When you create the marketing programs for your small business, it is essential that you develop different strategies for your different demographics. One of the most important definers is age, so you might decide to have different strategies for each generation. The marketing material you create for Gen Z'ers may not be effective for Baby Boomers and vice versa. Even a short-form marketing channel like SMS marketing becomes that much better when you tailor it to the habits and preferences of different age groups.
Gen Z'ers might be young, but they are still a powerful buying force in the market.
Gen Z'ers are the new kids in town -- the generation born after 1997. Although many are too young to be a key target demographic for most small businesses, the older Gen Z'ers are now 20 years old and entering the work force. Additionally, this generation contributes a whopping $44 billion to the US economy. It is estimated that by 2020, they will account for one-third of the US population.
You cannot simply market to Gen Z'ers the same way that you do to Millennials, as they have their own nuances. They have grown up with the internet and social media even more so than Millennials. They are resourceful and prefer to feel like they have control over how they connect with businesses.
Gen Z'ers certainly do text a lot, making them a viable target for SMS marketing. They like short content, so a 160 character text message is perfect. They prefer to communicate through images rather than text, so they might be a key demographic for MMS messages, which allow you to send pictures. So, how do you create a strong texting campaign for your Gen Z customers? You want to be sure that you:
- Include them in your marketing, such as through creating a brand ambassador program
- Relate to them honestly; they will know if you are trying to just sell things
- Make relationship building and engagement top priorities
- Integrate across all channels; Gen Z'ers frequently use multiple devices and expect a seamless experience
Millennials, those born between 1981 and 1997, are the generation that most people think about in connection with text messaging. They have also become a major target for marketers, especially as they have recently surpassed the Baby Boomers as the largest living generation in America. Millennials often prefer the convenience of texting over voice calls. A whopping 100 percent of Millennial smartphone owners communicate via text, according to the Pew Research Center. For Millennials, texting is something that is unobtrusive and allows for efficient communication.
In addition to preferring texting, Millennials also look for branded content that is relevant and authentic. This generation is interested in customized content. Your texting program offers the perfect opportunity to tailor your messages for Millennial audiences. Additionally, a texting program allows you to create more engaging, one-on-one relationships, especially if you open it up for two-way communication.
Don't make the common mistake of forgetting to market to Gen X'ers.
Gen X'ers are often overlooked when it comes to marketing, which has earned them the nickname of the forgotten generation. This group includes those born between 1965 and 1980, and although they are their own distinct generation, many are simply lumped in with Millennials or with Baby Boomers. When you market your products and services to Gen X'ers, you want to emphasize your good deals. Gen X'ers are looking to save money. They also want to find ways to save time and effort.
How do you incorporate this into your text marketing program? Well, first and foremost, ensure that you have a solid coupon program that provides attractive deals to your clients. Additionally, you want to demonstrate how your small business goes above and beyond to save them time and effort in their daily lives. You can do this through sending daily tips, information about your events, polls or surveys to learn more about them, or a texting customer service option.
Baby Boomers & The Silent Generation
Baby Boomers remain a driving force in the market. This generation is comprised of those born between 1946 and 1964. Although they might not be the largest generation anymore, there are still an estimated 74.9 million Baby Boomers in America, as of 2015.
Many marketers look at those over the age of 50 as one large group, even though there are differences between the older generations. However, when it comes to technology, some similarities will impact how you target these generations in your marketing efforts. A common misconception is that people over 50 don't send text messages. In fact, the opposite is true. About 92 percent of smartphone owners over the age of 50 communicate via text, according to the Pew Research Center study mentioned above.
In general, Baby Boomers and later generations tend to react more to traditional marketing practices. They also do not have as short of an attention span, so you can go into more depth with your data, and any videos you create can be longer. One important thing to remember is that many of these people are in retirement, or about to be. Therefore, think about how your company will help them, either with enjoying their leisure time or by helping them cut back on spending to stretch their retirement funds.
How can you incorporate this into your SMS marketing program? Well, to begin, keep things simple for your older generations. They might use technology, but they are not always as advanced as the younger generations who grew up immersed in it. Focus on providing information and ways to help, while also engaging with them in a more personal way. Additionally, offer deals, discounts, and services to help them in their retirement.
Creating a Campaign that Speaks to Everyone
Some text messages will resonate across generations.
Although these generations might be different, there are some important similarities among them. They all will enjoy a good deal, so texting coupons is always a good strategy. Additionally, engagement and personalization remain essential. With your SMS marketing program, be sure to develop tailored content to your customers, which you can do by segmenting them by demographics. Additionally, you always want to send content that is valuable and relevant.
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