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How to market easily to different generations

Each generation has experienced the world in a different way and it is important to market to them according to their experiences. It is also important to remember that each generation is motivated by different elements and they have experienced technology in different ways. So how do you market to these different age groups?

Baby boomers

This generation was born between 1946 -1964. They grew up with very little exposure to technology. There was no television during the early days of this generation. With the first TV coming to South Africa in 1976. They value hard work and being loyal to your employer.

When marketing to this generation, they value face-to-face interaction and trust it more than interactions over digital platforms. Nonetheless they are quite tech-savvy and most have Facebook accounts which makes using Facebook advertising effective. They like to save so options for coupons and special offers are valuable to them. They also value marketing messages which talk about leaving a legacy, making an impact, achieving personal goals and recognition. This generation also appreciates a handwritten thank you card or an invite to a VIP loyalty program.

Generation X

This generation was born between 1964 and 1980. They are considered the “latchkey generation” and were the first generation where divorce was socially tolerated. They also didn’t have technology during the early days. They are sceptical about marketing messages but when you have gained their trust they will remain brand loyal. They use the internet to do their research on brands and products before they will make a purchase.

When marketing to this group of individuals it is important to give them autonomy. They like to make a choice between the different options they would be interested in. This group thrives on feeling safe so it is important to position your brand messaging so that it tells your customers how your brand can offer safety, comfort and peace of mind. You can use traditional and digital methods of marketing.


This generation was born between 1980 to 1998. This group of individuals has grown-up being connected 24/7 and using a variety of technologies. They want instant information and instant gratification. They will purchase a product based on the cause the brand supports even if it is more expensive than other brands. They value an experience more than ostentatious buying. They tend not to buy things for the traditional status value. They want to communicate with the brand often and will tweet or write about their experience with a brand online. Because of this it is important to have an online presence. You should also ensure your online shop and website is mobile friendly. This group also like to make impulsive purchases, so having small items to purchase at your check-out counter is good idea. In addition, this group also don’t like to be talked down to. It is important to be transparent and don’t misrepresent your product to this group.

This is a rough outline of how each group operates and it is also important to remember some individuals may differ from the norm.

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