Keeping the Attention and Marketing to Generation Y (Millennials) and Generation X

They are the generations that witnessed tremendous changes in a relatively short period of time—changes in society, politics, culture and technology that have forever labeled them as Generation X and Generation Y/Millennials. According to WikiPedia Gen Xers were born 1961 to 1981 and Gen Yers 1982 – 1995.

So why wouldn’t all those changes impact what they like and how they buy?

marketing-to-generation-YSocial scientists have come up with a few common traits for marketing to Generation Y and X and these two demographic groups that now command a lot of attention from advertisers and marketers, and surprise, surprise—a lot of those traits are the result of technology’s impact on their lives.

For example, Generation X was there when the idea of having a computer in your own home became a reality, not something out of science-fiction. They can remember a pre- and post-Internet world, and have seen what that phenomenon has done to business, education, and leisure time.  So they’ve become accustomed to researching purchases and buying online.

Generation Y/Millennials, meanwhile, make up the always-connected generation, the byproduct of wireless technology advances, the growth of cell/smartphones, the chance to talk about—and talk back to—brands via social media like Facebook and Twitter. They are used to buying what they want when they want it, and would scoff at the idea of having to buy entire CDs of a favorite artist’s music, not just the songs they like.

Both generations are post-Watergate and post-Vietnam. They’ve seen the rise of cable news and blogs, reality TV and live online video. They’re more cynical than previous generations and equate the word “spam” with more than just junk email—it symbolizes anything that wastes their time or takes up valuable space in their lives.

Marketing to both these groups should take all that into account: don’t waste their time. They’re open to direct email offers but use them wisely and sparingly. Bring that same approach to the social media platforms they frequent, and be sure to take into account that Facebook and Twitter are two-way vehicles for conversation.

Both groups don’t consider themselves “traditional,” and they’ll respond to outside-the-box marketing, including snarky humor and irreverent, absurd comedy.  Remember, these are the folks who send each other YouTube videos of piano-playing cats and “David Goes to the Dentist.”

As we mentioned, Generation X does its homework online before buying anything. So do your homework on them when marketing to these key target audiences.

Make the changes that they’ve gone through in their lives work in your brand’s favor.

CI-Group, a New Jersey advertising agency, provides digital marketing and advertising consulting to Fortune 2000 companies in a wide range of industries. Founded nearly 30 years ago and based in Whitehouse, N.J., CI-Group is recognized as a top advertising agency specializing in marketing strategies, event marketing, promotions, direct marketing, digital printing, warehousing and fulfillment. Companies seeking an award-winning interactive agency thatmerges creative strategies with effective tactics should call 908-534-6100 or visit

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