Generation gaps – we’ve all felt it before. Be it in your workplace or at a family gathering, sometimes you just don’t get people older (or younger) than you. As different generations grow up in different environments, various events, trends and development during a particular span of time shape their different attitudes and preferences. These differences can create a lack of understanding between the different generations.
In the context of your business, different generations may show interest in your business, but you may experience a generational gap when marketing and communication efforts fail to entice them to convert into actual clients.
By simply tailoring your communication style and customer service based on the generation your potential client belongs to, and through understanding their needs and preferences better, it could increase your likelihood of acquiring them. You could capture an entire demographic that others in the industry haven’t yet!
The four main generations of today – Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y (Millennials) & Gen Z – all hold distinct characteristics that offer various opportunities for you to modify the way you interact and communicate with them. Read on to find out how to reach out to each and every one of them!
Born between 1946 and 1964, Baby Boomers are the retired grandparents of children today. We often assume they are technology-illiterate, but they’re far from that. As their younger counterparts teach them to use technology, they are increasingly well versed with surfing the web and using Facebook, especially to revive “dormant” relationships and keep up with the younger ones. As late adopters of technology though, they may find complicated procedures overwhelming and confusing. Being in retirement, the Baby Boomers have high purchasing power and are very ready to spend. They’re also receptive to direct marketing and sales, like to talk to real people and expect more personal attention before making a purchase. When they love a product or service, they can be highly loyal to the brand.
Give them a call or two to check in on their enquiries and let them know you’re there for them! Keep processes simple or explain it to them so it’s easily understandable. The baby boomers are great clients to retain due to their brand loyalty and high purchasing power. As they plan for reunion gatherings with old friends and parties for their grandchildren, there is potential for them to explore other products with you given their loyalty and good experiences with your business.
Generation X was born between 1965 and 1980s, and are most likely busy people – juggling childcare and are reaching the peak of their careers. Compared to Baby Boomers, they’re definitely more on par with adopting technology: apart from checking emails frequently, more than 80% of them are on Facebook and Twitter. Having entered the workforce during the great recession, they’re not so quick to spend and will do their research before making a purchase decision
Generation X will look for your businesses when they plan family gatherings, their children’s birthday parties, their parent’s jubilee celebration, and even work-related networking events. Hit them up through email, a channel they constantly check. Give them a good amount of information too, to aid them on their research process. You could also appeal to these careful spenders by offering discounts at first, to enhance the value-for-money prospect.
The Millennials (Gen Y)
Born between 1981 – 1994, millennials are the young professionals taking over the workforce today. Often called the “Strawberry Generation” by their senior counterparts, they are notoriously soft-shelled and value social issues ahead of economics. They love the next big thing, which they find out about through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Compared to their predecessors, they are less frequent in-store shoppers and are highly responsive to shopping opportunities online and recommendations from friends and family. They won’t make a decision until they discuss it with people around them.
Should they enquire with you, promptly reply online through social media direct messaging or email. Collect reviews from past clients and make them discoverable online. Also, give them incentives to refer their friends and family to you. They’re most likely looking to plan for weddings, baby showers or their children’s birthday celebrations, or even work-related networking events. Thus, ramp up social media efforts with reviews and visuals from your portfolio in relevant events to give them a great overview of your business and entice them to take you into consideration for their next event! Podcasts are also a great avenue to reach out to them with more content, here’s a great guide on how you can get started with podcasts.
The youngest of them all, this generation was born from 1995 to 2010. As this group transit from college to the workforce, their earning power is increasing. So despite their young age, they can create a great opportunity for you!
Growing up with smartphones and the internet, this generation is technologically savvy. Being adept researchers and self-educators, they are highly aware of environmental, political and socio-economic issues. They love brands with a positive purpose that strives to improve the world, and they are highly responsive to meaningful interactions. Insincere “flash sales” don’t attract them.
Communicate with Gen Z in a personal and relatable manner. Meaningful interactions with your business and their belief in your brand can stimulate loyalty from them. Comfortable with making purchases on smartphones, it’s important to create optimised mobile experiences for them through getting yourself discoverable online, especially on social media. Looking to throw birthday parties or small events for themselves and friends, Gen Z may not look like a worthwhile market to invest your time in. However, capturing their attention and loyalty while they’re young and impressionable can make them potential repeat clients in the future, when they move through different life stages and require more services from businesses like yours!
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