Last week, the ABC Small Business Tips explored different generations and gender as target audiences. Each generation, as well as men and women, have different approaches and insights on products, services, and businesses. These target markets are large groups, but if marketed to properly, your strategy will work on millions of people.
Baby Boomers consist of individuals born between 1945 and 1960. Their generation has been through decades upon decades of every single cultural and marketing trend and phenomenon of the past half century. The experiences that they have lived through (Vietnam, disco era, Berlin Wall, Desert Storm) help to define their life experiences which they rely on while thinking about purchases and trends today. This generation is full of hope and optimism because of their experiences, and know that there is an opportunity for anything to be accomplished. In this mindset, Baby Boomers are still in the workforce today because of their big dreams to live long to fulfill those dreams and are pushing back retirement. They appreciate the value of the dollar, and will cut out coupons in the newspaper and online. Finally, their experiences with many different types of people give Baby Boomers a large scope of how proper customer service should be. This generation is the one who will complain to get any situation fixed.
Generation X is comprised of those in their late 20s - early 40s, born between about 1961-1980. Up until the recession, they have found success and positive experiences but are finding they have to change their ways of work, attitudes, and thoughts about the future. Previously, their hard work had paid off and the current economic situation is hindering their success. They are currently adapting to a frustrating situation hard work isn't making the full cut anymore in this economy. This generation is comprised of strong, original individuals who believe each of their opinions and ideas are valued. Additionally, Gen X values optimism and new opportunities, therefore are the group which will be likely to try a new business or product. Take advantage of their adventurous side by marketing to them via technology, such as social media, email campaigns, and newsletters.
Those in their 20s and younger, born in 1982 or later, are part of Generation Y. This group places a high priority on being involved, especially socially. Social media is KEY to Gen Y. They are on MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn , Twitter, instant messaging, blogs, and more. It is very important to this group to link to their friends. Use social media to promote the newest deals and the sense that "everyone is doing it" to reach this audience. The feeling of instant gratification is very important to Gen Y, and they are more apt to take advantage of instant savings or deals. The only way you will reach this group via marketing or advertisements is through gaining their trust. Finally, the media, testimonials, and others' opinions are very important to Gen Y.
Men aren't the biggest fans of shopping in general. They are a unique group, and need to be catered to in a certain way. By having your product displayed to attract their attention and available for purchase, you will gain a customer. Men usually know what they are shopping for, and are eager to spot their item, get in, purchase, and get out as soon as possible. Connect to men through engaging content in specific places. Technology is a great way to connect to men, as most of them use search engines and actively check their email on a regular basis. Additionally, side banners ads on popular sports sites or Google ads will be a great way to reach men. Men are not as loyal to brands are they are to features, benefits, convenience, value, customer reviews, and industry ratings. Produce an excellent product with a great review and rating for men to stick to your brand.
Women are quite different from men in many ways, but especially when it comes to them as a target audience. Women are loyal to their brands, unlike men. Once women find a brand that they like at an affordable price that they TRUST, they will continue to be loyal. Don't try to market to them with pink, frilly, and foofy advertisements or campaigns. Women feel advertisers don't understand them, but women are very simple: they are looking to get exactly what they want for the price they are willing to pay. Women actually number men on social networks, so market to them by communicating on blogs or sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, women look for bargains in newspapers and magazines. Women account for a total of 85% of all purchases. There is no way to forget about them; be loyal to your women consumers by being loyal to YOUR product and YOUR brand.
General target audiences are useful when marketing to a specific large group of people. Keep in mind the personalities, wants, needs, and values of these different groups when plotting a large marketing campaign.