Talkin Bout My Generation?

March 21, 2019

I recently read a study that stated there are 86 different types of Baby Boomers – those individuals born between 1944 and 1964.

It is also now commonly held by census takers that there are at least two different types of Millennials – people born between 1980 and 2000. This mass of humanity is divided into two groups. The first is called “Y1,” and it applies to individuals born between 1980 and 1988. The second, “Y2,” is for the 1989 to 2000 set. In case you’re wondering, the “Y” is a nod to the Millennial’s original name “Generation Y.”

And if you’re really into charts, you can click here to see the U.S. population breakdown by generation.

So, knowing that there are allegedly 86 variant types of Baby Boomers, nearly 65 million non-conformist Gen Xers, two forms of Millennials and an ever-budding crowd of Gen-Z’s, why would a marketer try to target these groups with a single message?

The answer is…they shouldn’t.

My advice for marketers would be to drill deeper into these conventionally-held generational categories with behavioral data. Thankfully, today’s digital and social media tools make it much easier to discover and apply this kind of information.

Behavioral data, much more than a generational moniker, highlight the value of the individual. With this approach, you’re connecting with a person instead of talking to an assumed demographic mass.

That’s why we’re seeing trends like personalized videos popping up in various industries from health care to higher education.

It’s the difference between referring to a person as “55-year-old, white, female,” or “Jane.”

Though these two values may equate, one certainly adds up to a much more warm and friendly user experience.

Ultimately, when it comes to generational marketing, be a class above and use behavioral information to refine your targets.