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Marketing To Different Generations; How Do You Reach Them?

Not everyone is attracted to information in the same way. That’s especially true when it comes to different generations and what motivates them to make purchasing decisions. Understanding broad generational characteristics allows you to customize your marketing initiatives and maximize your marketing dollars for the most effective reach.

However, once you recognize what contact channels your targets use, what they value and how they spend their money, how do you craft the messaging to make sure you touch them? What follows is a summary of generational characteristics and a few methods for effectively reaching out.

Baby Boomers – born between 1946 and 1964


  • Do not have time to read lengthy marketing efforts
  • Look for convenience
  • Respond to emotional appeals and nostalgia
  • Prefer to handle customer service by phone

Marketing Efforts

  • Capture their attention in seconds or lose them
  • Give them service options and ways to customize
  • Employ direct mail campaigns and videos done at a slower pace with text overlay
  • Reading is something retired boomers enjoy, so don’t be afraid of copy

Gen X – born between 1965 and 1979


  • Demand an honest straight-forward approach
  • Expect delivery on a marketing promise
  • Appreciate good design and entertaining ads
  • Lean towards informational content and 3rd party research
  • More concerned with getting the best deal

Marketing Efforts

  • Emphasize facts and avoid hype
  • Focus on high-quality images and truthful copy
  • Place greater emphasis on paid search and SEO
  • Emphasize exclusive promotions, deals and coupons


Gen Y (better known as Millennials) – born between 1980 and 1994


  • Prompted to action by causes
  • Respond best to visual content-videos and images
  • Purchase from brands that reflect their style and personality
  • Driven by social trends and opinions of friends, peers, bloggers, and other influencers they trust

Marketing Efforts

  • Focus on digital communication-internet and phone
  • Keep messages short, funny and true
  • Enhance and improve search and discovery capabilities via social channels
  • Leverage content that socially validates their purchasing decisions
  • Use customized loyalty programs and VIP experiences to convert
  • Provide more ways for them to share their opinions with family and friends


Gen Z (better known as the Net Generation) – born from 1995 to present


  • Tend to be more realistic; not idealistic
  • The need to be connected…all the time…is very real
  • Possess an entrepreneurial spirit; want to be pioneers in their careers
  • Most connected, educated and sophisticated generation ever

Marketing Efforts

  • Market to them in-device; in-context messaging on digital devices
  • Snapchat is their favorite app
  • Create value, they don’t sit through ads with their technological savvy
  • Content should help them, empower them and collaborate with them
  • Expand your reach; incorporate multiple digital channels

While it seems logical that your company is not targeting all generations, most likely you are targeting more than one. And while a broad tactic most likely works for an entire generation, it bears mentioning that there will be a few character defectors within each. However, in creating a basic core message and method of distribution you can customize targeting techniques within that foundation. If you are still a little confused about how to reach multiple generations, give us a call. We’ll sit down with you to unveil your target generations and the best strategies for reaching them. or 847-259-7312.