What Are the Characteristics of Generation X Marketing?
There is a gap in Generation X marketing: Many in this generation feel left out by brands. However, this gap also presents an opportunity for alert marketers. Companies that do target this relatively small and often overlooked group can receive a higher return on their marketing efforts compared to brands that ignore Generation X.
Who is Gen X?
- They were born between 1965-1980
- Gen X is the smallest generation
- With the second-highest buying power, they collectively hold $357 billion in annual spend
- Brand loyalty is the highest among Gen X consumers
Appealing to Gen X in Marketing
Here are some key steps to build successful marketing strategies using what we know about Generation X consumer behavior.
1. Acknowledge them!
Generation X is sandwiched between two larger and more "noteworthy" generations: baby boomers and millennials. As a result, they often get left out of marketing initiatives.
Therefore, the first step in Generation X marketing strategies is simply acknowledging them. Fill in the attention gap. Doing so will help your brand to stand out from your competitors.
Be mindful of what Gen X is experiencing at this stage of their life. Many are in their mid-to-late 40s, while others are nearing 60. Some may be empty nesters; some have college kids living at home. Some may be at the peak of their career, while others may have already taken early retirement. Many are nostalgic for simpler times. Use these insights to help shape your marketing creative to appeal to a Gen X audience.
2. Keep it personal and authentic
To appeal to Gen Xers, your messaging must mirror their values. Gen X is known to be skeptical, resourceful, and independent. They've experienced drastic social changes in their lifetime. They appreciate transparency and straightforwardness; they won't do business with your brand if they doubt your intentions.
3. Customize imagery that resonates
Your marketing creative for Gen X should be imaginative and authentic. It should also reflect the reality of their daily lives. Remember, Gen Xers are primarily overlooked in general. Therefore, images that appeal to their life stages will inspire them.
Lean heavily into nostalgia. Use images and sounds that remind them of their youth. Spark fond memories that will stir up positive emotions in your audience.
4. Build trust and offer peace of mind
Since many Gen Xers are entering later stages of life, security is their top priority. Many Gen Xers own homes and cars, have debts to pay, and are still providing for children. While they may have some discretionary income, they aren't likely to spend it on frivolous or uncertain products.
Assure members of Generation X that your brand is reliable. Offer plenty of social proof about the value of your product or service. For example, use customer reviews and testimonials to demonstrate the positive impact that your company has had on other consumers.
5. Find them on social media
Consumer data indicates that over 75% of Generation X is on social media. Facebook is their favorite platform, with YouTube running a close second. Many also visit Instagram, TikTok, and other networks: for instance, one study found that 55% of Gen Xers have visited Instagram at least once during the past three months. Understanding which social media platforms Gen Xers use the most frequently can help you to allocate your marketing budget for maximum reach.
6. Make it tech-savvy
Millennials and Gen Z are typically considered the most "tech-savvy" generations today. However, Gen X relies on smartphones and the internet almost as much as younger generations, although they didn't grow up with much advanced technology.
Research indicates that 93% of Generation X are internet users. They account for the second-highest global mobile internet usage (behind millennials). Therefore, your marketing content for Gen X must be mobile-friendly and appealing across all screens and devices. In addition, some 53% of Gen Xers state that email is their preferred means of receiving marketing communication, followed by social media at 35%.
Partner with CoxNext to Reach Your Generation X Audience
Generation X may be the smallest generation in terms of size but is the second-greatest generation in terms of buying power. You can tap into this buying power by acknowledging Gen X in your messaging, personalizing your content to their interests and concerns, providing reasons for them to trust your brand, and using social media channels to engage with them.
If you'd like to make your Gen X marketing even more effective, consider working with an experienced media partner like CoxNext. We can help you reach Gen Xers on the right channels, at the right time, and with the right content. Reach out to our team to start the conversation today.
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