Generational Communication

Things move so quickly in the technical field that it is hard to keep up. Everywhere you look, noses are in phones, heads are down, and interactions between people seem non-existent due to this ever-changing technology. While it may seem like people are not communicating, looks can be deceiving. In fact, many of these people are embracing technology in to communicate with each other.

From Baby Boomers to Generation Z, communication is the most important part of life. How that communication breaks down is the interesting part. For instance, print materials, newspaper advertising, and mailers may be the best option for Baby Boomers, but Millennials and Gen Z might throw those right in the trash without a second thought. Below are some identifiers for each generation and helpful tools to get you to your marketing goals.

The Generations

Let’s start with the youngest. For Generation Z, those born between 1995 and 2015, smartphones have been part of their lives since they were born. Sure, there are other ways to communicate, but in a generation that has always been connected, smartphones are the way to go to continue that connectedness.

Next, Gen Y, or Millennials, born between 1980 and 1994, were at the height of breakthrough technology; think the rise of the internet and social media platforms. Millennials have the highest amount of student loan debt, so inexpensive, on-demand choice for media, purchases, T.V. and more are important and delay larger purchases such as homes. Technology is important to this generation, but customer service and efficiency have a higher value when it comes to selecting a company to do business with.

Gen X are those born from 1965 to 1979. Also known as the “MTV generation,” this group still connects with print media, but watches the most TV of any of the listed generations. Highly tech savvy, Gen X uses this to their advantage to research products and companies before making purchases, but will often complete any transactions in person.

While Baby Boomers are the oldest of these generations, born between 1944 and 1964, they rely heavily on newspapers, magazines and radio to obtain news. However, this does not mean that they are out of touch with technology. In fact, 90% have Facebook accounts and use mobile banking, though they still prefer to go into a business to do transactions.

The Toolbox

Understanding the differences between each generation will help you capture your audience’s attention naturally without losing momentum toward goals. Using the following tips will ensure that you are maximizing your business’ reach and effectively communicating your goals with customers of any generation.

  • Utilize mobile communications.
    • Each Generation has embraced mobile communications, you should too. Having a website that is mobile friendly will not turn these users away from what you are offering.  
    • Offer ways that each person can access information, give performance feedback, see product details, or touch base with you by creating a platform that can be accessed via mobile phone.
    • This is especially true for Gen Y and Gen Z. When information is literally at their fingertips, it can be processed faster, meaning a larger ROI for you.
  • Use the understanding of technology to your advantage. For the technologically savvy, maintaining your social media and website may come naturally. Short surveys or questions on a social media post or poll will help you gain an understanding of how and who is seeing and interacting with your information. Gen Z knows what it takes to get you noticed online, so use their feedback to let them help you do it!
  • The value of being heard and having your opinion valued is not lost between generations, everyone feels that way! When it comes to feedback, technology is not the issue, being heard and helping to find a solution are what will do the trick here.
  • In-person communication is still the most effective. While communicating with your target audience may be easier at times, face-to-face communication still ranks high. Check-in with your customers with a quick, in-person meeting every now and then. If that is not an option, other forms of technology like Zoom meetings or Facetime will help you to see your clientele. Face-to-face communication will only strengthen the bonds that you have built.

No matter what your marketing goals are and which demographic you are serving, you should always do your research to see how to communicate with your target audience. Taking these extra steps ahead of time will save you time, money, and stress in trying to figure out why you aren’t obtaining your goals.

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