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List the Types of Electronic Marketing You Would Use If You Were Trying to Target Members of the Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z

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As marketers, we know it’s hard to acquire customers. We get their attention with content marketing and nurture them through cycles of emails, hoping that they’ll bite and commit to our product. It’s even harder when you’re trying to market a product to so many different demographics—a 50-something who is unfamiliar with digital marketing is going to react very differently to a Facebook ad than a 20-something who is well-versed in digital marketing tactics.

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Generation X, born sometime between the years of 1965 and 1980. They love the new tech of the century, their families, freedom and independence. Generation X has seen heavy events, civil rights movements, several wars across the Atlantic not to mention the grunge fashion movement. A stereotypical X-er will be family oriented, financially responsible and self-reliant. Generation X can be the hardest generation to pin down. You’ve got two types of Xers; Those born earlier in the generation tend to hold some of the values of the Baby Boomers. While those born later in the generation have some Millennial style traits. It’s surprising how different each end of the generation can be. Across the generation ideals and ability with today’s tech vary quite a bit. Earlier members of the generation may still have trouble with technology such as computers and phones, while the later members have no trouble at all and actually be enthusiastic early adopters

So more tech dependant marketing techniques may appeal more to the younger X-ers and miss the older sect all together. Even with their differences, some types of marketing works universally well across the generation and the need for proper tonality and an authentic message apply throughout. They’re not as conservative as their parents, but not as liberal as their kids. By now Gen X-ers are typically between 35 and 50, so you can actually get away with some older-fashioned marketing tactics, as well as incorporating new ones. First and foremost, be authentic. Don’t hide agendas or values from these folks. It means a lot to them if your company is transparent. Be forward with your intentions, no “smoke and mirrors.” Many Gen X members hold strong family values along with their desire for safety and security. If your message reflects these, you’ll have an easier time connecting. Show them you can be trusted and you can provide them a reliable service to build a relationship and referrals. Generation X has some issues with authority. Quite a few of them were “Latch-Key” kids, left to their own devices until the streetlights came on. Gen Xers grew up in a time when the economy was either rising or falling, when politicians were at the forefront of tabloid for scandals and their parents were losing their jobs.

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Not every generation is alike, nor should they be treated by marketers in the same way. Multi-generational marketing is the practice of appealing to the unique needs and behaviors of individuals within more than one specific generational group, with a generation being a group of individuals born and living about the same time (Luck, E., and Mathews, S. (2010). When a marketer factors in the different characteristics and behaviors of the generations, it should be easier to build relationships, gain trust, and close business. In fact, creating ageless multi-generational brands is one of the top ten marketing trends over the next 25 years. As such, an understanding of multi-generational marketing is very important to the marketer. [In terms of products and services, this generation is a major market for upscale children’s furniture, toys, strollers, car seats, and clothing. They also desire quality and “Made in the U.S.A.” products. They are not price sensitive even though they are financially conservative

Other important product areas include low fat/sugar/salt/cholesterol foods, recreational vehicles, second homes, new cars, travel services, and adult recreation education. Stress simplicity, convenience, accessibility, ease of use, service, and support as key product and service features. While this generation has a positive attitude toward shopping, marketers still need to be aware of enhancing their shopping experience. These traditionalists will be customers for life if you provide a quality product and give them what they want (Holstein, 2003).

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In brief, despite the differences between these two generations, there are also two big similarities: both love social media and instant gratification. Be sure that your campaign clearly explains why your product will be valuable to the age group you're pitching it too, and leverage the social media networks that the age group you're targeting has in common. For example, if you're focused on promoting your product to people in the 18 to 34 range, you'll want to be on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook, because most members of this age group are using all three of them on a regular basis

If you can create a campaign that leverages key social networks accordingly while highlighting why your product is so instantly gratifying and useful, you might attract interest from both groups fairly quickly.

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Mallalieu, L., Palan, K.M., and Laczniak, R.N. (2005), “Understanding Children’s Knowledge and Beliefs about Advertising: A Global Issue that Spans Generations,” Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising, 27(1), 53-64.

Luck, E., and Mathews, S. (2010), “What Advertisers Need to Know about the iYGeneration: An Australian Perspective,” Journal of Promotion Management, 16(1/2), 134.

Zaslow, J. (2009), “The Greatest Generation (of Networkers),” Wall Street Journal, November 4, D.1.

Holstein (2003), “Marketers Crank It Up for a New Generation,” New York Times, Jan. 26, 3.6.

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