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Generation X: The Case of the Overlooked Generation

Amanda Tatum Posted by Amanda Tatum on March 16, 2017

Marketing to Generation X has been a challenge for marketers. Why is this? Let’s go over a little background on Generation X. Gen Xers are those born between 1965 to 1981. They are called ‘the middle child’ because they are between the Boomers and Millennials. This has caused them to be largely neglected mostly because marketers don’t know how to reach them.

Young adults standing against a wall

Millennials live most of their lives on digital media, while Boomers spend a great part of their lives offline. Gen X is right in the middle, so finding the right mix of old and new media is a challenge for marketers.

Gen X has great potential, which should not be ignored. At the moment they are the most educated generation, outranking millennials 35% to 19%. Gen X represents people in management positions and entrepreneurs.

Gen Xers feel disrespected at large because they are mislabeled. According to research done by AdWeek, Gen Xers were labeled slackers. Once they proved they were not slackers they weren’t given another label.

Let’s look past labels and change the opinions that have caused us to overlook this generation. Gen X is a generation that you don’t want to leave out of your marketing efforts. With purchasing power of about 31% of U.S. income, they should not be overlooked by marketers and businesses alike. So how do you reach them? Here’s what we found.

  • Promote Online. Even though they grew up without computers they are indeed tech savvy. The latest statistic is that 81% of Generation X is on Facebook. However, as stated earlier they don’t use it as millennials might. They are more on social sites to keep up with the ‘going ons’ of the world. Whether it be their own personal world or the globe as a whole, they use it is to be informed. Yet, more recently we see them interacting with brands on social media a lot more. Generation X is also known for it’s online purchasing. 68% of Generation Xers are making purchases online. Reaching them online should be a priority.
  • Take Time for Reviews. Generation X does research before making a purchase. Most of this research includes looking at reviews. They want to be completely informed when making a purchase. Their purchase decision process is seen as  in-depth. They expect complete information about a product. Make sure you are taking time to manage and monitor your reviews effectively. How you respond to reviews will determine how your reputation is perceived.
  • Build Trust. Give them access to information and connect with them rather than selling to them. One way to build trust with Gen Xers is to stress value. Generation X doesn’t mind spending their money as long as they can trust they are getting a quality product. They want to make sure they are getting the most value for their money. If you are not straightforward with them they are sure to spot it. They are naturals at uncovering your motives. Show them that you genuinely care.
  • Reward Them. Generation X is known for being brand loyal. AdWeek states that Gen Xers boast the highest rate of brand loyalty, at 70%. Why wouldn’t you reward them for that? Anything from a loyalty program, to emailing them an extra coupon can go a long way. You want to win the hearts of Generation X. Let them know you value their loyalty. If you don't value them then they will find someone who will.

We are by no means knocking the other generations. Millennials and Boomers are also important. We are saying not to ignore one generation because of another. We must realize each play their part in the consumer world. Each are making purchases, but each are reached in different ways.

Some tactics can work for all generations. Research finds that regular digital media users can be considered a generation of their own. This is another way of grouping people based on their behavior, rather than age alone.

Learning who your target is is the first step to any good marketing strategy. The next step is knowing how you can best reach them. If you need help, Captevrix is here to assist you. Learn about the different solutions we offer and how you can take your marketing a step in the right direction.

Topics: Inbound Marketing

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