From centennials to boomers, do you know your target audience?

Mark Field
Director | DM Informatics Ltd
16th February 2018
Member roleChamber member

It is important to understand how different generations adopt and adapt to technology. Knowing this from a marketing point of view will assist you in targeting your demographic and psychographic with the right strategies. So, do you have a typical customer avatar?

Below is a brief insight into how different generations typically buy and perceive the online world.
Please note that the age boundaries do slightly differ depending on which source you look at.

Traditionalists (born prior to 1945 - currently over 73 yrs.)

Traditionalists tend to have a ‘save then buy’ attitude. They may do online research and a small percentage will be active on one or two social media platforms such as Facebook but when dealing with a business they will prefer face to face or telephone communication. They are more formal and appreciate hand written notes.

When marketing to traditionalists ensure you convey nostalgia and emotion in your ad copy and images. The use of direct mail will often appeal to traditionalists. Earn trust first then add value.

Baby Boomers (born 1945 - 1959, current age range from 59 yrs. to 73 yrs.)

Baby Boomers generally accept but don’t like change and are comfortable with a ‘buy now, pay later’ arrangement. Like Traditionalists they too favour one to one personal communication and will be curious about your business and its history.

When marketing to boomers they will be receptive to websites, email and general online communications which may include Facebook ads but will place a higher value on postal content. They tend to be brand loyal and favour a ‘shop local’ mind-set.

  • Interestingly, Boomers spend more online per transaction than either Generation X or Milennials.

Generation X (born 1960 - 1979, age range from 38 yrs. to 58 yrs.)

They think globally. Generally, from a tech standpoint, they understand what they can hold in their hand. They will be present on some social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and perhaps Instagram and use a smartphone.

Hitting Generation X with online and offline marketing is a sensible approach. They actively research on multiple platforms before they buy. Offline ads that lead the consumer to online content are acceptable forms of marketing.

  • Generation X make more online purchases than any other group.
  • Stage of life and income account for the previous point.

Millennials or Gen Y (born 1980 - 1999, current age range from 19 yrs. to 38 yrs.)

For millennials, also known as generation Y, tech is integral to their way of life, both personally and professionally. They are a digital generation. They will be consuming most of their news via smartphone and tablet and will be active on social media sites on an hourly basis. They are less brand loyal and will use tech to sort and sift to obtain the best deals.

Marketing to millennials must be predominately online via social media, websites, portals and mobile although hard copies and postal marketing is often well received. 82% of milennials say word of mouth is a key influencer of their purcahsing decisions (Salesfloor, 2017)

  • In the next 2 to 5 years milennials will fuel much of eCommerce growth.
  • To create loyalty with Milennials businesses need to focus on first class customer service, quick, personalised reponses through channels they use such as social media.

Centennials or Gen Z (born 2000 – Present, age range from 6 yrs. to 18 yrs.)

Also known as Generation Z, they are digitally over-connected. They generally have an intense fear of missing out and go from device to device with hardly a pause in-between. They are insatiable consumers of bite size pieces of information rather than long copy (think Snapchat). They are less brand loyal but are heavily influenced by their peers and online ‘heroes’. They welcome the latest tech upgrades and versions as they see this as progress. They see Facebook as an 'old persons' social media platform.

If marketing to centennials ensure you are active on Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube. A Nielson study (July 2017) reported that 44% of centennials buying decisions were influenced by Intagram, 32% by YouTube and 21% by Snapchat. Short sharp communications and eye-catching ads will work as centennials have a shorter attention span.

  • Centennials are more focused on quality and 'fit for purpsose' than price.
  • Centennials will focus more heavily on online reviews and peer recommendations.


  • Nowadays, consumers interface with a vast array of platforms before they make contact with you. Are you there on those platform?
  • Engage quickly after any initial enquiry and add the appropriate value at each step of the way.
  • Use an appropriate mix of online and offline media appropriate for your target audience

Take advantage of a complimentary consultation to see how your online presence can be leveraged to increase your profits. From business websites to online marketing, we are just a call away on 0117 370 0067 or you can email me directly at Happy Marketing, Mark Field - Director at DM Informatics Ltd.

Mark Field
Member role
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