Millennials Matter – but don’t forget Gen-X
Businesses big and small are being told with increasing urgency to shift their focus and their customer experience to Millennial consumers. A quick search online will fill your screen stats, facts and opinions about the tsunami of change that’s afoot now that Millennials outnumber Baby Boomers – who for many businesses have been the generation to pay attention to when it comes to spending their marketing dollars. So what does it all mean for your business?
While it’s true that Millennials in North America now number more than 90 million and over the next decade their spending power will become immense – businesses are missing an opportunity to pay more attention to the often-overlooked Generation-X before putting all their eggs in the Millenials basket.
Born between 1965 and 1982, this ‘baby-bust generation is significantly smaller than the giant generations of Boomers and Millenials that they are sandwiched in-between, however, there’s still almost 70 million Gen-X consumers in North America and they matter.
Gen-X is somewhat of a hybrid generation that has come of age with one foot in the analog world and the other firmly planted in digital. Even though they are the first generation of digital adopters, they still get excited about the odd piece of mail, have cable-TV subscriptions and read actual books – at least some of them do.
This generation is entering the height of their careers, they are highly brand loyal and they’ve frankly, been ignored by – well everyone. That may be a bit of an exaggeration but there is no question that Gen-X has never been viewed as a pot of gold like the Boomer generation and it seems it never will be as the Millennial generation takes over as the ‘most important’ audience by sheer volume.
Numbers matter and so, Gen-X won’t become the darling of many major brands or even their campaigns but smart businesses who have something of value for this generation should not miss out on the opportunity to engage them. These may be your best brand advocates if you serve them well.
And don’t forget, Gen-X are also the sons and daughters of the oldest Boomers. They are slowing down or retiring from long careers and making major decisions about their homes and finances with the help of their kids. Gen-X does their research so be ready to get their attention!