In today’s over-saturated market, finding the right customers is crucial to your success. Only by targeting and knowing what their expectations are will you be able to meet their constantly rising needs.
There are numerous factors that determine shoppers’ buying habits and the most important of them is the generation gap. Influenced by a multitude of cultural and social circumstances, different generations develop distinct shopping habits.
By assessing customers’ upbringing, behavior patterns, interests, motivations, and goals, you will manage to determine where to direct product development.
Millennials (1980 – 2000)
Product discovery through integrated approach
Considering that 91% of teens who own a cell phone actively text, this is one of the most efficient ways to address them and inform them about your product. Grown up in the world of digital evolution, these so-called Digital Natives are familiar with the basics of online marketing and, most importantly, of their value as consumers.
They don’t respond to traditional marketing tactics. For them, images of products posted on social media by their actual users serve as a guarantee of quality. Additionally, Millennials want marketers to know their opinion on their product and, for this purpose, they use hashtags. This is called user-generated content and it plays a vital role in leveraging user social proof.
Social awareness is important!
As they were affected by the financial crisis, Millennials are extremely price-sensitive. Among all factors like product quality, availability, and reliability, price plays a fundamental role in their buying decisions.
Another important trait that characterizes them is a strong sense of social awareness. Namely, this group prefers buying from brands that give back to the community.
Generation X (1965 – 1980)
The main source of information is email marketing
Even though they don’t use hashtags and still prefer Facebook over Instagram, this generation also puts its trust in user-generated content. User social proof is important to them, but it’s not their main source of information.
According to studies, they are highly influenced by email marketing. About 68% of them said that they use coupons they get in a mail to make a purchase. So, in order to address them properly, you need to have a highly personalized email marketing strategy.
Quality at the right price
When it comes to making a purchase, they are highly systematic and love comparing products before they make a final decision. Unlike Millennials, they don’t follow current trends and are less likely to be influenced by the innovations on the market.
What gets them to respond the most is the quality and they don’t mind if the product is expensive as long as its quality matches the price.
Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964)
Product discovery through direct approach
Unlike Millennials and Gen X, Baby Boomers are still influenced by traditional marketing campaigns and sales strategies, such as telemarketing and face-to-face communication. Even though 65% of them are active on social networks, they don’t consider these channels relevant for discovering new brands. Consequently, once your Facebook Ad pops up, they are most likely to report it as spam.
Preparing for retirement
These people have already managed almost every segment of their lives and now are hitting retirement. So, all they want is products that will make their lives simpler. Similarly to Gen X, Boomers appreciate value behind your product and, therefore, don’t pay attention to prices. That’s what makes them the highest value consumers nowadays.
Also, they are extremely price conscious and are the most likely to bargain hunt.
As for brand loyalty, once they find a brand that meets their needs, they will remain loyal to it. Smart marketers have already seen an opportunity in exploiting nostalgia to market to Baby Boomers and have been using it for quite some time now.