Tips for promoting content to Generation X customers
What is ‘Generation X’ in marketing terms? Gen X refers to those born between 1965 and 1980, whose attitudes to marketing blend the preferences of baby boomers and millennials (aka Gen Y); they are adopting technology but weren’t born into it; they aren’t struggling financially, but are frugal with their money.
These 38-53 year-olds make up 20 per cent of Australians (according to McCrindle Research) and have considerable buying power. But if their attitudes are a mix of baby boomer and millenial – extraordinarily different generations, to be sure – how do you promote content to Gen X?
Let’s find out by examining the question in two parts:
- Where to promote content to Gen X.
- What tone to take with Gen X promotions.
Where to promote content to Gen X
1. Social media
Gen X might not have been born in the Facebook age, but they still love social media. In fact, Nielsen found that adults aged 35-49 spend almost seven hours on social media each week – that’s higher than the millennials studied in the same report.
- Key takeaway: Don’t listen to anyone that says social media isn’t relevant to anyone other than young people – using the audience targeting tools provided by most social media platforms, you can reach a big Gen X audience. Note: Those aged over 50 spend much less time on social media, so perhaps focus on ages 35-49.
Social media gets a lot of attention, but email remains a vital tool for contacting Gen X customers. Indeed, according to a SendGrid report, 92 per cent of this demographic use email at least monthly, and 79 per cent say email is their preferred method for companies to contact them.
- Key takeaway: EDM campaigns can have a lot of power in this demographic, although don’t expect an instant response as recipients may take a few weeks to see your message.
Video is an excellent way to promote content to Gen X. Influenster surveyed more than 8,000 people about their video habits and found that 35 per cent of Gen Xers watch YouTube videos daily, with a further 31 per cent watching several times a week.
- Key takeaway: Use platforms like YouTube to reach and engage more Gen X customers. How-to videos and product reviews were the top two most-watched video types for this group, according to Influenster.
What tone to take with Generation X promotions
1. Concerned about the planet
If it fits with your brand, consider mentioning what your firm is doing to help save our planet. Over 80 per cent of men and the same amount of women in the Gen X demographic agree that global warming is a problem, and almost 90 per cent of woman and 82 per cent of men believe humans can take steps to mitigate this impact.
Gen Xers are right smack in the middle of raising families, which makes family-friendly branding a great tone to take. In fact, according to Hugo Scott-Gall from Goldman Sachs Research, Gen Xers are spending vast amounts of money on their children compared to previous generations.
3. Smart spending
Gen X has lived through some major economic disasters, including the global financial crisis. But at the same time, this group has established their careers and climbed the ladder, meaning they have more money to spend compared to, say, millennials. What we see as a result is that, while Gen Xers have money, they are frugal with it – careful to get good deals and make smart investments. If you’re promoting content that encourages a purchase, it must be presented as a sensible financial decision.
4. People, not ‘Gen X’
While we and many other marketers use the term ‘Gen X’ to collectively refer to this group of people, many don’t associate with the term. Only 41 per cent of this age group associate with the demographic of Gen X, while others associate with the term ‘baby boomer’ (28 per cent) or ‘Gen Y’ (12 per cent). A further 8 per cent don’t associate with any generational name at all.
The lesson here? Just use the terminology for your background research. Don’t actually use it in your promoted content as your audience may not feel it’s related to them.
Generation X can be hard to define, being a smaller, less-famous category than either boomers or millennials. However, what we’ve seen is that, within this age bracket, there is a lot of room for savvy digital marketers to reach a wide audience. Any stereotype that pre-millennial generations are technophobes is untrue with Gen X, although be wary of asking them to spend money (especially on anything other than their children).