Today’s Feature Friday includes a snippet of an interview with Seth Mattison, a 20-something speaker who’s on the leading edge of the millennial generation and knows a thing or two about what drives and influences members of each generation.
In what ways do purchasing decisions differ between generations?
Mattison Traditionalists are an extremely loyal generation to employers and to brands. They are attracted to trusted brands that have a legacy or a history. A mistake marketers make is they have these long-time customers but they assume they aren’t going anywhere. They take their loyalty for granted. Traditionalists are being influenced by their kids and grandkids now. This generation is not going to be impressed by the latest and greatest–they want the tried-and-true, trusted brands.
Baby Boomers want products that will keep them on the cutting edge. They are very competitive and redefining what it means to get older, so anything that helps them tap into that younger spirit is important. They are also crunched for time, so anything that simplifies the buying process is going to be huge. For example, don’t show a Baby Boomer 15 different color options–they don’t have time for that. Show them the three that matter most.
Generation Xers are skeptical of hype and big brands, but once they find a brand they approve of, they are extremely loyal customers. But marketers have to go the extra mile to really make the time and effort to gain that trust. Marketers also have to be careful of the message used–you’d better make sure you are being completely genuine and transparent because Generation Xers are going to check it out. Give them access to information about the product. Give them access to competitors’ products.
Millennials place a high premium on what other people say about a brand. It’s almost irrelevant what the marketing message says–they’re looking at social media to find out what other people think. Transparency is really huge with Millennials because they have so much technology and information available. They want to see a TV commercial, interact with the website and use their mobile phones to get into the online spaces. They are not logging on at home, they are on the move. If they can’t interact with your brand via mobile technology, then you’ve already lost.
How can marketers target members of one generation without losing the attention of the others?
Mattison We have to realize that you can’t send one message out that will connect with all generations. One-size messaging doesn’t work anymore. You have to use a multi-channel message effectively engaging each generation because they are motivated by different things. You have to find ways to create one-on-one relationships with each generation.
Read the complete interview in the July issue of PCT‘s sister publication, Promotional Consultant digital magazine. If you are not receiving Promotional Consultant, subscribe free here.
Source: Tina Berres Filipski is editor of PC.