Generational Marketing: How Each Generation Has Adapted To and Utilizes Technology

The concept of generational marketing is the hoary old adage used by marketers to target a generation. Although the idea remains the same, innovative marketing campaigns are used to gauge the reactions based on attitudes, upbringing and preferences. Playing with distinguishing characteristics of each generation makes generational marketing a unique concept.

Marketers break down mass marketing messages into smaller chunks for targeting different age groups. Brand messages are personalized and couriered so the audience can relate and these also give businesses a competitive edge. After all, meeting the individual needs of the customers through effective marketing is the primary aim of every brand.

Currently, six living generations have been identified and are actively used in marketing. These are:

  1. 1. GI Generation – 1901 and 1926
  2. 2. Silent Generation – 1927 and 1945
  3. 3. Baby Boomers – 1946 and 1964
  4. 4. Generation X – 1965 and 1980
  5. 5. Generation Y or Millennials – 1981 and 2000
  6. 6. Generation Z – everyone born after 2001

Generational marketing focuses on the events and trends that helped shape each generation’s perception of the world. The emotional and psychological changes in personalities play an integral part in marketing campaigns of each era.

Adapting to Technology

It is evident that none of the listed generations is anxious to adapt to innovative technological changes. According to statistics , about 81% of Americans own a smartphone while 64% have a tablet device. All generations have adapted to technology by any means whatsoever. Evolving trends point to the younger generation as being swift at adapting to these numerous changes. Surprisingly, it is the older demographics that are warming towards rapid changes in technology.

Millennials Take the Lead

Since the world witnessed technological advancements in the 1980s and 2000s, millennials take the lead in adapting to technology. Being the first generation to grow up with innovative concepts of social media and experience the many wonders of smartphones, generation Y still has the widest use of technology.

According to research, about 93% of millennials use a smartphone. On the other hand, 90% of generation X owns a smartphone as compared to only 68% of baby boomers. Further facts indicate that 25% of millennials use their smartphones as the primary source of content. Compared to only 17% of generation X and a mere 7% of baby boomers.

When it comes to using social media and the internet every day, 86% of millennials are in the lead compared to 76% of generation X and 59% of baby boomers. It does not come as a surprise, but 100% of millennials use the internet and only 19% of them are smartphone-only internet users.

Baby Boomers & Generation X Following the Lead at Higher Rates

The rate at which baby boomers are trailing their use of technology is accelerated. One reason may be to stay connected to generations Y and X. This rapid growth in using technology has led to boomers staying online on social media platforms.

According to this research, 68% of baby boomers now use a smartphone in comparison to only 25% back in 2011. In 2012, social media usage saw rapid growth among the older generation. On the other hand, 74% of generation X became live on social media.

Common Behaviours in Adopting Technology

BrainBoxol developed an infographic called The Tech Evolution and How We All Fit In, which highlights common behaviors towards adopting technology. It also gives details of each generation, which aids in helping generational marketing.

According to the infographics, boomers were the first generation to bring a computer to their home but right now are quite hesitant to adopt fresher technologies. On the other hand, generation X uses their time to access social media, the internet, and apps to stay connected to the digital world using their smartphones. However, their mediums for communication are still emails and telephone calls.

Millennials being the pioneers of socializing digitally, remain comfortable in adopting fresh technologies and connecting to the world using their smartphones. They are the generation who use technology for everything – from communicating, to researching, and studying.

Generation Z or the iGen who were born after 2000 use handheld communication devices. The adoption of accessories has led them to stay connected with their friends, family, and the digital world using only their smartphones. 57% of the time they have a device in their hand, that is they are using a texting app to stay connected.

Untapped Online Audience

Baby boomers and generation X are utilizing their time while using a smartphone to gain access to customized content. Keeping these behavioral statistics in mind, these generations are untouched when it comes to effective marketing.

In the year 2020, 100 million smartphone users crossed the age of 45. This important piece of information is proof enough that digital marketing and social media platforms are the right mediums to capture all active generations.