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Generation X is the demographic cohort following the Baby Boomers
Includes those born between early 1960s and early 1980s
Traditionally refers to North Americans; Australia; England; Ireland and
various other European countries
50+ million people
By broadest definition, the 2016 ages
of Gen X are 35-55
Life expectancy rose from 70.2yr
(1965) to 72.9yr (1976)
Based on US Census Data from 2012
Book by Neil Howe and William Strauss
Creative theory that every generation falls into one of four archetypes and occur
in one of four cycles that continuously repeat.
The Civil Rights Movement
1977 - 1st space shuttle tested
1990 - Hubble space telescope launched
1978 - First test tube baby born
1981 - AIDS 1st identified
1982 - 1st artificial heart
Wars on wars on wars…
Three Mile Island nuclear accident
The Berlin Wall falls
The Soviet Union ends
US Stock Market drops 22%
Gen X “sandwiched” between Baby Boomers and Gen Y
Mothers working outside the home
Divorce on the rise
Downsizing and layoffs
More ethnically diverse than previous generation
Birth rate drop after 1964
FDA approval of oral contraceptives (1960)
Legalized abortion (1973)
AKA the “Baby Busters” generation
More single-parent households
“Sandwich Generation” which takes care of both aging parents and raising 50+%
of U.S.’s children under 18
Nontraditional families becoming more seen and accepted
Work & Finances
Less committed to any one job or company
More flexible resumes
Quick-to-learn (tech savvy)
Entrepreneurial vs. Slacker
Cautious with money
Saving money is huge for Gen Xers
Lifestyle and Worldview
More PC and accepting of different cultures
Apathetic and cynical
Disdain for authority
Consumer Behavior - Overview
Generation X tends to, as adults, be savvy
consumers who pride themselves on making
informed purchase decision, often turning to
the internet when searching for the best
Product Searching & Purchasing
Consumer Behavior - Finances
Gen X are big spenders
More spending power than any other generation
29% of estimated net worth dollars
31% of total income dollars
Soon to replace Baby Boomers as a cash
cow for marketers
Gen X consumers research and seek out
product information before making
more than any other generation
Will not buy a product until they’ve thoroughly
researched it first
Read reviews & visit opinion and social media sites
Research can be very extensive and rigorous to
find the best available option
Skeptical of Usual Marketing Tactics
Gen X consumers tend to use their own extensive
research to shop in order to avoid being targeted
If unsure of a product purchase decision, they will usually
Flashy Ads do not appeal or work with them
Gen X more often prefer clear cut explanations of
Tech Savvy Consumers
Generation X was there during the early development of computers and the
Millward Brown Digital (a british multinational market research firm) surveyed
more than 1,000 consumers in three generations (Millennials, Generation X,
and Baby Boomers) to see how different age groups favored digital screens for
60% of Gen Xers use a smartphone on a daily basis
67% use a laptop/PC daily
Surpassed the 58% of Millennials who use a laptop/PC daily.
Responsive to Digital & Traditional Advertising
Even though they use technology on almost a daily basis, digital advertising
wasn't too popular early on in their lives
Gen X consumers are accustomed to traditional advertising, but have become very
used to digital advertising
Meaning they get exposed to ads from both digital and traditional media
Traditional Methods (Hi-Lo)
Digital Methods (Hi-Lo)
Consumer Values - Overview
Generation X values:
Generation X tends to be very brand loyal.
Gen X values sincerity, authenticity,
independence, and consumer
diversity especially when it comes to
They want to be acknowledged as an
Have a personalized brand experience
Do not respond well to generic “One-Size
Fits All” marketing approaches
Personalized Advertisement Study
Research from IPG Media Lab and Yahoo found that personalized ads boosted
brand favorability and purchase intent among all internet users
most notably Gen X
If a Gen X consumer values a company and its products, they tend to be very loyal
to that specific brand/company/product
Willing to dish out more money to purchase a product if they already have knowledge and trust in it
Gen Xers are much less interested in trying new brands compared to other
Personalized Consumer experiences help build that loyalty
Marketing Strategies - Overview
Market towards the
Effectively Communicating Through
Email and Direct Mail
Things to be cautious about when
marketing to Generation X
Marketing Strategies - Research
Generation X is sometimes referred to as “Researchologist”, as stated earlier they
tend to research thoroughly before making a purchase.
Marketers must insure there is ample, reliable information easily accessible to the
consumer on multiple platforms.
Generation X also tends to be taking care of aging parents as well as growing children.
“Sandwich” generation, Baby Boomers and Millennials.
Marketing Strategies - Communication
Email campaigns along with Direct Mail Marketing work well for Gen X.
The Direct Marketing Association found that direct mail has a %4.4 response rate,
email has a %0.12 response rate.
Generation Xer’s are a very diverse demographic of consumers to market to.
Those who are on the tech savvy end check their email on a regular basis.
Email marketing to Gen X must include only relevant information.
Customizing the content helps the consumer feel appreciated.
By including a video in your email marketing you can increase your conversion rate by
up to %50.
Marketing Strategies - Stereotypes
The Nielsen company points out traits about Gen X’ers that marketers must be
aware of, as to not insult or turn away consumers.
Both Generation X women and men prefer a more calm and family friendly approach to
Women tend to be more family focused and relate to everyday family activities.
Use major sentimental events in a woman's life to create emotional attachment to
products or brands
Men are a more traditional: into cars, sports, do it yourself projects around the
Dove: Campaign for
Marketing Examples - Miller Lite
Miller Lite went through many changes since its debut in 1975
One of the most recent changes is the can. They went back to the “retro-look”, a simular can
design from the late 70’s and 80’s, away from the blue cans that many thought looked too much
like a soda can.
After this packaging change, the second half of 2014 saw shipments grow by a few points every
During the late 70’s and early 80’s they
started running ads featuring famous
Bringing in the sports stars like Dick Butkus, Bubba
Smith and John Madden brought out the sports
side of people back then
A main objective was to bring masculinity to
drinking light beer, showing that even these guys
enjoy the taste of a light beer that was low in
Dove: Campaign for real Beauty
Doves Campaign changed the way the
health and beauty industry markets
This was an ad campaign asked women
what attributes made them beautiful
instead of asking what they wanted to
The Generation X women in this campaign
helped pave the way for the next
generations to bring back natural
Marketing Failure: Lifelock
Lifelock CEO made one of the most dramatic
marketing stunts the world had ever seen.
He posted his photo with his actual social
This tactic was an epic failure, his identity was stolen
13 times, he called that a success
Lifelock also guaranteed any sensitive data you gave
them would be encrypted and secure, none of
which was true.
They even failed to follow a Federal Trade
Commision order to establish and maintain a
program to secure and protect personal data.