Behind every great marketing campaign is a strategy. The heart of that strategy is knowing who you are trying to reach — your target market. Understanding your target audience’s demographics and psychographics can make the difference between a hefty return on investment and a campaign flop.
As marketers, we know that we aren’t going to able to reach every single person or business, but it’s still smart to have an overall picture of who you want to reach. Personalizing your campaign to reach a certain group will be much more effective than just throwing content out there expecting to grab a couple of new clients. That’s not how it works. Customers will tune you out if you don’t speak to them on an individual level.
Who are your clients? What do they like? How do they encode messages? When and where do they shop? Research provides us with all sorts of information into our client psyche. One way to break down these groups is by generation, and it’s an easy place to start. Check out the following to get started on narrowing your target market:
The Greatest Generation
Named because of their affiliation with the Great Depression, this generation was born between 1909 and 1945. Research shows that they are extremely conscious consumers, meaning they need to trust a business before they go all in. The value of your product or service is what is going to reach them the best. Informational ads with testimonials and demonstrations is a great way to reach them. They respond well to traditional advertising: TV, radio, and print ads may be good platforms to use in your campaign.
The Baby Boomers spend $400 billion more than any other generation. Now that’s some good buying power! This generation is very diverse in their life stages. You have boomers who are married, divorced, retired, career-oriented, have kids at home, have kids who are on their own, and who are grandparents. They are more tech savvy than The Greatest Generation so don’t shy away from digital and “youthful” marketing tactics. A perfect mix of traditional and new age marketing should reach this generation nicely.
Following the Boomer generation, we have the Gen Xers – the bridge from the Baby Boomers and Millennials. This generation is sometimes overlooked, but don’t disconnect them from their ability to buy. This generation is likely at the peak of the career and earning income, meaning they have the capital to spend, and they love to shop! American Express proclaimed that they even have more buying power than any other generation. They have matured with internet technology and 60% of Gen Xers use a smart mobile device for activities such as shopping, banking, and web surfing. Be careful though – they do a lot of research before they buy and are skeptical of “flashy” advertising. Good SEO, social media, and review site marketing will help you reach this target audience.
And then we have the Millennials. Ah, the generation everyone is so curious about. Growing up during the IT age means that they are particularly responsive to digital marketing campaigns, probably more so than any other generation. Although they are the youngest, you shouldn’t discount their buying power all together. There are over 80 million millennials with an increasing amount of spending money. Time Magazine reported that 20% of 26 year olds still live with their parents, meaning they are spending less on bills and more on consumer goods. This percentage nearly doubled since the 1970s. They are constantly connected and on-the-go with their smart devices so take advantage of social media, websites, and non traditional marketing tactics. Make sure you keep an eye on this group; they are projected to spend more than $1.5 trillion in the U.S. by 2020.
Also known as Generation I, this generation is the youngest of the bunch so far. They are the youngest children of Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials. Marketing theories are still being developed around this generation, but we do know one thing: they are the first generation raised completely in the new age digital era. Their parents are more accepting of this technology and they are likely to innovate the way we market in the next 20 years.