Generations! Identify First, Market Second
For many years we have always heard about “Baby Boomers” and in recent years “Millennials”, but do we really know and understand all the different generations? Specific to marketing, it is crucial to truly know and appreciate and clearly identify your target audience first, before moving forward with your marketing plans.
Let’s start with the youngsters, Gen Alpha! This generation born between 2011-present (0-9 years old) represents 18% (36M) of the total US population. Gen Alphas were born with the iPad and are considered the most tech literate generation. Today, their media consumption includes heavy video (YouTube), Video Games, Mobile Games, Streaming, listening to music and yes! they still watch TV. If you are not planning to market on all screens, you are missing this audience!
Gen Z, born between 1997-2010 (10-23 years old) are also known as “Centennials”. They represent 18% (58.9M) of the total US population. Their average disposable income is $22,090 and their spending power is around $198.0 billion (16-21 years old). They influence about 93% of household purchases. In terms of media consumption, they grew up with Traditional TV, VOD, but today these newly dubbed “screenagers”, are whizzes of Social Media, Online Video, Video Message and texting. The average age of their first mobile device is 10.3 and they spend about 3 hours per day on those mobile devices. If you are not planning to market on all screens, you are missing this audience!
Millennials (Gen Y)! Born between 1979-1996 (24-41 years old), represent 25% (80.3M) of the total US population. Their average disposable income is $67,631 and spending power is $4.64 trillion or 29% of total spend. This generation grew up with TV, but today are cutting back cable (cord cutters) and prefer streaming options. Millennials like to use as much technology as possible and have many different social media accounts. Approximately 60% of Millennials do their shopping online. If you are not planning to market on all screens, you are missing this audience!
Gen X, the MTV Generation, born between 1965-1978 (42-55 years old) represents 18% (57.3M) of the US population. This generation has the highest average disposable income of $87, 059 and spending power at $5.1 trillion which is 32% of total spend. Gen Xers grew up watching TV and still prefer TV over streaming, however they are considered “true hybrids” as they are digitally savvy and spend about 7 hours per week on Facebook. They make their purchases both in-store and online. If you are not planning to market a portion of your budget to social media, you are missing this audience!
Baby Boomers, born between 1946-1964 (56-74 years old) represents 22% (70.5M) of the US population. They are also big spenders, $5.03 trillion with an average disposable income of $64,243. They are the start of the younger generation of grandparents and are considered “gift givers”. Boomers grew up with TV and today continue consuming traditional media such as; TV, Radio, Print, Magazines and newspapers. Regardless of heavy traditional media consumption, the majority do have a Facebook account! If you are not planning to market a small portion of your budget to social media, you are missing this audience!
Finally, the beloved Matures, also known as the Greatest Generation were born before 1946 (75+ years old). They represent 7% (24M) of the US population. Their spending power tops $1.06 trillion and their average disposable income is $38,269. They are considered “gift givers” as well. Matures grew up with newspapers, but today consume traditional media.
Whether a Gen Alpha, Screenager, Xer, Millennial, Baby Boomer or Mature, knowing deeply who you are targeting is critical to market strategy and media planning.
“Generations at a Glance”, Kantar Feb 2020