Marketing Across Generations

by Rob Wicker

There is a lot of talk about Generation Marketing. How are the “generations” defined? Deliver Magazine recently broke out the generations this way: 

GI Generation: Born before 1925. Made up of those people who lived through and fought in WWII. Thanks to Tom Brokaw, also known as the Greatest Generation. Buying  power considered negligible. 

Silent Generation: Born 1925 to 1944. Those to young to fight in WWII and those born during the war. Smallest generation because of low Depression-era birth rates. Buying power considered negligible. 

Boomers: Born 1945 – 1964. Children of the GI and Silent Generations. The second-largest generation, 78.2 million Americans. Also one of the most coveted generations with annual buying power of $2 trillion. 

Gen X: Born 1965 – 1984. Largely children of the Silent Generation numbering around 69.5 million. Regarded as technologically “bilingual” but do not respond to Internet Marketing Efforts.

 Gen Y: Born 1985 to 2004. Also known as “Millenials.” They are the children of the Baby Boomers and the largest generation at 100 million. The most coveted buying group, consuming at a rate of five times the rate of Boomers.

 Gen Z: Born 2005 to Present. This new generation of young Americans is already more than 20 million strong, and from a marketing perspective, it will be extremely interesting to see how they develop.

How do you market across the generations? Magazines are still incredibly popular. According to Advertising Age, 85% of all adults picked up a magazine in the last 30 days. And what is most interesting is that adults18-34 are avid magazine readers. They read more issues and spend more time per magazine issue than their over-34 counterparts. (Source: MRI Fall 2009 data)

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