Understanding each of the five generations and its unique sensibilities is the key to driving effective marketing strategies, particularly in B2B marketing, where most of these generations might be in play as decision makers or influencers.
Ideally, you need to adapt your messaging, marketing channels, and efforts to each generation. This might seem daunting and challenging, but it can be done by developing unique campaigns and approaches when your marketing personas are predominantly of one generation.
For example, if you’re doing account based marketing and targeting top executives at a strategic account, and they are predominantly Baby Boomers you might combine traditional elements, such as telephone calls and face-to-face meetings, with email. If you are targeting Generation X, where work-life balance is often a major concern, you may want to make an emotional appeal to simplifying work enabling more free time.
If you are targeting Generation Y or Generation Z, you’ll want to focus on social media and digital marketing almost exclusively, while keeping in mind that face-to-face interactions—whether in person or virtual—may be critical. These generations are also more collaborative in their decision-making as well, often making purchasing decisions in groups, so you may need structure your strategy and approach accordingly.
However, the most feasible and economical approach is to take a multi-channel and multi-faceted approach that incorporates messages and channels that appeal to all the generations you’re targeting. Define and research the generations you’re targeting and the roles they play in purchasing decisions. Prioritize them and choose your channels and develop your messages accordingly. Try to strike the right balance so you can play to your predominant generation(s) while still engaging and converting others.
Looking to the Future
As more companies and organizations research and explore generational marketing, there will be more opportunities for learning, discovery, and application of best practices. The extrapolation of these insights and the challenge of how to apply them is a broad topic worthy of further discussion, so I intend to talk more about the five generations and their implications for business in future articles.
In the meantime, I encourage all marketers and organizations to delve further into generational marketing and see what it can do for you and your customers.
Are you apply generational marketing into your marketing strategies and tactics? Please share your experiences.