The “Middle Child” – Marketing to Generation X

There is a ton of research about understanding the “Millennials.” There is plenty of data about the changing needs of the aging “Baby Boomers.” There are more and more articles about the psychographic dynamics of the emerging “Gen Z.” But whatever happened to the information for marketing to “Generation X?”

Gen X’ers have virtually fallen off of our radar screens. But if we look hard at those born between the early ‘60s and the early ‘80s, we can discover that this generational group has matured from the noncommittal slacker of its adolescence into solid middle-aged citizens. They are happy, healthy and, for the most part, well adjusted.

There is a ton of research about understanding the ‘Millennials.’ There is plenty of data about the changing needs of the aging ‘Baby Boomers.’ There are more and more articles about the psychographic dynamics of the emerging ‘Gen Z.’
Mark Wyatt, Founder & CEO, Agency Creative

Gen X’ers have money.
Most Gen X’ers are in the midst of their most lucrative earning years. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that Generation X will peak at 65.8 million by 2018. That’s a whole lot of people with a whole lot of spending power.

Gen X’ers admire authenticity.
Gen X’ers are the parents of Generation Z, today’s crop of 12-19 year olds. Generation X spawned steady, practical offspring because they themselves have developed into hardworking, pragmatic individuals seeking authentic experiences and authentic brands. They are not fans of superlatives, hype or generalizing. They are not interested in keeping up with the Joneses because they know the Joneses are up to their eyeballs in debt.

Gen X’ers are balanced.
Highly educated, Gen X’ers value family and learning. They work long hours but seek a work/life balance. For the most part, they are happy with their career choices.

Gen X’ers are committed.
They represent a generation with a lower rate of divorce and a lower rate of procreation. Two-thirds are married and 71 percent have children in the home. Ninety-five percent talk to friends and extended family on the phone once a week. Thirty-three percent attend church and they have the highest volunteer rate of all the generational groups.

Gen X’ers are connected.
This is the generation that brought us Google, YouTube and Amazon. Almost 90 percent of Gen X’ers are regular Internet users. They are highly connected on the go with nearly 95 percent using mobile phones, and 60.3 percent of that group using smartphones. They are only slightly less connected than the Millennials.

Gen X’ers are independent.
These were the original “latchkey kids.” They were largely unsupervised growing up and hence became self-reliant, independent problem solvers. As a result, they are a tad more skeptical toward marketing pitches. They are also more politically independent and diverse. The oldest members of Generation X are more likely to have voted Republican throughout their voting lives, while the youngest have been more likely to vote Democratic, according to Pew Research Center.

So, how do you hook the Gen X generation?
Here are few things to keep in mind when marketing to this group:
• Use facts, not hype
• Be authentic
• Appeal to their independent streak
• Appeal to practicality
• Help them balance work and life through e-commerce

Generation X is at the height of their earning capacity. The more your brand understands them, the more you can tap into their buying power. We’d love to help. Give us a call at 972.488.1660.

We are a Dallas advertising agency with expertise in integrated marketing.

About Mark Wyatt

As Agency Creative Founder and CEO, Mark’s been making an emotional investment in each and every client since opening shop in 1994. His naturally curious nature, coupled with his passion to thoroughly understand a brand, compels him to dive deep until he’s uncovered a unique insight that builds an authentic connection.

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