Is Generational Marketing a Myth?

Dalibor Šumiga Behavioral marketing/Neuromarketing, Marketing

social media marketing, brand management, influencer marketing, advertising, behavioral marketing, digital marketingWhen you take a look at financial ability, Generation X is currently the most powerful consumer group in the world.

However, when looking at impact, numbers and future potential, millennials are the most notable consumer group in the world, but the marketing and business world already needs to prepare for Generation Z….

If you look at the structure of both the second and the third – you have a problem….

This is Prince George, third in line for the throne of the British Kingdom.

Princ George. Photography: The Royal Family

This is Gazzy Garcia, better known as Lil Pump, an American rapper …

Lil Pump. Photography: YouTube/Lil pump

Both belong to Generation Z, the collective name for people born between 1997 and 2013.

Do you think you can make the same advertisement for these two members of the same generation?

The problem of different generations in marketing, in which this excellent example applies, was described by colleagues from BBH Labs in this article – a generation is just a set of people born in a period of 20 years.

It’s simply too wide for a target group, and I described the problem of wide target groups in this blog.

This research conducted by BBH Labs is also interesting. They created the so-called “Group Cohesion Score”, i.e. an analysis of how many people from a certain group have common characteristics of behavior and beliefs.

As you can see from the graph below, people who drink Orangina, solve crossword puzzles, use dental floss, or eat nuts have more common behavioral characteristics than any other generation.

Photography: BBH_labs

IS GENERATIONAL MARKETING A MYTH?

According to all available data – YES….

Generational frameworks, just like target groups, are set too broadly to allow a universal marketing strategy.

The correct approach was best described by colleagues from BBH Labs – “Passions, habits and temperaments unite us, not generational groupings.”

The only generation you need to analyze and target is Generation C – connected consumers. Generation C has no age limit but has behavioral habits, e.g., they use social networks every day, they like to travel, they are in the so-called “Dream phase” when exploring travel even though they don’t plan to travel this month.

The description I gave above could literally be a description of the “Let’s eat, drink and travel” page launched by colleague Ivan Bengeri.

I’m sure he doesn’t care what generation you are; his goal is to bring together people who have the same passion as him – travel and adventure….

social media marketing, brand management, influencer marketing, advertising, behavioral marketing, digital marketing

There are also examples where generational targeting is completely logical, but only because the consumer habit is age-related. Eg. taking a driving test. Yes, there are people who are encouraged to take a driving test at a mature age, but most of them are young people on the verge of coming of age (depending on which part of the world you read this blog).

An excellent example of how to approach your target group wisely is shown by my friend Krešimir, better known on Tik Tok as “Instruktor Trulac“.

Krešo belongs to my generation (gene X) and it would be logical that, like me, he gravitates more towards Facebook, it’s our natural “habitat”. But, Krešo is a driving instructor and his target group are the kids who use Tik Tok the most.

Krešo stepped out of his own comfort zone of an X-era and bravely stepped into the world of the Tik Tok generation, sharing on his profile everyday experiences with driving candidates and driving tips. That move proved to be a complete hit.

social media marketing, brand management, influencer marketing, advertising, behavioral marketing, digital marketing

Even if you are a parent of a child preparing for a driving test, you would certainly like to know in advance what kind of an instructor is teaching your child, and Krešo with his humor and positivity gives assurance to both candidates and their parents that they have chosen the right person.

HOW TO “GET OVER” GENERATIONAL TARGETING?

First of all, if you want to continue using generational targeting, reduce the age difference, 20 years is simply too much.

If you have no problem rejecting generational targeting, focus more on analyzing the behavior of your brand’s users. Don’t look at how old they are but what is it that encourages them to use your product?

Nowadays, there are countless tools you can use to measure the sentiment of your audience and find out what really motivates them.

Remember, generations come and go, each with its own new challenges and opportunities, but the human brain generally remains the same. The new generations will repeat the mistakes and experiences of the old generation, perhaps only in a different way, and Cullen Hightower best described it in the following sentence:

“Older generations are living proof that younger generations can survive their lunacy.”