As an entrepreneur, you need to make sure your marketing is effective. The best way to do this is to know your target audience well. Splitting consumers into age brackets (i.e., one example of demographic data) is a quick and smart way to get started with segmenting your marketing content.
Most consumers fall in one of the following generational categories:
- Baby Boomers: Born 1944 – 1964
- Gen X: Born 1965 – 1979
- Xennials: Born 1977 – 1985 (micro-generation)
- Gen Y (Millennials): Born 1980 – 1994
- Gen Z: Born 1995 – 2015
For starters, it’s essential to know your target audience demographics, their needs, and where and how they interact with brands. More likely than not, you’re marketing to Millennials (Gen Y) and Gen Z since they represent the largest consumer demographic today.
So what do you need to know about these two groups? Here’s a brief look:
Marketing to Gen Y (Millennials)
Millennials make up the majority (nearly a quarter) of the U.S. population. They love efficiency and accessibility, but above all, they pay close attention to customer service and the quality of products and services.
Keep this in mind, because it’ll pay off: as a group, Millennials are willing to spend the most for great customer care. The good news is, these features are the foundation of a successful business. They’re not gimmicks; they’re necessary for long term success.
Marketing to Gen Z (Zoomers)
Marketing to Gen Z consumers can be challenging because half of them are still in school and are not making independent purchasing decisions. However, you still need to consider them in your marketing efforts if you are focused on long-term success.
Gen Z has grown up with advanced tech and convenience. As a result, you’ll need a strong online presence if you want to resonate with them. How does this apply to your marketing strategy?
Get active on social media
If you’re not using social media marketing, you’re not truly reaching Millenials or Gen Z. Millennials were the early adopters of social media and first to embrace these platforms as a principal form of communication.
It’s a safe bet that you’ll quickly connect with Gen Y on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. For example, Millennials are particularly fond of disappearing content features offered through Instagram stories.
Meanwhile, Gen Z is highly active on social platforms like TikTok and Snapchat, which represent a challenge for many marketers. They also value authenticity since they’ve been marketed to their entire lives.
Create customer profiles
Customer profiling is a smart move for digital marketers. It’s the process of building profiles (e.g., buyer personas) of your target audience. This way, your marketing plans are easier to personalize and appeal to those you want to reach.
Instead of thinking in terms of “What does Gen Z want to read?, you’re reframing and targeting a specific audience and saying, “What does Addison, the 15-year-old on the West Coast, want to read?” It might feel a little cheesy starting out, but over time, your targeting and storytelling skills will improve.
Establish a culture and values
One of the most powerful ways to reach Millennials and Zoomers is to be authentic. This starts from the inside out. Establish a company culture of diversity and inclusion.
Younger generations will know if you’re pandering, and the results will be minimal. Instead, lean into your strengths. “When working on a social media strategy, one absolutely essential element is your brand voice,” as I’ve shared before. “Your brand voice is both conceptual and concrete: it’s the overall tone you want your social media presence to have as well as the style in your copy and advertising.”
If you want to increase the loyalty of your audience, they need to believe in your product and your mission.
These tips will help you get started on your journey marketing to Millennials and Zoomers. It might take some time to master your messaging, but the important thing to remember is everything these two audience segments want (e.g., excellent customer service, inclusive work culture, strong social media) are aspects you should already be refining.
Parker Davis is the CEO of Nexa, a leader in the virtual receptionist and technology-enabled answering services industry. Since 2015, Parker has been responsible for Nexa’s strategic vision, senior level management, and equity creation. He believes that the application of data analytics, investment in technology, and fostering a positive company culture together create highly efficient and scalable growth companies. He has an M.B.A from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Notre Dame. Connect with @callnexa on Twitter.
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