Selling to the Generations

April 1999
by Robert C. Brenner, MSEE, MSSM

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Each of us are products of the world in which we’ve lived. Most of us can be associated with one of four generational categories: Mature citizens born between 1909 and 1945; Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964; Baby Busters or Generation X-ers born between 1965 and 1980; and Millennials or Generation 2001-ers, born after 1980. Each generation has its own characteristics, and although there are exceptions, one can usually place a prospective customer in a generation by how they speak and act as well as what they believe. New methods are evolving for selling to these generations — methods that are only now being recognized by product developers and marketers. We’ve always written and published for a specific market. This article focuses on selling to that market, where each buyer is unique. The new methodology involves selling to the individual — selling to a targeted customer rather than selling to the masses. Since each generation responds differently, we now know that we must adjust our ads, our signage, and our direct mailings to focus on generational selling. This means that we design and implement an advertising campaign focused strictly on Matures, strictly on Baby Boomers, strictly on Baby Busters, or strictly on Millennials. This implies four campaigns if you want to reach each generational segment. The idea is to design messages and communications that speak to generational idiosyncrasies. Mail smarter, advertise smarter, and be where the generations look for p…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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