Knowing Your Target Market: Three Generations in the Workforce

Creating persuasive messages and distributing them in targeted media that your audience and market will respond to everything in marketing.

If you are targeting a business to business customer, you are likely crafting a message for one of three generations. If you are wanting to target market three generations (Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials) you probably already know that they all think and act very differently.

Trying to appeal to all three generations at the same time is difficult at best!

Do you know who is buying your product? Influencing? Recommending? And what criteria they use?

Target Market three Generations Defined

In the chart below from 2015, you can see that there are three distinct groups.

Labor Force Composition by Generation

The different generations have a different criteria of what is important and use different words and phrases. When you are trying to target market three generations you have to be very broad in your appeals. And depending on who is doing the copywriting, you may find the wrong words actually offend rather than attract the very potential customer you’re trying to talk with (Take a look at her reaction at 3:07 into the video!)

Target Market Three Generations: How Old Is OLD?

I guess it is all about perspective, but putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is crucial to creating the right tone. Years ago I resented being called a “kid” when I was in my late 20’s. By the same token, the word elderly, senior and old have connotations and denotations that you just shouldn’t ignore.

The 4 P’s vs the 4 M’s of Marketing

Speaking about Marketing Strategy with the 4 M's of Marketing
Speaking about Marketing Strategy

In the early marketing courses in college, they teach the 4 P’s of marketing: Product,
Price,
Place, and
Promotion.

I believe that the 4 M’s in marketing plan are a better place to focus.

Market – who your target customer is

Message – what you want to communicate to them

Media – the tools you will use to communicate to your customers (with a schedule and budget)

Measurement – what you hope to accomplish and tracking how well it worked.

Last night I spoke to a room full of business owners about developing their marketing strategy. As business owners, they are all wearing many hats. I’m sure that finding the time to create a full marketing strategy is a challenge. If they don’t have a good background in marketing, it may be even more difficult.

To make it easier in the 90 minutes we had together, I helped walk them through their 4M’s and also touched on each of the 4 P’s of marketing.

Preparing Your 2016 Marketing Plan

2016 marketing planHave you been keeping up with your 2015 marketing program?

Perhaps your plan called for posting weekly in social media for your company and sending out a press release quarterly.

Are you on track with the plan… or did it get derailed?

I’ve seen companies put together a very aggressive marketing program at the beginning of the year with many trade shows, print ads, keynote speaking engagements, and other expensive or time intensive tactics.

Much like many January New Year’s resolutions, those over-achieving plans can get derailed when reality of the day-to-day, month-to-month workloads take hold.

And just like those resolutions, you shouldn’t just throw in the towel because things haven’t worked out the way you wanted them to. Now is the time to take stock of your 2015 marketing plans, get done what you can for 2015 and update your plan for 2016.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What worked? What didn’t get done but would have worked?
  • Do you need to have your 2016 marketing budget set? Now is the time to get quotes and estimates for next year.
  • Does your 2015 marketing budget disappear if you don’t use it? Don’t waste the opportunity to get your business off to a strong start in the New Year.

Take time today to review the 2015 plan. Look for the activities that will set you up for a strong 2016.

Preparation now will provide rewards down the road.

Book Review: Star Brands

Star Brands A Brand Managers Guide to Build Manage and Market BrandsCarolina Rogoll’s new book, Star Brands: A Brand Manager’s Guide to Build, Manage & Market Brands is a  great resource for anyone seeking structured guidance on creating a brand plan.

Rogoll presents a five-step practical guide on taking a business and brand from conception… to realization… to success.

I like her five points – They are  very similar to the 4 M’s of Marketing that I use. I would combine point 3 and 4 (Crafting a Communication Strategy and Establishing a Marketing Strategy) into a single point, but a 4 sided star looks a lot more like a rectangle!! So I completely understand why she separates the two.

Carolina Rogoll - from LinkedInShe has a great background – real world experience (her LinkedIn profile says P&G experience since 2003) — combined with working as an educator in branding (School of Visual Arts In NYC.)

I also like that she uses case studies from famous brands, such as Harley Davidson and MasterCard, and  interviews withbusiness school professors, advertising agency leaders and former CEOs.

Star Brands is a practical book that business professionals and entrepreneurs can use as their own brand building “workbook.”

Of course, I can’t let a book review pass without mentioning my book. I wrote it to help the small business owner who wants to brand and market their business: Simple Steps, Big Results. It’s been my experience that learning lessons from big brands is very helpful – especially in theory – but when you’re dealing with a micro budget, sometimes lessons don’t translate from the million dollar brands.

Full Disclosure: While my Amazon link does NOT attach to an affiliate link, nor am I being paid for this review, I did receive the e-book for free in exchange for doing this review.

Want a Quick Way to Learn the Demographics of a Zip Code?

Zip code look upFor income, age, lifestyle and population density of any particular area, Zip Tapestry, a handy website tool, allows you to just type in a zip code and have quick demographic info at your finger tips.

Could be great if you’re looking for the next location for your retail shop, planning to relocate your business and not sure about neighborhoods… or just planning your next move in general.

Reminds me a little bit of a program called Claritis from Neilson that I learned about in the late 90’s. You can look at a variety of factors of a geographic area… and then look at the psycho-graphics.

I like how easy it is in Zip Tapestry to enlarge the map, set it to one of the parameters like average income… then just mouse around to find out the various zip codes… You can see the screen cap of Franklin TN outside of Nashville in the photo.

Switch it to average age to find the pockets of the age group that is most likely to use your products and services.

Click on the Tapestry tab to see the phrase that describes a percent of the population. Then click the arrow to learn the definition of there phrase. It’s a quick way to get direction on geographic areas.

Hat tip: LifeHacker