Top Takeaways From Our Generational Marketing Event

It's the variability within each generation that is the key to creating targeted and personalized content.

On October 24, at STORYS Building in Toronto, St. Joseph Communications (SJC) hosted The Generational Mindset: a gathering of multi-platform (and multi-age!) industry experts to highlight the key considerations when marketing to generations X, Y and Z.

Doug Norris of Environics Analytics created a data-packed presentation for the event to delve into the demographics and lifestyle attributes of each generation. As Doug noted, there are differences between generations to consider when creating content that will engage and inspire your audience.  For example, while Gen Z and millennials are more extravagant and sophisticated consumers, older generations tend to be more brand conscious.

However, it’s the differences within each generation that is key.  Rather than zero in on the ages defined by each cohort, marketers should create personalized and targeted content that accounts for greater variance of life stages within each group. A campaign targeting “millennials”  needs to appeal to both an almost-40-year-old and a 23-year-old and may need customized content to effectively relate to each of their lifestyles.

Generations

Another key insight Doug revealed is that women across generations are highly educated and have an increasing share of income and influence over household spending. As a result, brands may need to shift their content marketing to appeal more to female consumers.  You can read more in Strategy’s interview with Doug following our event: Environics chief demographer on marketing to Gen Z.

In tailoring content by demographic factors such as age,  lifestyle and gender, what are some tips for marketers? We invited Balraj Jutla, Solutions Engineering Lead at Shopify; Michael Palombo, Head of Entertainment at Twitter; and Jacqueline Loch, VP & Group Publisher, Women’s Group of St. Joseph Media in a fireside chat. Here are the top takeaways from the conversation, led by our Group Director of Sales and Marketing, Yvette Elliott:

  1. There cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach to your social media channels. Define a specific goal for each channel and customize content that helps to accomplish that goal.
  2. When making the shift to a more social/digital approach, the key is to go for it. Try out new content and new platforms. (And these days there is always something new. Have you heard of Twitch? It’s the Gen-Z popular live social video platform dedicated to gaming, quickly emerging as a new marketing channel for brands.)  You’ll make mistakes but you’ll learn from them and be able to optimize moving forward.
  3. Use data to your advantage. What platform does your target audience spend the most time on? Are there generational differences in how your audience likes to consume content? For example, Twitter has found that while older generations like scheduled live streaming events, younger generations are more spontaneous in their viewing.
  4. The online and offline worlds will become increasingly seamless. We will see more and more content powered by immersive  technologies such as augmented reality (AR) to engage consumers of all ages.

To learn more on the many factors at play in successfully tailoring content by generation, read our whitepaper Marketing Across Generations X, Y & Z, as well as our recent blog post, The Shopping Habits of Generations X, Y and Z.