Targeting the Generations

Check out our guide below to see what makes all generations—from silents on down—buy and want to do business with you. What drives one age group into your location may well drive another one away.

Tip: Sell the experience to millennials and benefit from their impulsiveness by offering additional items for purchase at checkout.

30%Nearly 30% of boomers say they only buy clothing when it’s on sale. They are the most likely generation to be bargain hunting.


SILENTS (Born ‘24-’45)

Four Facts:

they’re known as “traditionalists”

  • they respond only to traditional marketing vehicles
  • impulse purchasing opportunities have no appeal
  • they need larger fonts and just a single image

MarketingTip: Look them in the eye, and be honest.

Sales Tip: They seek value and selling create a sense of belonging. Many are active seniors and do not like to be regarded as old or dependent.


BOOMERS (born ‘46-’64)

Four Facts:

  • they’re inquisitive, demanding (and emanding)
  • they hate scripting and want facts only
  • bargains and discounts attract them
  • tell ‘em what you stand for

Marketing Tip: Don’t waste time with puffery or try to trick them. You’ll lose them the moment your message moves away from fact and relevance.

Selling Tip: Boomers are the most likely to be bargain hunting. For example, nearly 30% say they only buy clothing when it’s on sale, a larger share than any other demographic.


GEN X (born 65-’80)

Four Facts:

  • sell them with research and testimonials
  • draw them in with a combo print + digital
  • they’re no nonsense
  • hard-core selling will turn them off…for good

Marketing Tip: Before buying, they’re likely to do their homework online. They are time poor, so audit your website for ease of navigation and speed.

Sales Tip: This generation does not want to just follow trends or styles and is not easily convinced.



Four Facts:

  • they’re group-thinkers, so involve family and friends
  • grab ‘em with video plus the latest social media
  • they shop for bargains and discounts
  • make your messaging mobile-device friendly

Marketing Tip: Marketers and salespeople must be careful to not invade online spaces that millennials want to keep pitch-free.

Selling Tip: Sell the experience and benefit from their impulsiveness by offering additional items for purchase at checkout.

Sources: Cincom Systems, Across the Ages Report, and VirTasktic

How do you market differently to the various generations? Tell us and share in the Facebook conversation here.

Erinn Morgan