Marketing to Generation X: Cynical and Sophisticated
Generation X has had quite a unique set of shared experiences. These adults born, between 1965 and 1981, were the first to experience divorced parents as the cultural norm. They saw both parents work long hours and were often left to their own devices earning the name “latch-key-kids.” They were the first generation to grow up with MTV and computers. They embraced the invention of the internet as it revolutionized their academic, professional and personal life. The roller-coaster of boom and bust continued into early adulthood, where much of their experience has been met with difficult political and economical times.
Understandably these experiences have influenced the generation that makes up the majority of the traditional 25 – 54 target demographic. So, as marketers, we must determine who this group is and what influences their behavior.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when developing strategies and campaigns for this audience.
- They are more diverse and think more globally than their predecessors
- They value family, but are less traditional than Baby Boomers
- They are highly educated, but also are disillusioned and skeptical
- Work, Life and Family balance is extremely important
- They want independence, flexibility and freedom
So, what kind of messages will resonate with this audience?
- Be genuine, relevant and transparent
- Show value, in price or utility
- Celebrate diversity
- Give them options and let them decide what is best for their lifestyle
- Provide opportunities, to learn, grow and improve
Generation X currently has many family and household needs as they are the most likely to contain children under the age of 18. Thus, they will be in the market for household goods, products for children and teens, and cars. With all those needs, it is likely they are on your radar.
Just remember, this demographic is both sophisticated and cynical about advertising. Develop your plans with this in mind and you will have the opportunity to build a lasting relationship with this consumer.
What are your challenges or successes in reaching Generation X?
About Meredith Wilkins
I am an Account Executive at Sheehy+Associates. I have over 8 years in advertising where I have enjoyed working with clients from various different industries. I have a passion for learning everything I can about each client and work to develop marketing plans that address their unique communication needs. When I’m not working you can find me on the soccer field as a coach or referee or hanging at home with my husband and puppy.