Join Trish Witkowski for an in-depth discussion in this video Generational considerations, part of Learning Direct Mail Strategy.
Something you need to think about as you consider the different forms of marketing you're going to use to reach your audience is that marketing preferences are generational. In other words, you may need to switch up your marketing techniques based upon the age of the consumers you're targeting. There are five generational categories of consumers to consider. Now out of respect for my elders, I'm going to start with the most mature audiences and work my way down to the youngest consumers today. There are two generations that are actually quite similar in their behavior. There's the GI Generation, which includes anybody born before the year of 1925, and there's the Silent Generation, which is anyone born from 1925 to 1944.
These generations read their newspapers, they like to listen to the radio, they love direct mail. They're really excited about coupons and discounts and saving money. They're really loyal customers, and they love to spend on their families and especially their grandchildren. The Baby Boomer Generation includes anyone born between the years of 1946 and 1964. This is the second-largest generation. They're actively retiring. They're really age-conscious. They're also most receptive to more traditional forms of marketing, such as print advertising, mail.
But they're also responsive to other forms of media like mobile marketing, email, etcetera. Generation X includes people born between the years of 1965 and 1984. Gen Xers straddle both worlds, having reach adulthood right at the beginning of the digital age. So earlier generations are a lot more loyal, they require less frequent contact, and they're very responsive to more traditional forms of mail marketing. Gen X appreciates both traditional and digital forms of marketing. So they like to receive mail, but they don't read newspapers.
They're savvy consumers and they see through marketing gimmicks. Generation Y, the Millennials. They're born between the years of 1985 and 2004. The Millennials are the largest marketing group at 100 million consumers. They're smart, tech-savvy, socially conscious. They're also quite hard to reach by any one form of media. This group likes to receive mail, but then they also like to go investigate online. So this has been a quick overview of the general preferences of different generations. But as you can imagine, there are many nuances to this topic.
If you want to dig deeper and learn more about marketing to different age groups, there's a great book called the Age Curve: How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Storm, by Kenneth Gronbach.
- Defining the mailing list
- Keeping your mailing list up to date
- Creating the offer
- Formatting strategies
- Using special packaging like varnishes, stamps, and stickers
- Leveraging technology, such as variable data printing
- Adding an Intelligent Mail barcode
- Green mail strategies
- Tracking and measuring results from your direct mail campaign