You are missing out on many profitable opportunities if you are not using multigenerational marketing. Bridging the cross-generational gap with your ad campaigns is a promising way to ensure your business remains resilient in the long term.
Consumer Marketing Expectations Are Changing
The United States Census Bureau recently released insightful generational data. According to the results, millennials and Generation Z make up over 50% of the population in the United States. In a few short years, these two groups have overtaken Generation X and baby boomers in size and buying power.
Younger generations’ preferences and interests vastly differ from older ones. The introduction of the internet has further complicated things, as it constantly encourages collective opinions to shift. Trends, attention and what people think of as important change weekly.
Inevitably, consumer expectations change with time — and ad campaigns have to adapt or become irrelevant. That said, business owners and marketers leave a lot of money on the table if they only ever appeal to the next generation.
Naturally, multigenerational marketing is one of the few solutions that makes sense. Instead of constantly overhauling your advertising practices to align with younger audiences’ preferences, you appeal to everyone. When it comes time to adapt to the next generation, you only need to make subtle changes.
Why Use Multigenerational Marketing?
Multigenerational marketing is the practice of appealing to multiple generations simultaneously. Usually, an ad campaign is tailored to resonate with people of all ages. It is a necessary approach because cross-generational gaps exist — every group has unique preferences, needs and dislikes.
Usually, marketers appeal to one group at a time — an inherently flawed approach. Imagine you only tailored your ad campaigns to Generation Z. No matter what, your strategy would become outdated in a few years as they grow up. Even if it defies the odds and remains successful, your profitability will lower as purchasing power shifts to the next generation.
Inevitably, consumer expectations and preferences will shift significantly with every new generation. If you want your ad campaigns to remain relevant and successful, you must use multigenerational marketing to adapt.
An Overview of Every Generation
Every generation has different communication styles, preferences and dislikes. If you want to create an ad campaign they are responsive to, you must know those details.
Baby boomers are one of the oldest generations. They have amassed a lot of buying power because they grew up on the tail end of a booming economy. Many are nostalgic for their youth and unfamiliar with the digital world’s intricacies.
Generation X is not in the news nearly as often as the other generations, but they still have a significant economic impact. Many people in this age group are unfamiliar with ever-changing trends since they are older adults. However, they are much more in tune with the digital world and modern social expectations than baby boomers.
From an economic perspective, millennials have experienced significant highs and lows. They lived through the beginning of the digital age and many revolutionary social movements. Together with Generation Z, they make up most of the general population.
Generation Z consists of younger adults. Collectively, they already have over $360 billion in spendable income — the most purchasing power of any age group. Inspired by millennials, they are more likely to be socially and environmentally conscious. Since they grew up with technology, they are considered digital natives.
Effective Multigenerational Marketing Strategies
Simultaneously appealing to multiple generations can be challenging since their upbringing and purchasing power vary widely. However, you have a much higher chance of success with the right multigenerational marketing strategies.
Prioritizing authenticity is one of the best strategies for success. Every generation values honest businesses. Even if you are unsure how to craft a successful multigenerational marketing campaign, this strategy can help you attract interest.
Anyone searching for a product or service looks for legitimacy and quality. One of the first things they notice when they receive their purchase is if it appears like what was advertised. Consequently, showcasing your authenticity can attract praise from every generation.
Narrow Your Focus
Even though you are tailoring your ad campaigns to appeal to multiple age groups simultaneously, you should still find a target demographic. For example, a low-calorie food business would seek health-conscious consumers in every generation. Although narrowing your focus might seem obvious, it can be challenging to achieve in practice.
Leverage Shared Experiences
To appeal to an entire generation without overgeneralizing, consider using shared experiences in your ad campaigns. You can create something appealing to everyone using nostalgia or their upcoming life milestones. For example, use a song that topped the charts in an age group’s youth or show an image of graduating college students who are using your product.
If you do not have the capacity to create multiple custom ad campaigns for each generation — understandable, given how time-consuming and expensive it would be — consider tailoring your message to all groups. Inherently human emotions and experiences appeal to everyone.
Many mundane, wholesome, exciting or visually appealing things are fundamental. For example, most people start their day with a coffee and a commute. Moreover, the brain responds to particular phrases and colors in specific ways. If you capitalize on these shared experiences, you can create a sense of community that bridges generational gaps.
Think of multigenerational marketing like a typical personalization strategy — you would not assume everyone in your target demographic thinks and acts the same. Even though everyone in a generation shares many of the same experiences and has similar worldviews, they are all very different.
More specifically, you should be careful not to generalize an entire generation’s income level, behaviors or opinions. Although they will likely share communication styles and advertising preferences, the specifics will differ.
Use Social Media
Even though social media use and content creation are seen primarily for younger audiences, every generation has a strong online presence. Successful multigenerational marketing involves knowing what they use it for. For instance, Generation X and baby boomers use Facebook far more than TikTok or Instagram.
Moreover, while younger generations typically use social media to create content and build an audience, older adults use it to connect with others. Even though everyone’s interests often intersect, they generally use the same platforms differently. If you can narrow down why and how each one is online, your ad campaigns will likely do much better.
Carefully Consider Placement
Every generation has varying communication preferences. For example, while older adults are more likely to read a physical newspaper or watch local television channels for news, younger people will often scroll through social media for it. Consequently, a successful marketing strategy revolves around simultaneously using multiple forms of advertising.
Where digital natives are more likely to see mobile advertisements, older adults often prefer physical or local ad placement. Bridging the generational gap may be as simple as identifying where to market your product so every age group sees it.
Bridging the Generational Gap Is Possible
Even though simultaneously marketing to multiple age groups with vastly different preferences can be challenging, it is very much possible. As long as you use proven strategies and carefully consider how your target demographic fits into each generation, you can achieve success.