When marketing products or services today, it is more important than ever to know the specific generation of your target audience. This is especially true for those of us who work in the elder care industry. Are you trying to reach the 80-year grandparent as potential clients or customers? Or, are you really speaking to their fifty-something children, or even grandchildren? While marketing strategies have always used demographics to appeal to the right audience – including gender, income, location, ethnicity or education – today’s business professionals are discovering that many conventional tactics have lost their effectiveness. In their place, however, marketing analysts have developed a new strategy called “generational marketing” that uses different demographic information to reach clients. This cutting-edge approach allows you to both identify and understand the specific lifestyle of the audience you are targeting.
In her article “Know Your Target Market,” Elizabeth Wilson explains how generational marketing divides the population into five age groups, each with its own characteristics and habits, so you can create a more effective message when marketing elder care products and services.
Generation I (or the Internet Generation or iGeneration) is the youngest group, born entirely in the internet era. As children of the youngest baby boomers, they may have the most tech-savvy parents. However, because they are so young, marketing theories are still being developed.
Generation Y (also called Millennials or “echo boomers”) are children of boomers from the ages of nine to 27. They number about 75 million. Growing up with computers, they may be especially responsive to innovative internet campaigns and be “brand-loyal.”
Generation X (or Gen X) are the 44 million people born between 1965 and 1975. Because they grew up in the shadow of powerful baby boomers, they often are overlooked despite their disposable income. Unlike Gen Y, they find value more important than brand prestige.
Boomers number around 76 million and have strong buying power and drive. They cover many stages of life from empty nesters to single parents. Boomers spend around $400 billion more than other generations annually. By 2030, their numbers will grow nearly 80 percent.
The Greatest Generation was born between 1909 and 1945. Having seen it all, they are practical, savvy about advertising, and cautious before patronizing a business, yet can remain loyal customers. Don’t underestimate this generation. Many use computers, especially to make purchases, and enjoy spending money on grandchildren.
Generational marketing is useful when creating your strategic marketing campaigns. Please contact me if you would like to learn more about utilizing generational marketing when targeting the elder care market.
Marla Levie, BSW, MA, President and Founder of Focus on Aging, has successfully been providing marketing consulting, social media and recruiting services to the elder care market and to other service-related professions in the Chicago area for over 20 years. Use the contact tab to email Marla for additional information about her services.