If you want to succeed in personalised marketing, understanding how the different generations tick is important. In order to provide content that connects with your audience, make sure you know how they respond to certain channels and marketing techniques.
Some differences may be hard to spot; in this case it’s important to look at the specifics of how each generation interprets marketing messages. While most generations use social media, they will use different platforms and peruse different types of content.
Let’s break down each generation and see the type of marketing you can provide to your audience. The exact ages can be debated, so we have included the most generally accepted year bracket for each generation.
Born 1925 – 1945
Traditional forms of marketing are most effective with the majority of this generation, such as TV and radio. Print materials like flyers and newsletters are also a great way of reaching this audience, having not grown up with modern technology.
The relationship between customer and brand is also a great way to engage with the Silent Generation, who value customer service. There are various ways of going the extra mile for your audience, such as taking the time to have a chat with a customer, or providing a loyalty program. Read our guide on customer service here.
Our recent report revealed over a third (38%) of the Silent Generation would be put off from buying a product from a website that is hard to navigate. If your target market is this generation, ensure your digital space is accessible.
Born 1946 – 1964
A mix of traditional and digital marketing is important for this generation, with a focus on print media.
Just like the above generation, we shouldn’t dismiss digital marketing for this generation. According to our recent survey, over two thirds (62%) of Baby Boomers place value on online content that describes a product or service. Your content needs to be the best it can be – keep it informative and engaging, using clear and accurate language.
Baby Boomers are more likely to use email and social media than the generation above, and primarily use Facebook as a social media platform. We recommend focusing on personal, informative, long form content when using email and Facebook marketing.
Born 1965 – 1979
We discovered over half (56%) of Gen X use a mix of both physical and online stores at Christmas, highlighting the need for various forms of marketing for Gen X. A mix of digital and traditional marketing is ideal for this generation, who did not grow up with modern technology but have embraced the introduction of digital spaces. Channels mostly used by this generation include email, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
Transparency and honest marketing is important for this age group, which is a great excuse to show social proof. Embed reviews and testimonials on your website, showcasing the experience of past customers to your target audience.
Born 1980 – 1994
As the first generation to grow up with modern technology, with the later half of this generation growing up with the internet, this means digital marketing is the best approach for millennials. Multi-channel marketing should be part of your strategy, focusing on Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. Although more popular with Gen Z, TikTok is also a great way to target millennials.
With a focus on social media, user generated content (UGC) is a great way to hook in this target market. Ways to include this in your campaign includes sharing your audience’s posts about your product/service, or encouraging your audience to tag you to share their experience with your brand.
Video content is becoming more and more popular every year, whether it be long form content on YouTube or short form content on Instagram Reels or TikTok. Read our guide here all about how video content can help your SEO strategy.
Born 1995 – 2012
A digital strategy is essential for Gen Z, with social media at the forefront of your marketing strategy. Gen Z primarily uses Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, all which have great opportunities for creative content.
Gen Z also values diversity and inclusion, and will be put off from a brand that doesn’t care about including a diverse group of people in their marketing. More companies are actively trying to be more diverse in their marketing, so your brand will also need to adopt a more inclusive approach to stay current.
Memes and trends are also a strong tactic to market to Gen Z, so make sure to create relevant content to join in with the conversation. If it fits in with your brand, sharing funny posts and joining in on trends makes your company seem more personable and down-to-earth.
Read our full guide on marketing to Gen Z here.
Born 2013 – 2025
It’s still important to understand this demographic even though they are not a key consumer demographic yet. For those with Alpha Generation as your target audience, you may want to mix your marketing with their parents’ generation, who will most likely be doing most of the purchasing.
Technology is an integral part of their lives, so a digital marketing strategy is vital for targeting the Alpha Generation. Interactive video content is important, with the older end of this age group using platforms like TikTok and Snapchat, which thrive on video content.