As businesses strive to find new and more effective ways to reach their target audiences, they may find that marketing tactics that work for older generations don't always resonate with younger ones. Likewise, strategies meant to appeal to the young may be ineffective in targeting those in their golden years. Here are ten marketing tactics that can effectively reach older and younger audiences.
1. Tailor Content to the Audience
Businesses should tailor their content to their target audience, whether older or younger consumers. For example, businesses can use social media to share relevant content with older consumers, such as tips for staying healthy and active in retirement. They can also use social media to share relevant content with younger consumers, such as how to save money on groceries or budget for a first home.
2. Use Generational Labels Cautiously
Generational labels can be extremely useful for understanding certain trends and behaviors, but businesses should use them cautiously. Not all generation members behave the same, and there can be significant variation within a generation depending on factors such as age, location, and gender. When targeting older or younger consumers, it’s important to understand the diversity within each generation and design marketing strategies accordingly.
3. Understand What Matters to Different Generations
Older consumers typically place a high value on tradition, while younger consumers are more likely to value innovation and change. When designing marketing campaigns, businesses should keep these differences in mind and target their campaigns accordingly. For example, a business could promote a new product line inspired by traditional recipes to appeal to older consumers or promote an innovative new product that breaks with tradition to appeal to younger consumers.
4. Appeal to Nostalgia in Older Generations
Nostalgia can be a powerful tool for marketing to older generations. For instance, businesses could promote products that evoke happy memories from the past or use slogans that reference familiar songs or sayings from earlier decades. Additionally, businesses could hold events or offer products specifically designed to target retirees or Baby Boomers.
5. Appeal to Optimism in Younger Generations
Younger generations are often optimistic about the future, and businesses can capitalize on this by promoting products or services that reflect this outlook. Additionally, businesses could focus on promoting goals or values important to young people, such as self-improvement or social responsibility. Another way to appeal to the optimism of younger generations is by using humor in marketing campaigns – particularly effective with millennials.
6. Utilize Technology Selectively
While technology is an important part of most young people’s lives, not all members of this generation are avid users of technology gadgets and platforms. Businesses should carefully consider whether technology is the best way to reach their target audience before investing in digital marketing campaigns or developing apps specific to their industry. Another thing business should remember when using technology is that different platforms may be more popular with different age groups – for example, Snapchat may be more popular among millennials than the Facebook Messenger app is among Baby Boomers.
7. Respect The Privacy Needs of Different Generations
Just as there are differences between older and younger generations in terms of how they view technology, there are also differences in how they view privacy. Older generations often highly prize privacy and may be uncomfortable sharing personal information online. In contrast, many young people do not mind sharing personal information if it means they can get access to discounts or special offers. Businesses should consider these differences when developing policies around customer data collection and retention.
8. Leverage Earned Media Opportunities
Both older and younger generations respond well to positive PR, so businesses should take advantage of any opportunities they have for earned media exposure. This could involve reaching out to local reporters who cover aging populations or promoting positive stories about young people doing interesting things.
9. Get Involved with Community Organizations
Many older and younger people are involved in their local communities, so businesses should consider getting involved with community organizations to reach them. This could involve sponsoring local events, partnering with charities, or donating products or services.
10. Be Aware of Changing Attitudes and Trends
Businesses must be aware of ever-changing attitudes and trends to stay ahead of the curve and maintain a relevant marketing strategy. This is especially important when trying to reach both older and younger audiences. What may have been considered hip and cool 10 or 20 years ago could now be outdated and unappealing to today's consumers.
On the other hand, something popular with young people today may not resonate with older generations. As such, businesses need to keep their finger on the pulse of culture and adapt their marketing accordingly. By doing so, they can ensure that their message resonates with older and younger audiences.