Perhaps to date your marketing strategy has been largely focused on those “bigger” generations: the Millennials and Baby Boomers namely. And yet, could you be overlooking that middle generation: Gen Xers? While not as often targeted as other generations, they do account for more than 30% of the current US population. This means if you’re doing nothing to market to them, you’re missing out on a huge portion of the country’s consumers.
Who is Gen X?
Though a smaller generation than all others, Gen X’s spending power constitutes a major part of all purchasing power. Generation X consists of those who were born anywhere from 1965 to 1980. Falling between their Baby Boomer parents and the largest current generation, the Millennials, Gen Xers often demonstrate tendencies common to both their predecessors and their successors–as well as having their values and behavioral patterns.
They’re more versed in technology than the Baby Boomers but certainly not necessarily as savvy as those generations who’ve never known a world without cell phones and the internet. They tend to be family-oriented and extremely self-reliant. Regardless of this generation’s size, it would be a mistake to ignore them in your overall marketing scheme.
Some Key Things to Know About Gen Xers
When developing a Gen X relevant marketing plan, you may want to consider the following:
1. They have financial stability.
Given that in age they now range from 39 to 54, they are at their peak earning years. As heads of companies and households, they make major financial decisions daily.
2. Security is important.
At this point, many Gen Xers have kids either in college or they’ve already graduated. They are extremely concerned with making smart money moves to protect their families and themselves in those retirement years. They seek reliability and stability. As a company, you need to demonstrate to them that you possess both.
3. They use the internet frequently.
Particularly for researching businesses. Once they see an ad or promotion, they generally take to the internet to gather more data on that prospective company.
4. They prefer authentic marketing.
They are looking for marketing materials that reflect who they are and what they value. If you try too many gimmicks, they will see through it. Be real and genuine with Gen Xers.
The Best Channels to Reach Gen X
Gen Xers are most definitely online. Approximately 58 million take-up to the internet every day. They do remember a world before the internet but most Gen Xers are quite well-versed when it comes to all things digital. Also, with this particular group, they tend to be loyal to a brand more so than some of the other generations. And it’s been found that they seem to spend more with companies that interact with social causes.
So how do you reach Gen Xers? What channels are most effective through which to market to them…
As noted, they are big online researchers when it comes to companies with whom they plan to do business. Make sure that on all major platforms everything is correct and up to date. Particularly pay attention to Google, Bing, Yelp, TripAdvisor and other such popular directories.
Given all social media platforms out there, Facebook seems to rank among the top for Gen Xers. They are just as apt as Millennials to use social media to engage with various brands. You, therefore, want to spend some time thinking about how to best optimize your Facebook approach for Generation X.
Unlike some of the younger generations, they still do have something of a fondness for snail mail. And they also use postal mail to send out cards both professionally and personally. You might do the same. Sending out direct mail pieces is effective, but if you can somehow personalize such missives, they may have even more of an impact with your typical Gen Xer.
More so than some of the other generations, Gen Xers tend to check their email quite frequently. Email marketing is pretty cost-effective—definitely less expensive than a snail mail campaign. And in terms of engaging a Gen Xer, this is a great way to get their attention. Make sure that your site has an email capture form. And when you do send emails, make them visually appealing. You might even include a short video piece.
All of your marketing efforts are ultimately driving traffic to your site. Therefore, you want to not only make sure that the site is updated and easy to navigate but that it makes the buying experience a fairly seamless one. With Gen Xers specifically, try and focus on the following:
- Asking for feedback in terms of the overall shopping experience.
- Make sure it is easy to search through enabling users to find what they need quickly.
- Include a live chat function.
- Have a pop-up email opt-in form.
Again, keep in mind that this generation does have a lot of spending power even though they may not be as pervasive as the generations surrounding them. In many ways, they have traits of both the Baby Boomers and Millennials—something of a hybrid generation. Your marketing strategy should thus be diversified and dynamic.
If you’re looking to launch a new marketing strategy geared toward Gen X, First Union Lending can certainly help. With a variety of commercial lending programs, we have the resources to get you the cash you need now. Call today!