Generational Marketing: Understand the Impacts of Life Stages on Marketing

September 17, 2019

The stage of life you’re in plays a big part in how you spend your time and money. As you age, what was once vitally important to you changes. Keeping up with the latest trends, leaving your childhood home, getting married, buying your first home, raising kids, that long stretch of time where you work, and work and then finally get to retire, across all of those stages, consumer behavior changes in a personal way. Just as our life stage changes, the world around us changes too, with advances in technology, products and services. The youngest generation, currently being called Generation Z are the first generation to grow up in a world where they have been digitally tracked since birth and don’t know the world before the internet, cell phones and tablets. Targeting them with an all print campaign just wouldn’t make a lot of sense since they spend so much of their time engaged online. Marketing campaigns should use strategies designed to reach each generation they are targeting in a relevant way.

Baby Boomer Generation (Born between 1946-1964)
• Value quality, ease-of-use and prefer talking to a real person for customer service
• Are mostly desktop or tablet driven
• 96% of baby boomers use search engines, 95% use email, and 92% shop online (
• 50% of all consumer spending, but only 10% of marketing spent on Boomers (
• Enjoy testimonials, reviews, video, print

Generation X (Born between 1965-1980)
• Have embraced the digital explosion that occurred during their lifetime
• They will try out different social platforms
• Value convenience and customer service since they are often strapped for time
• Enjoy clear, consise information on a mixture of mobile, desktop and tablet devices
• Testimonials, reviews, blogs, email and video content work well

Millenials (Born between 1981-1997)
• Like to support social causes through companies whose brand stories share their values
• 83% will connect to a company on social media
• Value relationships and respond to social endorsements and reviews
• Personalized emails, promotions and authentic stories help build their loyalty
• Social media, short blogs, short videos, discounts and guides work well to convey content

Generation Z (Born 1998-?)
• Used to switching between devices or using multiple devices at once
• Very mobile driven
• Value visuals, interactive experiences and ease of sharing content
• Memes, quizzes and very short videos with concise messages work well
• Influence over $600 billion of family spending

No marketing campaign is one size fits all. Consumer behaviors can span generations and personal experiences and multi-cultural influences can also play a part in how companies can best market to their target audience. Developing marketing strategies and tactics takes careful planning and research. Including generational research on your target audience can help ensure that your marketing dollars are being spent in a relevant way. Create appealing tactics for the age group(s) your company targets based on their distinct consumer behaviors.