The Dangers of Generational Marketing

August 09, 2017

By now, you’ve likely heard about generational marketing. This approach to targeting audience segments based on age-aligned characteristics is worth consideration, but over simplifying generational preferences can cause us to lose sight of important differences.

Each generation is filled with individuals who see themselves as unique — and no one wants to feel like a typical Boomer or Millennial. While generational marketing has relevant implications for communicators, there’s a lot to be gained by using personalized marketing to make your audience feel special.

From email marketing and social media to websites and landing pages, there are so many opportunities for personalization - especially in the digital space. But even in the analog world, adding a personal touch goes a long way. Shipments with handwritten notes, door hangers technicians can sign and unique promotional pricing can all delight and wow customers.

Personalizing a shopping experience can even increase sales. Customers are more likely to purchase products when the price reflects the first letter of their name or digits that correspond to their birthdate. For example, Fred is more likely to purchase something that is fifty-five dollars and Wilma is more likely to purchase something for $49.15 because she was born on April 15. This implicit egotism can even result in greater purchase intentions for a higher-priced product compared with a lower-priced product.

We all have oodles of data at our fingertips — the challenge is knowing what to do with it. Businesses need to leverage data and create hyper-specific customer profiles (or personas) to drive offerings. Consumers will reward brands — consciously and subconsciously — that provide personalized, relevant products and information.

While generational marketing is a solid starting point for targeting your ideal audience, honing in further with personalization can move you from good to great. The more you learn about your customers, including generational attributions, the better you will be able to meet their needs.

Ann Mulvany

Ann Mulvany

Ann is an Account Director who is not afraid to dive in when it comes to learning about her clients. She is a volleyball playing herbivore who loves great shoes and exploring the city.


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