Marketing to each generation can be tricky, and Generation X is no exception.
So how do you reach this seemingly forgotten generation, and turn them into loyal customers? It’s all about your marketing strategy.
In this post, we'll look at how Generation X shops, uses the Internet, gets their news and more so that you can understand how best to market to them.
What You Should Know About Generation X
Generation X consists of people born from around 1965-1980, making this generation the smallest, composed of fewer people than Millennials or Baby Boomers.
But even though they're a small generation, there are still somewhere around 66 million Generation X-ers.
They also have a ton of purchasing power, accounting for 31% of U.S. income, and their income (on average) is higher than the national average, as well as the averages for all other generations.
Generation X Characteristics and Statistics
Each generation has defining characteristics which indicate how they research and choose businesses. We can use these characteristics to teach us how to market to each generation and which channels to use to reach them.
These are the facts you need to know about Generation X:
72% of Generation X Uses the Internet to Research Businesses
So, even if you're running TV commercials, radio ads or even newspaper ads, you'll still want to make sure your online presence is spotless.
Even if you have a great TV commercial, if your business looks bad online, with incorrect information or bad reviews, Generation X consumers will see that and turn to a competitor.
Gen X marketing tip: Make sure your business looks good across the most popular websites and directories.
Wondering where to start? Here are common places Generation X can find your business:
- Your listing on Google or Bing
- Your website
- Popular online directories
Generation X Is Active on Social Media
- 95% of Gen X use Facebook
- 35% of Gen X use LinkedIn
- 25% of Gen X post regularly on Twitter
Given such a high percentage of Generation X-ers use Facebook, this is the social media platform to use to market to them. If your target market consists of members of Generation X, make sure to tailor your posts to them - and don’t forget to target this age group when creating Facebook ads.
Gen X social media marketing tips:
- Add a description to your Facebook Page’s About section
- Make sure your address, website, phone number and hours are correct
- Add a call-to-action to your Facebook Page (see "Watch Video" in above screenshot)
- Add locations if necessary
- Manage your Facebook Reviews
- Post regularly (at least weekly)
- Try Facebook advertising
Generation X Has the Highest Brand Loyalty Across All Generations
Businesses have reported that Gen X-ers are loyal to the brands they love, so as long as you can get them in the door and give them a good experience, they should remain loyal.
Return customers are reportedly worth 10x their first purchase, so make sure to do what you can to keep your Generation X customers loyal.
Gen X loyalty tip: Make sure to reward this loyalty in some way, whether it’s through a discount after a certain amount of purchases or with a simple thank you email.
And remember to provide excellent service. It probably seems like a no-brainer, but if you treat your repeat customers well (e.g. try to remember their names and give them a great experience), not only will they want to return to your business, but they're also likely to spend more.
Repeat customers on their own tend to spend 67% more, and 85% of people are willing to spend more on businesses with good service.
So, make sure to give your customers a good experience so that they return to your business.
On Average, Generation X-ers Spend 110 Minutes on Mobile Daily
Mobile marketing for Generation X tip: When targeting Generation X (or any generation, really) make sure your website is optimized for mobile.
Check out your site on mobile and look for these mobile-usage factors:
- Make sure your site loads quickly on mobile, otherwise people will get impatient and leave
- Make sure links and buttons are spaced apart so that people don’t accidentally hit them
- Make sure text is easy to read on mobile
- Make sure the page fits the screen
- Have someone on a different device (tablet or a different phone size) view the site and look for the same factors
Generation X Consumers Are Nostalgic
Google conducted a YouTube survey to find out what Generation X likes to watch most. As it turns out, the common theme was nostalgia - Gen X-ers like to watch videos related to the past:
- Past events
- People from the past
- Old TV commercials
- Music from the past
Nostalgia marketing tip: Add a little nostalgia to your marketing. Whether it’s by mentioning a throwback or creating a video in the style of their favorite TV shows or commercials from the past.
Nostalgia reminds them of a time when they were younger and more carefree, so adding it to your marketing will make them feel wistful rather than generic advertising.
54% of Generation X Consumers Feel Overlooked by Brands and Marketers
Everyone wants to know how to market to Millennials or Generation Z - but that can mean that we ignore Generation X.
Maybe it’s because they’re a smaller generation, or maybe it has something to do with the fact that the younger generations appear to be more tech-savvy. Whatever it is, you can’t afford to ignore Generation X. As noted, they have a ton of purchasing power and they are brand loyalists.
Gen X marketing tip: Make sure when you're marketing to Generation X that you create messages tailored to their goals, likes and place in life. Let them know that you're talking to them, specifically, and don’t forget to use nostalgia to bring them back to a simpler time - or at least make them laugh and forget that you are advertising to them.
So there you have it - use these tips to market to your Generation X consumers and you'll be likely to gain loyal customers who return to your business time and time again.