Often overshadowed by the attention given to Baby Boomers and Millennials, Generation X (Gen X) — born between 1965 and 1980 — represents an influential population segment. However, they’re usually forgotten when creating a marketing strategy. That’s $357 billion annual spending power being completely ignored! (We’re not mathematicians, but we’d say that’s a lot of money to be overlooking!)
Though they may not be as tech-savvy as some of the younger generations, Gen X consumers are a prime target for online marketing thanks to their disposition to keep up with trends and modern technology. With the help of email marketing, social media marketing, loyalty programs, and personalized approaches to build brand loyalty, you can genuinely appeal to Gen X and even create faithful customers over time.
Who is Gen X?
Generation X, sandwiched between Baby Boomers and Millennials, has often been referred to as the “forgotten generation.” Yet they are severely underestimated. They are now reaching the peak of their careers and accumulating significant spending power. In fact, a report by The New York Times found that they used social media for an average of 6 hours and 58 minutes a week, more than the average millennial.
This willingness to incorporate digital technology and devices into their life makes them highly receptive to modern marketing techniques — meaning you shouldn’t discount them when creating a marketing strategy. They do hold 31% of the U.S.’s spending power, after all.
1. Email Marketing
Despite the rise of social media (which we will touch on later), email marketing remains a powerful tool for reaching Gen X consumers. They grew up with email and continue to utilize it as a primary means of communication. So why not use that to your advantage? Not only could this score you a higher ROI, but it’s also far more cost effective than other marketing strategies.
If your business has not focused on email marketing in the past and you’re looking to build a large email list, consider adding email capture forms throughout your site. One of the best ways to capture Gen X’s attention and get them to input their email is to offer them a discount code via email. They are financially stable, but that doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate a good deal.
When creating emails, focus on making them visually appealing while keeping them short and sweet. You want to capture their attention quickly while explaining why your product or service benefits them.
2. Social Media Marketing for Gen X
While Gen X may not be as active on social media as younger generations, they still make up a significant presence (77.5% of Gen Xers are social media users) on the platforms. This means it’s important to tap into this potential when creating your marketing strategy. However, it’s crucial to remember that you should not have a one-size-fits-all mindset for social media marketing to Gen X vs., say, Gen Z.
Platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter/X, and LinkedIn are popular among Gen X consumers, and you can use these channels to share engaging content, promote products or services, and start discussions. You may also want to consider partnering with Gen X influencers on Instagram and TikTok (yes, they do exist) to offer some relatability and credibility.
When considering a partnership with a Gen X influencer, thoroughly vet them (or partner with a full-service agency that offers vetting) to guarantee their authenticity. Crafting genuine content will not only resonate with their audience but will also solidify their trust in your brand.
3. Cultivate Brand Loyalty
Gen Xers value loyalty and long-term relationships with brands, which is why implementing customer loyalty programs can be extremely useful for your business. These programs can include rewards, discounts, and personalized offers based on their preferences and past purchases. Remember how we mentioned creating an email list earlier? This is another great way to capture emails once they make a purchase.
Not only will they benefit from discounts and rewards, but you can also use data analytics to understand what Gen X consumers want. What emails are getting the high open rates? What discounts are bringing in the most sales? These are the things you can study as the loyalty program develops. From there, you can tailor your strategies as needed to ensure that they remain devoted customers for years to come.
4. Ensure You’re Mobile-Friendly
While Gen X came of age before the rise of mobile devices, they’ve since fully adopted smartphone technology. To effectively reach this tech-savvy generation, it’s imperative to optimize your marketing for mobile. Prioritize responsive website designs, easy-to-read typography, swift page load speeds, purchasing power via apps like Instagram, and enticing SMS campaigns offering rewards or discounts.
5. Make Them Feel Included
Lastly —and arguably, most importantly — when marketing, it’s vital that you make feel Gen X included. It’s easy for many brands to focus on hiring Gen Z or Millennial influencers to push their products or services onto a younger crowd. Yet when you do so, you isolate an entire generation that could very well benefit from what you have to offer. The minute they feel excluded, they are going to turn to a competitor that is more inclusive to their age.
Gen Xers are navigating significant life transitions, from career advancements and becoming empty nesters to pursuing further education or even exploring early retirement. Tailor your messaging to resonate with these pivotal moments in their journey.
Final Thoughts About Marketing to Gen X
Reaching out to Gen X consumers is a strategic move to harness their considerable purchasing power and cultivate enduring brand loyalty. Employing the right mix of loyalty programs, authentic social media engagement, and genuine messaging can significantly enrich their connection to your brand. However, truly understanding Gen X means going beyond basic tactics. If you’re looking to refine your approach, consider teaming up with Sway Group. Navigating influencer marketing for a generation that might feel elusive can be a challenge. At Sway, we simplify this process, ensuring you’re paired with the ideal influencers to realize your objectives.
Marketing is forever evolving, which is why we want to make it as easy as possible for you. Ready to get started? Contact Sway today!