How to differentiate between boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, Gen Z, & millennials

Written on 26 October, 2015 by Karen Lam
Categories MarketingTags contentmarketing

In a world of digital TV, mobile devices and wearable technology, it's safe to assume that a large portion of your audience is computer literate – but that's not to say everyone's expertise is equal and their preferences are the same. Just how do the different generations interact with various campaign styles, and what could it mean for your brand?

Recent research from StudioD pulled together information from a variety of trusted brands to discover there were some significant differences in the ways the various generations interacted with brands, devices and content. By recognising and building these differences into your content strategy, you might just find it's easier to get through to the audiences you're targeting.

1. Baby boomers

While 50% of baby boomers use smartphones, a much larger percentage (79%) regularly use the internet, suggesting that content directed at desktop reading is more suitable than for other generations. Boomers are also much more likely to share videos, are more interested in news and are happier spending time on Google+ than other generations, according to research from BuzzStream and Fractl in their Generational Content Gap study.

2. Gen Xers

According to a study by Roy Morgan Research, on average, Australian 18–54 year olds spend more than 40 hours online every week. This is a lot longer than your average teenager, who tends to dip in and out and spends an average of 14 hours and 42 minutes online. What's more, Gen Xers are no slouches when it comes to social media; in fact they're 70.4% more likely to use Twitter as a primary sharing platform than baby boomers, but they tend to prefer long articles to short ones.

3. Gen Yers

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that brand forecaster Chris Sanderson believes Gen Y consumers don't feel a sense of loyalty to brands and are digitally fluent, expecting brands to engage with them online and responding particularly well to apps and community-related content. Gen Yers love to be heard, both within their peer groups and when it comes to interacting with brands. In fact, they even like to be able to influence product development, so social media campaigns and focus groups eliciting opinions could prove popular.

4. Millennials

Not only do millennials love using their smartphones to browse buying options online, 59% will even whip out their phones and compare prices while shopping in-store. They're also finely tuned when it comes to online humour and are more likely than other age brackets to share memes and graphics interchange format (GIF) images, according to the Content Gap report, so a humorous campaign can be a real bonus.

5. Gen Zers

The millennials are growing up and in their place, we have the extremely tech-savvy Gen Zers. Having grown up with technology and internet devices from their very earliest days, Gen Z is made up of digital natives who expect to follow brands from platform to platform and who are all about engagement. SnapChat and YouTube are their social sites of choice and they love making connections.

Facebook is a real must for communicating with all generations, with a recent study from HubSpot finding that 95% of millennials, 87% of Gen Xers and 70% of boomers believe a brand should have a Facebook page.

Contact Netregistry to find out more about how to tailor your marketing for the right audience to get the best results.