In the world of marketing, much attention has been given to Gen Z, the up-and-coming generation. However, it seems that marketers may be overlooking the tremendous spending potential of their parents, Gen X. This generation, currently in the 45-to-60-year-old age category, is on track to become the wealthiest generation in history as $70 trillion is passed down to them from baby boomers. With their increasing engagement on social media platforms like TikTok, it’s clear that Gen X is a force to be reckoned with in the marketing world.
The Untapped Potential of Gen X
Despite their significant presence on social media, Gen X feels largely unseen in social advertising. According to a recent report from Wavemaker, only 13% of this population feels seen in social advertising. This is a missed opportunity for brands, as 92% of Gen Xers use social media every day and make up 28% of TikTok’s user base. Surprisingly, Gen X accounts for only 5% of brand spending on influencer campaigns. This lack of investment is reflected in the advertising industry’s limited research on Gen X, with only 4% of generation research conducted focusing on this cohort.
Zoe Bowen-Jones, senior insight director at Wavemaker, emphasizes the importance of recognizing the potential of Gen X: “There is so little research on Gen X compared with other generations, even though they are set to become the wealthiest generation of all time and offer long-term brand loyalty.” It’s clear that brands need to shift their focus and start considering Gen X when it comes to social advertising.
The Underrepresentation of Gen X in Advertising
Gen X currently accounts for 27% of global spending and has been steadily increasing their earnings and savings. Not only does this generation have a substantial nest egg, but they are also prepared to inherit trillions in the coming years. Despite their financial power, Gen X is underrepresented in advertising. Only 24% of TV ads feature characters over the age of 50, while 76% feature characters between the ages of 19 and 49. This lack of representation leads to a low rate of feeling seen by the industry, with only 13% of Gen Xers reporting that they feel recognized.
This report shows us not only the differences that the ‘wealthiest generation the world has ever known’ have in social media usage but much more importantly how we can recognize and respond,” says Bowen-Jones. It’s crucial for brands to understand the unique preferences and behaviors of Gen X in order to effectively engage with this valuable consumer group.
Understanding Gen X’s Preferences
To effectively engage with Gen X, brands need to tailor their strategies to meet the preferences of this generation. Unlike millennials and Gen Z, Gen X consumers tend to respond better to content created by their own age group. Posts created by Gen X creators perform better with Gen X consumers and tend to be 75% longer than posts from Gen Z creators. The tone and content of campaigns favored by Gen Xers also differ, with a preference for self-improvement language over a salesy tone.
Trust is a crucial factor for Gen X when it comes to purchasing decisions. Brands should focus on building trust with this generation, as it is 30% more important to Gen X than to younger generations. Additionally, Gen X purchases are driven by need rather than a “treat yourself” attitude seen among Gen Zers. Gen Xers also consider fewer brands than younger consumers, making their loyalty even more valuable.
“Gen X presents a huge opportunity for brands – they’re highly engaged, loyal, and wealthy consumers – and shouldn’t be overlooked by advertisers,” says Bowen-Jones. It’s clear that Gen X is a valuable consumer group, with longer attention spans and higher engagement on social media. Brands need to recognize and capitalize on this opportunity.
Strategies for Winning Gen X’s Favor
To effectively capture the attention and loyalty of Gen X, brands need to rethink their approach. Here are some key strategies for winning over this influential consumer group:
1. Invest in Gen X-Focused Research
Brands need to prioritize research on Gen X in order to gain a deeper understanding of their preferences, behaviors, and motivations. By investing in comprehensive research, brands can uncover valuable insights that will inform their marketing strategies.
2. Collaborate with Gen X Creators
Gen X consumers respond better to content created by their own age group. Brands should collaborate with Gen X creators to develop campaigns that resonate with this generation. These campaigns should feature self-improvement language and focus on building trust with Gen X consumers.
3. Tailor Content to Gen X Preferences
When creating content for Gen X, brands should consider the unique preferences of this generation. Longer-form content tends to perform better with Gen X consumers, so brands should aim to provide in-depth information and valuable insights. Additionally, a more informative and educational tone is preferred over a salesy approach.
4. Build Trust and Loyalty
Trust is a key factor for Gen X when it comes to making purchasing decisions. Brands should focus on building trust with this generation by providing transparent and reliable information. By establishing a strong foundation of trust, brands can foster long-term loyalty among Gen X consumers.
5. Highlight Practical Benefits
Gen X consumers are driven by practicality and value. Brands should emphasize the practical benefits of their products or services when targeting this generation. Highlight how your brand can meet their needs and provide solutions to their everyday challenges.
6. Engage on Social Media
Gen X is highly engaged on social media platforms, including TikTok. Brands should leverage these platforms to connect with Gen X consumers and create meaningful interactions. Engaging with Gen X on social media can help build brand awareness, foster loyalty, and drive conversions.
7. Prioritize Personalization
Personalization is key when targeting Gen X. Brands should tailor their messaging and offers to meet the specific needs and preferences of this generation. By providing personalized experiences, brands can create a stronger connection with Gen X consumers and increase their engagement.
8. Offer Exceptional Customer Service
Gen X values exceptional customer service. Brands should prioritize providing a seamless and personalized customer experience. Promptly address any concerns or issues, and go above and beyond to exceed customer expectations. By delivering exceptional customer service, brands can build trust and loyalty among Gen X consumers.
9. Embrace Multi-Channel Marketing
Gen X consumers engage with brands across various channels, both online and offline. Brands should embrace a multi-channel marketing approach to reach Gen X through their preferred channels. Whether it’s through social media, email marketing, or traditional advertising, brands should ensure a cohesive and consistent message across all touchpoints.
10. Stay Ahead of the Curve
To effectively engage with Gen X, brands need to stay ahead of the curve and adapt to evolving trends and technologies. Keep an eye on emerging platforms and new marketing strategies that resonate with Gen X consumers. By staying innovative and forward-thinking, brands can maintain their relevance and capture the attention of this influential generation.
In conclusion, Gen X is a powerhouse in brand marketing that should not be overlooked. With their increasing wealth, engagement on social media, and unique preferences, Gen X presents a significant opportunity for brands. By understanding and catering to the needs of this influential consumer group, brands can build trust, foster loyalty, and tap into the immense spending potential of Gen X. It’s time for brands to recognize and embrace the power of Gen X in their marketing strategies.
See first source: Marketing Dive
Who are Gen X, and why is their spending potential significant for marketers?
Gen X refers to the generation currently in the 45-to-60-year-old age category. They are on track to become the wealthiest generation in history as they inherit $70 trillion from baby boomers, making them a valuable target audience for marketers.
Why is Gen X considered an untapped market in social advertising?
Despite their significant presence on social media, Gen X feels largely unseen in social advertising. Only 13% of this population feels seen in social advertising, creating a missed opportunity for brands.
What percentage of Gen Xers use social media daily, and how do they contribute to platforms like TikTok?
92% of Gen Xers use social media every day, and they make up 28% of TikTok’s user base. However, they account for only 5% of brand spending on influencer campaigns.
Why is it crucial for brands to shift their focus to include Gen X in their social advertising strategies?
Gen X is set to become the wealthiest generation of all time and offers long-term brand loyalty. Recognizing their potential as consumers is essential for brands.
What are some statistics regarding the underrepresentation of Gen X in advertising?
Only 24% of TV ads feature characters over the age of 50, while 76% feature characters between the ages of 19 and 49. This lack of representation leads to only 13% of Gen Xers feeling recognized by the industry.
What is the preferred type of content for Gen X consumers, and how do they respond to it?
Gen X consumers tend to respond better to content created by their own age group. Posts created by Gen X creators perform better with Gen X consumers, and these posts tend to be 75% longer than those from Gen Z creators.
What role does trust play in Gen X’s purchasing decisions, and how should brands approach this factor?
Trust is crucial for Gen X when making purchasing decisions and is 30% more important to them than to younger generations. Brands should focus on building trust by providing transparent and reliable information.
How can brands effectively engage with Gen X on social media?
Brands can engage with Gen X on social media by collaborating with Gen X creators, tailoring content to Gen X preferences, and highlighting practical benefits. Engaging on social media platforms where Gen X is active is also key.
What should brands prioritize in their marketing strategies to win over Gen X?
Brands should prioritize personalized experiences, exceptional customer service, multi-channel marketing, and staying ahead of trends and technologies to effectively engage with Gen X and tap into their spending potential.
Why is it crucial for brands to recognize and embrace Gen X’s power in marketing strategies?
Gen X is a valuable consumer group with substantial spending potential, and their preferences and engagement are unique. Brands that understand and cater to the needs of Gen X can build trust, foster loyalty, and tap into this influential generation’s spending potential.
Featured Image Credit: dxiane; Unsplash – Thank you!