Continuing our series on generational marketing, today we’ll address the forgotten middle sibling of the generations: Generation X. Gen X tends to be overlooked when it comes to the world of marketing, skipped over for the older Baby Boomers and the younger Millennials, but they shouldn’t be so easily neglected. Generation X, while one of the smaller generational groups, holds over 30% of purchasing power. If your products and services are targeted toward this group, you can’t afford to ignore them in your marketing strategy.
Generation X at a Glance
Born between 1956 and 1980, Gen Xers are between the ages of 41 and 56 in 2021. Smaller in number (around 65 million) than Millennials and Baby Boomers, many are managing homeownership, raising kids, and reaching the high point of their careers.
The younger years of many Gen Xers were impacted by financial and familial instability; more than half had parents go through a divorce while they were growing up, and the 2008 recession hit as most Gen Xers were hitting their strides in the workforce. Also nicknamed the “latchkey generation,” Gen Xers are generally characterized by independence, resourcefulness, and adaptability. They witnessed with switch from analog to digital, so they’re comfortable with technology while still utilizing more traditional forms of media, and like Millennials, they tend to appreciate informality more than Boomers.
Appeal to Security
For Gen Xers, savings are a priority. Digital coupons can be a useful strategy, and Gen Xers pay more attention to email marketing than younger generations, so send out those email blasts. They tend put their money into things that retain their value or can be passed down to their families, like college savings, vacations, or heirlooms. Many want to provide financial security for their families, as well; appeal to this desire by demonstrating how your product or service can improve the lives of their children or partner.
Gen X’s desire for security means they often do thorough research before buying. They have the purchasing power to spend on more expensive products or services, but they need to be confident it’s worth it. The bridge between digital and analog, Gen Xers do product research online and through traditional methods, so wherever you’re advertising, make sure information about your business is readily available and accurate. Online reviews can be especially valuable in appealing to Gen X—we all know how much more likely people are to try something recommended by a friend.
Don’t Ignore Online Marketing
Gen Xers grew up during the dawn of new technology, so most have integrated the Internet into their lives alongside the consumption of traditional media, like TV and newspaper. 72% use the web to research products and services, and many Gen Xers are active on social media—95% use Facebook.
Gen X is ready and willing to shop online, and most know how to identify a bad website, so make sure your domain is functional and visually appealing (don’t forget to optimize for mobile devices). Because they do thorough research, make sure information like your prices, hours, and business address are up to date on both your social media profiles and your website.
Like the younger generations, Gen Xers have a keen eye for insincere advertising. They tend to be more skeptical and sensible because of the uncertainty they’ve experienced, so don’t rely on cheap tricks or manipulative marketing. Most don’t need to be sold on something; they want the facts—the straightforward, no-frills information—so they can make their own decisions. Skip the sales pitch and focus on having an honest conversation.
Gen Xers care about your company’s values, too, so be sure to clearly spell out what your business stands for. The great news: they often have a high level of brand loyalty. If you can show them why your company is the right choice, both in terms of value and quality, they’ll likely continue coming back for more. Just make sure to honor that loyalty with exclusive coupons or a rewards program.
One thing that appeals to people across generational divides? Why, it’s the universal appeal of free stuff. Get your business’ name out there with promotional products from Facetime Business Resources.