Generational Gaps and the Generation Y Audience
Appealing to members of your own generation can be tough, but appealing to another generation altogether can be like comparing apples to oranges.
Why should you even compare? There’s a simple solution: Apples, ask the oranges what they want and vice versa.
The Great Generational Divide (or Is It?)
Look at the similarities of the Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. Every generation has rebelled in some fashion from the preceding generation over the circumstances they’ve inherited. And every generation has referred to the subsequent generation as lazy, arrogant, apathetic, and lacking in the respect department.
The idea of a generational gap serves to create a divide – separating “us” from “them.” It feeds rebellion or nurtures cohesion. Rather than seeing this as a gap, see it as an opportunity and bear in mind that we have all lived and witnessed incredible advancements in technology, from comforts to medicine. The similarities that bring our generations together outnumber the differences.
Apples and oranges, throw all prejudices of age (whether it be young or old) completely out the window. Each generation contains an incredible group of people who have and will rise to the occasion.
Shermaine C. on Marketing to a Generation Y Audience
In her article, “Marketing to Gen Y-Ers and Why Old People Are Failing Us,” Expert Author Shermaine C. fervidly proposes how to market to a fickle Generation Y Audience as well as gives vigorous insights into her generation.
Albeit an energetic defense, Shermaine’s article has 7 key elements that struck me as accurate and compelling recommendations when appealing to a Generation Y audience:
- Avoid phone numbers that require the consumer to speak to a person. “… Generation Y-ers’ friends live in their computers … We shrivel at the thought of having to communicate face-to-face with strangers.”
- Drop the mentoring act; coaching is something friends do. “We don’t want coaching calls that start off with getting to know each other. You’ll have to be our friend first before you get to coach us.”
- Provide engaging and informative content that can be accessible 24/7. (e.g., videos, articles, etc.). “We text, not talk. We’re selective listeners … you can talk all day, but we’ll only listen when we want to.”
- Become an informant by providing relevant content. “Our updates are strategically delivered to us via Facebook and Twitter throughout the day from our network of carefully selected informants from all over the world.”
- Ditch email marketing when appealing to the Generation Y audience. “… we don’t check our emails … there’s not enough group engagement going on there.”
- Get ratings and reviews from their peers. “Online social validation is of utmost importance to us, though, and we take our friends’ recommendations seriously – never mind the cost of those shoes.”
- Become a divergent thinker by finding new approaches to old methods. “… old-school methods are expensive. And dying. The concepts behind them are timeless, for sure, but the methods … they’re dying …”
Generalities of generational differences aside (i.e., there’s no use comparing apples to oranges – in the end they are both fruit!), do you agree with Shermaine? Is there anything else you would like to add? Let us know – we’d love to hear from you!