When planning your marketing efforts, are you thinking about how to profile your audience by attitudes and behaviors? Have you thought about where, when and how to reach them? Is there a way to look at how each generation consumes media and influence their purchasing decisions? How can you alter strategies to align with attributes of different generations? (Should you do that? How?)
What emerging technologies can help you leverage generational insights to get more out of your marketing dollars?
Here are some insights:
Technology and Marketing
- Adapt technology to fit the generation you’re reaching out to. Generations consume media very differently. For example, Millennials rarely watch “television” like Gen Xers do. For Millennials, Netflix and online offerings are more appealing.
- Use technology to improve access to your brand and to your customers. Make it easy to purchase in multiple ways. Be open to different sales channels.
- Use technology to collect information and answer questions – engage in dialogue. “Likes” shouldn’t be your goal. Instead, focus on engagement, conversation and feedback.
Consider by generation:
- Baby Boomers make smart phones a priority and are the leading users of online dating. Boomers are expected to retire en masse in 2015. There is a misconception that Boomers are fearful of technology and aren’t participating, but this is one area they will spend money without too much hesitation.
- Gen Xers research products in excess before making a purchase using Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Amazon.com, Angie’s List, Epinions, CNET as part of research tools seeking reviews. They have a strong mistrust in the government and corporate America. This group is adverse to ad hype and overstatement.
- Millennials distrust traditional advertising and boast $200 billion a year in spending power. They also enjoy trends like backpacking internationally and purchasing the latest tech gadgets.
Do you see how this information can be valuable? Knowing your customer is a key to creating strong, effective marketing. Because we know Baby Boomers are attached to their smart phones, we can determine how and when to incorporate a mobile campaign. And, just as importantly, we can generate messages that cater to different audiences. You can and should leverage as much information as you can glean from your own database and use that information to your advantage. Many companies don’t. Many companies simply don’t know where to start!
Here are three steps to help you get started on effectively segmenting your audiences:
- Step into their shoes. You can do this by spending time and thought on how your customers live their lives. I use the example of my 18-year-old daughter and me. We are both runners but what and why we care about running is very different. And HOW you reach us, is through completely different channels. We ironically even wear the same SHOES but for completely different reasons.
- Use social media as a market study. Social media has given us an incredible view into the world of our customers, particularly those who “like” us. Pay attention to what people are saying in these spaces and you’ll learn a lot. Platforms like Facebook are wonderful for doing more than broadcasting your brand.
- Create a survey strategy. People LOVE to tell you what they think…they LOVE it. So ask. Use a simple survey by creating customized, multiple-choice questionnaires that also include open-ended psychographic questions. You’ll learn how customers think and feel by asking questions like “What is most important to you?” and “What keeps you up at night?”
If marketing is about engaging with your customers on an emotional level, the better you are at defining that, the better job you can do. Use generational marketing as a foundation for your audience profiles. It’s a great place to start with information you know or can find through a little research. Then take those profiles and build on them with data you have from your own customer information and input. Once you’ve effectively profiled your audiences, you can start to determine key messages and what channels will be the most logical and cost-effective ways to reach them. Data is the key to improving marketing accuracy and effectiveness. Compiling all of this information PRIOR to launching your campaign is the most impactful, but it is much easier said than done!
- It’s not about how MANY people you reach; it’s about how they engage with your brand.
- Generational Marketing ONLY provides a “base.”
- The more specific the target, the easier it is to find the right channel and craft the right message.
- Consistency of your message no longer works. Right person. Right message. Right time.
We carefully follow generational marketing, and we’d appreciate the opportunity to share our insights with you and your organization. Let us know if we can help.
A member of Flint Group since 2004, Jodi spends her days analyzing data and market research, writing strategy and proposals, connecting with clients, problem-solving with employees, working on internal management, and planning projects. She has a remarkable ability to manage teams, develop strategy, and execute campaigns on plan and on budget. A seasoned professional and effectual leader, Jodi brings to her position more than 25 years of marketing and advertising experience. Prior to Flint Group, she served as a brand and research manager at Microsoft Business Solutions and as marketing director at Nodak Mutual Insurance.