Marketing Directly To Reach Generation X

by Nick Rojas

Generation XIn the rush to cater to the rising group of Millennials – often called the masters of our Digital Age – many companies have overlooked the value of marketing to Generation X. These are generally referred to as those who were born in the 1960′s and 1970′s, coming of age during the eighties and after the generation of baby boomers. To conquer this category, here are five things you need to know about advertising and marketing to this important group;

1) They Like Security

Just like the rest of America, Generation X lived through the problems of the Great Recession. Unlike the generations on either side of them though, the members of this generation were in a good place to weather the storm and came out of it mostly intact. Many of them have been steadily saving away ever since, determined to protect themselves if the market crashes again.

As a result, one of the key things they look for is security. While not everyone deals with identity protection and other safety measures, it shouldn’t stop a creative marketer. For example, if you’re a retailer who sells food or other perishables, you can emphasize how long your goods will stay fresh on the shelf. If you’re selling vacations to a tropical destination, you can emphasize how crime-free your destinations are compared to others.

You can also appeal to their sense of security by leveraging the power of reviews. The members of Generation X emphasize saving, and they are completely comfortable with the idea of shopping around for deals and seeing what other people are saying before they buy something. Making a strong push for reviews and testimonials on your web site gives this generation something to find, and that can make all the difference in a major marketing campaign. The more you can appeal to a desire to play it safe, the easier it will be to convince Generation X’ers to part with their money.

2) They Like A Good Presentation

For those of us that lived through the seventies and eighties or even those of us that look back on this retro age, you’ll find plenty of flash, flair and bright colors. Most retailers are aware of the  psychology behind using colors to influence people’s behavior and choices. For example, more men prefer the color blue, while most women favor more diverse choices like green and purple.

Generation XColor can also be associated strongly with certain brands. When you think of the fast food giant, McDonalds®, you’ll probably picture the colors red and yellow that usually appeal to children. While more grownup brands like Cadillac® have been tied to black and silver that are both associated with wealth, sophistication and style.

3) They Like Themselves

In conjunction with their preference for security, GenXers are also interested in healthy living and taking care of themselves. If your products offer some kind of health benefit, be sure to highlight that in your advertisements and promotions.

If your products don’t offer direct health benefits, look for other ways of emphasizing how they can help the members of this generation accomplish some kind of goal. In particular, anything that improves or protects their lifestyle is going to be well received.

4) They Like Their Families

While members of Generation X care about themselves, that doesn’t make them self-centered, which is a perception many Millennials face. Many X’ers came from divorced households and found themselves missing out as kids, so they also put a high priority on their family life. They’re determined to avoid a repeat of the unhappiness many of them may have felt as children, so emphasizing how your products can support families and family life is another good way of appealing to their interests.

5) Don’t Forget About Email

Generation X may be the demographic that responds best to email. For them, it’s seen as a good, reasonable way of communication – it’s not “too new” as Baby Boomers might think, nor is it “out of date” which many Millennials would say. Generation X also tends to see well-made emails as professional, which is a key part of convincing them that a product or service is worthwhile. Focus at least some of your marketing efforts on getting Generation X’ers onto your email list – you might be surprised at how well they’ll respond once they’re there.