While most people talk about marketing to a specific target audience, many products and services have a universal appeal. This means they will be a need, want or a solution for people from teens to seniors and everyone in between.
This doesn’t mean that one marketing campaign to this wide age demographic will be effective. What it does mean is that breaking up your big audience into smaller age groups will allow you to choose the most effective marketing program and delivery method to reach each sector of the larger age demographic.

To help you to get started, here are some general tips for marketing to different generations. Remember, it is important to know your market and to tailor the message to suit what your customers are looking for in a product or service.

The Seniors
These are people born before 1945. They are sometimes called the silent generation and, while they may not be the largest consumer demographic, they do have significant financial means, and they are passionate about what they enjoy and believe in.

Ideas to Consider

  • Don’t assume they are not online or on social media, but don’t plan for social media marketing to have the biggest impact with this group
  • Consider mailers, flyers, and brochures; this is a group that wants facts and figures and values honesty and straightforward information more than wordiness and appeals for emotional or impulse purchases.
  • This is a group that likes to be connected with by a company. Use phone calls and personal letters rather than impersonal text messages or emails.

The Baby Boomers
This is the group born between the mid-1940s and the mid-1960s. These are savvy customers that will research before they buy, including calling a company to ask questions. They are also a group that, as a whole, will purchase on sales or discounts and often plans purchases around sales events.

Ideas to Consider

  • More technology accommodating, this is a group that will sign up for relevant e-newsletters or text messages. They are also appreciative of free giveaways on websites and will use online coupons and shop online sales events as well as those in retail outlets.
  • This is a group that will be very loyal to a brand and are likely to share information with friends or family if you use social media marketing.

The Gen Xers
Born in the mid-1960s to 1980, it is a group that is independent and doesn’t appreciate constant communication from companies. They will respond to being able to opt into a specific schedule for emails or marketing contact, giving them the option to choose contact frequency can be helpful.
This is also a group that is less likely to be concerned about the latest in “must have” items. Instead, and as a general statement, they tend to look for unique and original. The also tend to value local business and small businesses over large corporations.

Ideas to Consider

  • Be very specific about placing these individuals into e-newsletters and other types of contact. Narrow the group to ensure you are providing personally relevant content on social media or text messaging campaigns to avoid them opting out.
  • This is a group that doesn’t like the “used car salesman” approach. They appreciate facts and information that is verifiable. This is also a group that will read customer reviews and ratings, so consider adding this feature to your website.

This is by far the biggest group of over 80 million people born between 1981 and 1995. They are very comfortable with technology and like things short, concise and accurate. Not known for brand loyalty, they often shop by price, website ease of use or discount and promotional offers.

Ideas to Consider

  • This is the group that is most likely to follow a company or professional on social media and want to connect on a more personal level through technology.
  • They are often exclusively using mobile devices, so make sure your website is mobile-friendly and focus marketing on social media and text messaging rather than other more traditional marketing options.

The Millennials are also more aware of company policies or practices and have them align with their beliefs and values. This can be a useful marketing tool for sections of this age group.