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Marketing to Generation X: Bringing Your Business To The Forgotten Generation

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Last week in our series of Generational Marketing, we talked about tips for crafting marketing strategies to Baby Boomers. So, following the natural sequence of order, we’ll be moving on to the next generation in this blog. Let’s give a warm welcome to…

generational marketing direct mail marketing

Hey, it’s me, Generation X. Don’t you remember me? No? Okay…

The “sandwich generation”. The neglected middle child. The hilariously obscured.

Generation X is used to describe people born between 1965 and 1982. First coined by photographer Robert Capa in the early 1950’s, when he used it as a title for his photo-essay about young’uns growing up right after World War II, the name quickly became popular after Douglas Coupland published his novel Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture.

Unlike the Baby Boomers and Millennials, there really isn’t a strong identity attached to this generation. It’s not their fault, by any means; they were in limbo between the bigger and louder cohorts of Boomers and Millennials.

And go figure; the ‘X’ in Generation X refers to the unknown.

The Life of X

They were once known as the lazy slackers and the unconcerned—a rather unfair stereotype that wrongly got slapped onto them after the Great Recession. In the midst of all this nonsense however, they’ve quietly grown up to be respectable working members of society.

And boy, are they busy. Imagine juggling mortgages, tuition, work, and your children all at the same time. But they’re nothing like their Baby Booming predecessors! They’re technologically adept and always online. According to B2C, more than 80% of the people of Generation X reports that they’re daily users of social media platforms!

They’re also organized, and responsible with their money. But don’t count them out of impulse spending just yet—they’re still prone to making spontaneous purchases every now and then! They’re known to have more spending power than any other generation, with 29% of estimated net worth dollars and 31% of total income dollars.

Marketing to the Xers

They’re truly the middle children, in every sense of the word. While they’ve grown up without the online shopping experience that Millennials are familiar with, they still embrace it as much as they do with in-store shopping. Here are a couple of things you should know in order to market to these middle-grounders.

Approaching the X

Help ’em Save
Saving money’s a huge priority for this generation. More than 9 out of 10 Xers claim they plan to save more than, or about the same amount, in the next 12 months as they did in the past 12 months. Whether it’s saving up for their kids’ college, home ownership, starting a business, or retirement, they’re always looking for opportunities to save some dough. Coupon campaigns, for one, are a sure way to turn those Xers’ heads!

The Peace of Mind
Generation Xers are keen on vacationing to get away from the stress of their everyday lives. According to American Express, about two-thirds of Xers with a household income of $250,000 or more and half with incomes of less than $250,000 plan on taking a vacation in the next 12 months.

Even if your business has nothing to do with vacations, you could still take advantage of this knowledge by running a sweepstakes, or focusing your product’s marketing message towards enhancing their getaway experience!

It’s All About Family
Family’s very important to the Xers. Approximately 63% of them have kids, and they’ve raised the bar in terms of family capacity.
For two decades, the norm had been two children per family. But between 1995 and 2000, the rate of having three or more children jumped from 11.4% to 18.4%! So rather than solely marketing to the individual Xer, consider establishing products, services or events that include the whole family.

Be Real
Generation Xers are smart. They know the hype train often leads nowhere and don’t jump the bandwagon without good reason.

That’s because many of them hold a strong desire for safety and security. So make sure your marketing approach is direct and authentic—none of that “smoke and mirror” trickery!

Try to convince them to do business with you through objective statistics and testimonials. They tend to respond to a brand that reliably meets their needs, and your marketing voice must reflect that.

Reaching the X

Embrace E-mail Marketing
E-mail campaigns tend to work very well with the Xers; they always keep an eye open on their Outlook through tablets, smartphones and desktops. In fact, 58.2 billion Xers claim to use the Internet regularly, so don’t assume e-mail marketing is a waste effort in appealing to this demographic.

Direct Mail Marketing Works Too!
Remember how we mentioned they’re receptive of both traditional and digital marketing approaches? Direct mail marketing may sound like ancient history, but a study from InnoMedia, NuStats and Vertis shows that 86% of this generation brings in the mail the day it’s delivered!

And to top it off, the Xers rate 75% of the direct mail that they receive as “valuable”. If those numbers aren’t enticing enough, keep in mind 68% of them have used coupons they received through the mail.

Just remember to stay personal and informative; Gen Xers are very skeptical and appreciate transparency! They love hand-written, personalized cards for both personal and professional endeavours.

Facebook is Their Territory

Generation Xers aren’t as likely to experiment with latest social services to pop up; they tend to be mostly Facebook-centric. For one, 30% of 18 to 24-year-old US Internet users tapped Twitter at least monthly in 2013, while Xers barely halved that percentage.

But boy, are they loyal to Facebook. According to eMarketer, nearly two-thirds of Gen X use Facebook monthly! It’s safe to say they even edge out the Millennials in that regard.

Employing Facebook for your marketing campaigns also brings a little fun and ease into their lives without being too intrusive. Progressive Insurance’s “The Best Day Ever” campaign did just that with a series of posts on the Flo’s character Facebook and Twitter accounts that examine—in clever tongue‐in‐cheek—ways to have the best possible day.

So Give Them A Little Love

Generation X might be the smaller and less celebrated generation of the bunch, but that doesn’t mean they’re not as important. With the right marketing approach that utilizes our tips, you’re sure to intrigue these savvy shoppers into doing business with you!

Understanding the mindset, preferences, and buying influences of your target demographic can position you well for your next marketing campaign.

Lucky for you, we specialize in streamlining marketing strategies that capture a wide range of audiences. So if you’re looking to reach a broader audience or hone in on a specific demographic, Eden Advertising is your digital marketing partner with the expertise and track record to help you succeed.

Check out our blog next week for the next installment of our month-long Generational Marketing Series!

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