Baby Boomers • GenXers • Millennials • DIY

When you are trying to market to new clients, it’s important to meet your target audience on their own terms. If you don’t approach your clients and prospects in a way that they can appreciate and digest, then you won’t be getting through to them at all.

There are three major buckets that most of your audience will fall into: Baby Boomers, GenXers, or Millennials. You may have targets in more than one category depending on your products and services, so keep that in mind. As long as you understand the characteristics of each generational segment, you will be able to speak their language.

Baby Boomers were born between 1945 and 1964. They aren’t always technologically savvy, so they generally prefer face-to-face interaction or phone calls. Baby Boomers are dutiful, process-oriented, and a big fan of paper. They still want to see bills in the mail and paper receipts at the local coffee shop. A Baby Boomer’s first priority is work. They are fantastic customers because they are loyal. How do you find them … paper: think direct mail, print ads, letters.

GenXers were born between 1964 and 1980. Instead of work, they prioritize their families over everything else. A GenX customer doesn’t want you to call or knock on their door – that would be an invasion of their privacy! Send them an e-mail or instant message, and they will respond to you when they feel like it. Even though they have adapted to technology, it doesn’t always mean that they want to be bothered by it. Since family is first, GenXers say things like they “work to live.” GenX still likes paper but will probably request a digital copy (which they’ll print out later). GenX is goal-oriented and wants their ideas to be appreciated. They are great customers, especially when goods or services can benefit their family life.

Millennials were born between 1980 and 2000. They are the generation of Google and texting. They prioritize their hobbies and friends over everything else. Millennials are group-minded, always plugged-in, and fearless. A Millennial doesn’t want anything paper. For the Millennial, it’s more about playing the game than winning it. They like change and they want to be recognized for their talents. They are willing to try new products and services, but are harder to keep as loyal customers. How do you find them … it’s all about mobile: texting, social media, web.

If you are trying to reach a target audience of 25 to 35 year olds, then you need to keep in mind that you are talking to two different groups – GenXers and Millennials. One will may respond to a text, but the other will see it as an invasion of privacy. If your target audience runs into the Baby Boomer group, then a simple mailer may be effective. You get the idea.

On the horizon … the DYI Generation. We know that they are global thinkers, grew up with social media and not sure yet of their preferred work/life balance. They are young consumers, not many spending their own money yet … we’ll be watching their persona develop.

Your marketing strategy needs to address the needs and wants of your target audience. You must keep their priorities in mind and their preferred methods of communication. If you aren’t reaching out to customers in the ways they want, then all your marketing efforts may simply fall flat.

Target Market Infographic, Market Strategy

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