In the world of marketing, knowing your audience is key to making the right impression on potential consumers. However, when you want your brand to appeal to an audience of diverse ages, this task becomes more difficult. The consumer market is essentially made up of 4 generations right now, so if you have a product or service that can be marketed towards all of these groups you need to know how to appeal to them simultaneously.
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Advertising On and Offline
One of the larger discrepancies between older and younger demographics is where they consume their media. Individuals who are millennials and Generation Z are very active and comfortable online. They frequent a variety of social media platforms, read the news online, and so much more. On the other hand, baby boomers and Generation X did not grow up with this technology, and many of them never fully adapted to “living” in the digital realm.
If you want to reach multiple age demographics, you need to diversify your advertising platforms. Social media is a growing platform for advertisement and it can be a great tool to reach a younger audience. However, if you are also looking to reach older audiences, you will need to market using more traditional outlets.
This is called omnichannel marketing, and it is the integration and cooperation of various channels used by marketing organizations to interact with consumers. The goal is to create a consistent brand experience across multiple mediums such as physical ones like in-store, and digital ones like websites.
When we think of influencers today the image of a teenager on TikTok appealing to Gen Z or a youtube celebrity popular among millennials probably come to mind. However, the idea of an “influencer” has actually been around for a long time. Essential an influencer is someone who is famous in some capacity and has the ability to market products and ideas to their audience.
With this in mind, marketers can tap into influencers who appeal to all generations. Finding influencers who are relevant to older generations can be more difficult than younger ones, however, it is definitely possible. Some brands that have a much larger marketing budget, can utilize older famous people popular among older audiences such as Oprah or Jennifer Aniston. However, there are also a lot of micro-influencers on social media platforms who create content specifically for older generations.
This can be a great opportunity to engage with audiences you may not have known existed on social media. For example, there is a lot of content on social media for moms of teenagers or retired grandparents. Marketing agencies and brands that tap into the variety of influencers online can reach different age demographics by just focusing on one or two social media platforms.
Values Driven Advertising
More and more companies are focusing on what their intended audiences value, but this can vary greatly across generations. For example, someone who lives in a retirement community and is part of the baby boomer generation is probably going to value personal relationships and youthfulness. These individuals generally want to see a more positive approach to the world. However, someone who is in college and part of Generation Z is more likely to have a cynical, realist perspective of the world and value this in their content.
The key for brands is to know what values to place within their different forms of advertising. An ad on TikTok should be geared towards the values of Gen Z and Millennials, whereas an ad in a store or on a billboard will need to appeal more to the values of baby boomers and Generation X.
Jenn Walker is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beach goer operating out of Southern New Jersey.