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  • Writer's pictureAriana Bhargava

The Importance of Inter-Generational Marketing

Inter-generational marketing has become increasingly popular in the past decade as generational trends have continued to be a driving force of consumerism. But what makes each generation unique and how can a brand appeal to all of them?

This chart simplifies marketing preferences for each generation:

inter generational marketing preferences

How can we market to Baby Boomers?

This may seem the hardest as Baby Boomers and the elderly population are often ignored in marketing, with the exception of assisted living and medication aid, though they are an important part of technology users and consumers. Appealing to seniors can come in many forms, and more recently some ads have been highlighting the youth and excitement in the lives of the older generations.

One example is this ad for Clos du Bois wines. The brand noticed how most of its consumers were of the Baby Boomer generation and instead of trying to appeal to a younger crowd they highlighted the vitality of the people that enjoyed their product and doubled down on their “only old people drink that” branding.

How can we market to multiple generations at once?

According to Forbes, 88% of Millennials, 87% of Gen Z, 82% of Gen X, and 77% of Boomers all desire personalized communications from brands. One simple advertisement or campaign that appeals to everyone and allows for everyone to feel that one-to-one acknowledgment is no small feat, but here’s how a brand could try.

First, choose a medium that appeals inter-generationally. Video is most likely the best option as it presents both visual and auditory information and can do so in easily digestible ways which is extremely important to both the Baby Boomer and Gen Alpha generation.

Next, representation is incredibly important. If a brand is creating a commercial, choosing a cast of generationally diverse people, or people who have generationally diverse followings, can expand an audience. In this commercial from Target, a diverse mix of public figures go shopping together. The cast is clearly very intentionally selected, as they have very different followings. Interior designer and influencer Emily Henderson and actress Garcelle Beauvais have followings of mostly Gen X, influencers Nabela Noor and Kahlana Barfield Brown have mostly Millennial followings, and athlete Suni Lee and musician Terrel Grice have largely Gen Z followings. This allows for the whole family to point out someone they know as this ad pops up during a commercial break of a family show.

Next, clear and easy information is always important in marketing, but making sure this is the case for all generations can be tricky. If a brand has many different products to offer they can showcase how there is something for everyone, such as the Target ad above where we see people in all sections of the store. Another option if there are fewer products is to show how anyone can use or enjoy it, like Covergirl’s 2017 “I am what I makeup” campaign. Its success is explained further here, where it featured women of various ages, ethnicities, and professions and what wearing makeup looks like to them individually.

Finally, adding something to promote engagement can drive sales. The most intergenerational options for this are genuine reviews from real people, support for causes, and deals and offers which puts out a conscious and authentic face for a brand. Social media, of course, also offers great engagement with Gen Z and Millennials. Additionally, Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials rank email as their preferred communication with Gen Z putting it as their #2, making it a quick and successful method to get the word out.

Though intergenerational marketing is no easy undertaking, simply being intentional about representation and how you communicate to the consumer is a perfect starting point for a brand that appeals to all.

For further examples of successful intergenerational marketing look here.

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