations are simply not interested in the products they have to offer. While there are several instances where that’s true, the same can also be said for younger generations. Not all products appeal to everyone. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore demographics without proper target research.
Why Market to them?
It’s important to remember Baby Boomers and Gen Xers! These guys make up a huge part of the population and have experienced buying power. What does that mean? They’re usually more financially established and have more money to spend on the things they want. Plus, they’re very loyal to the brands they love, which makes them valuable long-term customers.
Understanding the Demographic
The first step to marketing to the older generations is understanding their values and priorities. These generations are known for their brand loyalty. They also value quality, durability, and authenticity in the things they buy. A key concept to remember when marketing toward these groups is to focus on building trust and credibility. You can do this through your brand messaging and advertising.
For example, this demographic puts a lot of value on expertise. You could emphasize your brand’s history and experience, highlight the high quality of your products, and showcase your existing customer testimonials.
Experiential marketing can help your brand connect with Generation X and Baby Boomers in several ways!
- Create Nostalgic Experiences: Boomers and Gen X-ers come from different eras, but they’re both suckers for nostalgia. So, create an experiential marketing campaign that taps into their past. Imagine throwing a party that transports them back to the 70s or 80s, with all the groovy tunes, rad fashion, and pop culture references they remember from back in the day.
- Utilize Social Media: While the older generations may not be as active on social media as the younger crowd, most still use it, so take advantage of it. Facebook is the most used social platform for these generations and will be the best avenue. Not only can you use social media to promote your upcoming events, but you can also push an entire campaign! You could create a contest that encourages users to share their favorite memories from the past or play “Guess that Song” with oldies toons. Really, the options are endless as long as you’re relating to the demographic.
- Go to Events: Activating at pre-existing events is an effective way to connect with Baby Boomers and Generation X. Research the types of events this demographic would frequent and meet them there. This could be food and wine festivals, art shows, farmers’ markets, symphonies, you name it. By going to events they’ll already be at, you’re increasing your engagement opportunities.
- Utilize Traditional Marketing Tactics: Experiential marketing is all about creating fun, immersive experiences, but you can’t overlook classic marketing moves. Baby Boomers and Gen X still love getting stuff in the mail, flipping through magazines, and listening to the radio.
Pro tip: If you mix in some of that old-school stuff with the new-school experiential marketing, you’ll be able to really connect with those generations.
Don’t miss out on brand loyalty and sales just because you assume older generations are uninterested. Research and see how you can incorporate these experienced buyers into your marketing strategy.