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Why Gen X Still Matters and How to Market to Them
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Are you ignoring Generation X in favor of today’s trendy Millennials? While Generation X may have faded into the background in terms of media coverage since the days when they were “hip” and “edgy” extreme-sports fans, this demographic, which encompasses some 65 million Americans, is actually larger than either the Baby Boomers or Millennials.

Born roughly between 1965 and 1980, Generation X is an important target market for just about any business because they are either in or reaching their peak earning and spending years. The younger edge of Gen X is marrying, having kids and buying homes; the older edge is enjoying greater purchasing power and looking forward to an empty nest as their children head for college. Both of these lifestages generally involve major purchases.

If you’re marketing to Generation X, eMarketer notes in a new report, digital is the way to go. While they weren’t born with a smartphone in their hands like some members of the Millennial generation, they are the first generation to come of age along with the Internet. The majority use social media and smartphones, according to Generation X: A Forgotten Population That’s Well Worth Remembering. In fact, eMarketer says three-quarters of U.S. Gen X Internet users logged on to social networks at least once a month last year.

Where is Gen X hanging out and what are the best ways to reach them digitally?

  • Use Facebook. Facebook is by far their predominant social network, with eMarketer estimating about two-thirds of U.S. Gen X internet users use Facebook at least monthly. In contrast, fewer than 15 percent use Twitter, the next most-popular social network among this age group.
  • Target them via email. While seniors are relatively new to email and Millennials may see it as “old-fashioned,” for Generation X, email is the gold standard for both business and personal communication. Generation X check their email regularly, so reach out to them with personalized offers tailored to their interests and prior purchases.
  • Advertise online. Pay-per-click advertising can pay off for this demographic, since Generation X is likely to start any product or service purchase online, at least for research purposes.
  • Practice good SEO. For the same reason, SEO is essential to capturing Gen X consumers who are searching for a type of business, a product or a service online. Make sure your site ranks high for relevant keywords, and list your business in local search directories to increase your chances of getting found.

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Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at rieva@smallbizdaily.com, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.
Rieva Lesonsky

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