Marketing to Generations X Y Z +
As a Digital Marketing agency, we handle a wide variety of clients, all with their very own niche clientele. These individual audiences however, often vary by huge degrees from one client to the next. Some may cater primarily to Men, while others might only want to market to Women. Certain clients gear their marketing towards an older demographic while others prefer to focus on a specific set of known customer traits.
Different Demographics, Different Approaches
With differing demographics, each clients’ marketing approach must be optimized to ensure their best chance of success. This only makes sense right? Truth be told however, no-one can be all things to all people (though many try…). In fact, there are few businesses still around today, that connect successfully & consistently across multi generational audiences.
Let’s look briefly at social media as an example. Have you ever wondered if your ideal ready-to-buy client is really even on Facebook? For all the time you put into the platform, what are you getting back? How is it working? Hmm, food for thought right?
As consultants, clients often approach us for straight up, no holds barred, marketing advice and strategy – so how do we approach each segment differently? Well, it all starts with a simple three-pronged approach that we like to call, the xyz.
Typically when on boarding new clients, one of the first things we conduct is a ground zero, baseline audit (x). It’s through this audit we discover many distinct factors about your business including who your ideal client is (you know that right?). This may seem like basic marketing but in truth, many of the key results tend to surprise, if not flat-out shock some clients. It is these results (y) that help us develop a working strategy (z) to reach that prospect along with solid clues on how best to engage with them.
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Psychology – In Marketing ?
The use of psychology in marketing is really nothing new. So many consultants are now using buzzword heavy pitches like they’re going out of style. Actually, I think they preach this very thing in b-school right now – “Dazzle them with terminology and they’ll have to hire you!” My point is, it’s a free country and you can use as many buzzwords as you like but what if the message falls on deaf ears?
Most prospects don’t give a hoot about terminology, they care about profit!
I’ve said many times in my university classes that in order to establish real, genuine connections, we need to be speaking the same language as our intended audience. Mastering this concept is the first step.
Mastering the 4-R’s
There’s a famous area in Hyde Park, London known as Speakers Corner where for many years, public speaking and open debate has been allowed. I use the term “allowed” because these “free speeches” are required to at least be lawful in nature. Speakers Corner for me, symbolizes fundamental marketing in many ways. Sending messages out at 3am may attract the odd night shift worker or two but for the most part, no one is going to hear you let alone pay attention.
In sharp contrast, imagine broadcasting the same messages in prime time – chances are your visibility will increase exponentially! With marketing, it’s vital to connect four little dots: Right Message in the Right Language to the Right Audience at the Right Time. Connect the dots and you might just need to hang on for the ride! And yes, there will be a 4-R’s post to come :)
Everyday Marketing Fails
All around us though, when you really look, disconnects from this simple logic abound. Some will always believe themselves right until such time as another possibility arises that may seem just a tad, more right. Right? Sorry – couldn’t resist that one!
Classic examples of this include : The Realtor® with 75 “Awesome Listings” yet only 1 sale to show for this awesomeness over the last year … Instagram foodie pics that are simply too dark to see the actual food … The 19 yr old trying to convince senior management 60 somethings of his “vast years of experience” … You catch my drift no doubt and yes, there’s a lot more of them out there…
Gathering The Intel
Let’s examine our strategic communications with the end goal of connecting to a specific demographic or segment. In particular let’s explore these demographics more thoroughly and try to learn, to some degree, what makes them tick. What commonalities can be found in their likes, dislikes and traits?
What kinds of insights might we learn about each group? Could discovering some of these help your business? Might the results help refine your future marketing approach & communications? We believe so and over the next few weeks, we’ll be running a series on this very subject.
What About You ?
Which of the following generations are your ideal clients in? How much do you really know about them? We will be looking into :
Boomers I or the Baby Boomers
Boomers II or Generation Jones
Generation Y, Echo Boomers or Millennials
Sure, we’ve all heard these buzzwords before but what do they really mean? Each one differs from the previous or subsequent group in many different ways. Do you know which specific traits define a Gen Y individual from a Boomer? What changes could you make to appeal more to Millennials? Who are Generation Alpha?
Putting the Intel to Work for You
So, how should we develop marketing strategies geared towards generations to come? Many business experts tout adapting to change as a high priority in business planning, as they should. But so many also still believe that generations only really change every ten to twenty years or so. As a result, they focus on changes having already occurred, rather than proactively planning for the inevitable future.
Generations are constantly evolving and your marketing approach must follow suit. We need only look to social media for confirmation of this. Did you realize that ten changes have occurred on various social platforms just in the time it has taken you to read this post?
What’s Next ?
Effectively, it almost seems that we start every day somewhat behind the 8-ball. Why are so many still marketing retroactively when in truth, we should be doing the polar opposite? What could help us turn this way of thinking around? What would change your mind?
If you plan on your business being around ten years from now, and we hope you do, these are facts that you need be cognizant of and scaling for tomorrow. Looking down the road farther, how will each new generation shape and define our culture and our marketing approach?
We hope you have enjoyed our first installment in this series, next up we’ll be looking at marketing to Boomers & Generation Jones. Be sure to stay tuned as there’s lots more to come …
Also published on Medium.