Beyond Gen Z: The Importance of Advertising to Older Generations

Lately being enamored with the Gen Z cohort of consumers and their growing share of the marketplace, marketers and advertisers have largely overlooked other generations, especially Generation X. It is important to cater evenly across demographics because, as data testifies, generations before Gen Z represents comparatively higher spending capacity and make up a huge portion of target audience across sectors, and will continue to do so. 

According to 2021 data on how much Americans spend each year, generation X spent the most. Similarly, millennials clocked in the most, coming in second. One of the most important findings from the research is that Generation X and Millennials spent the most money on two vanity categories: apparel and personal care goods. It's also no accident that Generation X and Millennials spend the most money on alcohol, too. This demonstrates their financial flexibility and high spending capacity, more crucially, their predilection for splurging on luxuries. 

How ads amplify the problem more

Advertisements lately have all been about a short-term focus on cutting costs, chasing trends, and targeting young people, despite their limited purchasing power. Ninety percent of the industry's attention is focused on marketing to people between the ages of 18 and 25. 

While more than 85% of those over the age of 40 believe they are underrepresented. Individuals over 50 are portrayed negatively in advertising 28% of the time, compared to only 4% of the time for younger individuals.  They often feel underrepresented and unable to relate to popular brand advertisement narratives. 

The growing trend of influencer marketing is highly offsetting for Boomers and Gen X’ers. Contrary to its dominance and widespread appeal among Gen Zs, influencer recommendations are less likely to sway Boomers and Gen X. They will most likely be impacted by trusted specialists and practitioners who have first-hand experience to share. Their recommended content kinds are testimonials and case studies.  According to a survey of 1,000 people, 55% of Gen Z and 44% of Millennials consider influencer suggestions. Only 24% of Gen X respondents agreed with the statement, and none of the Boomer respondents agreed.

This has a significant impact on their purchasing decision. Given that Gen Xers are the most affluent population, it is critical to establish brand awareness based on preferences shared by the cohort. 

When compared to their younger counterparts, identity, and social justice problems have less influence on purchase decisions among Gen X and Boomers. However, how businesses treat their customers and employees continues to have an impact on both. Therefore, advertisements must be based on the middle ground while catering to customers. 

How to go about it?

Refrain from intrusive marketing: 

Generally wary and concerned about privacy and security issues, Gen Xers are highly skeptical of brands that have intrusive marketing campaigns. Retargeting this generation with ads or Abandoned cart ads etc. automatically puts up their skeptical red flag. Therefore,  it is important to tread lightly with this group. 

Include promotions and offers: 

Promos, coupons, and discounts, among other things, draw Gen X. They are the most likely generation of any generation to use coupons and promo codes since they are tremendous savers. However, brands must consider the channel via which their coupons are distributed. Moving them to mobile apps or advertising them on social media are some tried and true approaches with Gen Zs, but this may not be the case with this generation. More than 80% of Generation Xers prefer to receive brand messaging via email. They are more inclined to respond favorably to retail emails. As a result, email newsletters or promotions are an excellent way to reach them.

Leverage their brand loyalty sentiments: 

Despite some brand skepticism, they tend to be devoted to their favorites. This is in contrast to most Gen Zs and millennials, who are willing to switch brands anytime they stop getting desired results. Therefore, as a brand, you must put in effort to win their loyalty. Brands can guarantee a large consumer base in the long run by concentrating on quality, customer service, and being authentic and relevant. 

Repurpose social media marketing: 

Unlike their younger counterparts, Gen Xers are not interested in interacting with companies, influencers, and content providers while browsing social media. They are quite conservative when it comes to content that marketers primarily use for targeting, such as Instagram Lives, influencer marketing, and so on. Therefore to attract their attention, start adding information that people can relate to and, more crucially, look for. Adding promotions to your content calendar is one good example. This can also be an effective strategy to increase brand exposure through social media advertising.  

Companies shouldn't lose sight of the potential attractiveness of older generations, who frequently have more disposable income, due to a sharpened marketing focus on millennials and Generation Z. From a marketing viewpoint, generalizing about how different generations feel about innovation, wellness, convenience, technology, and marketing strategies might result in missed opportunities due to a more thorough understanding of consumers. These might lead to fewer fruitful outcomes and ineffective marketing resource utilization.

Therefore, it is important to understand customer trends and habits to mould effective marketing strategies. To get your hands on actionable insights and the latest consumer trends in your industry, get in touch with our experts. Our team of competent market researchers can assist you in locating market undercurrents and assisting you in devising a strategy to capitalize on them. To know more, reach out today.

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