10 Tips to Reach GenX in 2018 (as given by Millennials)


I recently had the pleasure of speaking to Digital Marketing/E-Commerce MBA students from the College of St Rose about marketing and design.

Professor Braathe asked me to prepare an assignment for the students to tackle. With the oversaturation of tweets, blog posts, and podcast about how to market to millennials, I thought it might be fun to flip the script and have them research and write up the top 10 ways to reach GenX in today’s media climate. Below you’ll find the students thoughts and insights on reaching GenX.

10 Tips to Reach GenX in 2018

Lately, all you see are articles about marketing to Millennials. It’s no wonder Generation X feels like the forgotten middle child between Millennials and the Boomers. So, here are 10 tips to market to GenX.

1. Social Media: Facebook GamesAlicia Seda

Based on New York Times article published in 2017, GeneX Adults 35 to 49 were found to spend an average of 6 hours 58 minutes a week on social media networks, compared with 6 hours 19 minutes for Millenials.

Any marketing strategy through Facebook can catch the attention of GenXers. Facebook is the primary social media site used by GenXers. Of the 120 Million social media gamers, GenXers make up the majority. In 2016, the average social gamer was a 43-year old woman. Facebook is far and away the most popular destination for social gamers. Social gamers tend to play their favorite games with great frequency; the most popular games for weekly or more frequent play are: Farmville (69%), Bejeweled® Blitz (65%), Texas Hold’em Poker (63%), Cafe World (61%) and Mafia Wars (59%).

2. Nostalgic Advertisements and SponsorshipsJoachim Koka

In Simon Sinek’s revered TED talk “How great leaders inspire action,” Sinek talks about why companies like Apple typically outperform their competitors. Reason being, their campaigns evoke an emotional response from people, appealing to their heart and not their head. It’s well documented that emotions fuel a great deal of the decisions people make. Ad campaigns can leverage this by appealing to the fondness that comes with nostalgia. Erica Hepper, Ph.D., says, “[nostalgia] often feels bittersweet — mostly happy and comforting, but with a tinge of sadness that whatever we’re remembering is lost in some way.”

Here lies an opportunity for marketing.

The nostalgia of a marketing campaign gives an opportunity to get that immediate trust by leveraging something or someone that is associated with good memories. That “bittersweet” feeling allows a product/service to provide the consumer a form of catharsis.

3. Radio(Page Fronczek)

Did you know: 97% of Generation X listens to radio monthly? Radio is the leading marketing platform reaching more than 93% of Americans monthly. Don’t believe us? Check out the stats here.
Marketing Charts also says, “GenXers were also the most apt to say that they’ve noticed a specific advertiser in the previous week when listening to the radio.” That’s some serious marketing might, considering GenX controls almost ⅓ of total income dollars. It seems like radio is overlooked in a marketer’s toolkit.

4. BillboardsMichael Owens

Since GenXers travel a lot, billboards are an easy, efficient way to market to them. This is one of the most popular methods of outside television advertising. It catches their eye as they drive or when they are bored waiting in traffic, it is on their daily commute, they usually see it so many times they cannot forget it. This creates brand awareness for your product. Billboards usually work best when selling something like local attractions or if there any any special amenities for travellers.

5. GrouponJennifer Galavotti

This online marketplace connects consumers with local merchants who offer activities, travel, goods and services at a special discount. Generation X uses Groupon to look for deals and experiences at a discount. Usually. Purchased coupons can be used even after the coupon expires. Groupon can be used to purchase merchandise and experiences ranging from getting a haircut or nails done, to purchasing a discounted vacation package to the Bahamas. The marketplace allows GenXers to receive a discount on things they already love or branch out and try something new for a lower cost.

6. JinglesAndrea Smith

Have you ever had a little song stuck in your head? Using jingles or other examples of sonic branding, will bring up nostalgia and a sense of familiarity they will feel an emotional connection too. If they could write a jingle for anti-aging cream using “Nothing Compares to You” by Sinead O’Connor, it would marry the idea of beauty and the beauty product it is advertising for. Popular songs of that era are well known throughout all generations so it could be marketed to GenX but all generations would understand the message.

7. Point of SaleKira Ross-Cramer

Point of sale, the place at which goods are retailed, can be especially powerful when marketing to Generation X. Gas stations often have videos above their pumps showing short videos. These can attract a great, captive audience. Similarly, signage above urinals, toilets, cash register displays and in queues at banks and coffee shops can attract people who need something to do other than look at their phone while waiting in line (RB)

8. Television commercialsErin Cabral

Generation X known for their nostalgia and loyalty has shown this through their choice of entertainment. Also known as the “MTV generation” still prefer live TV over online TV. If your target market is this generation, having a nostalgic commercial to bring them back to their childhood may increase their desire to purchase from you. This generation provides more spending power than both the baby boomers and the millenials and is not only shopping for themselves but also for their kids. Do not let this “forgotten generation” slip away from your marketing strategy. Grab their attention by creating a cute jingle video or an icon from their past to create that nostalgic feel this generation yearns for. (EC)

9. Print advertisementsJonathan Stander

Younger targets (Millennials) are typically less receptive to print advertising, both because it’s seen as a waste of resources and time and because the the internet has a much larger presence in their life compared to older targets, having grown up with the technology effectively permeating every aspect of their lives. GenX, on the other hand, is a sort of middle ground, growing up with print advertising and more analog forms of media while still being young enough to experience and fully revel in the birth and explosive growth of the internet. This makes them much more receptive to print marketing, particularly examples that point the target towards an online resource to learn more about topics aligned with their interests, while they may chafe a bit at purely analog means (such as mail-order catalogues) or purely digital ones such as the ever-annoying pop-up ad or email spam messages..

10. EmailJosh Frese

Blasting out emails can be overwhelming for other generations but studies show that GenX has grown up reading and staying on top of their emails. Generation X is a great target if you’re trying to reach people via email. Statistics show that 92% of GenX view their email regularly which is the highest out of all generations.