Recently, a bride and a groom performed what they deemed a ‘dance across generations’ at their wedding for the first dance, including popular dances from the 1940s to today. The various dances based on the decades were meant to appeal to each generation of wedding guests in attendance. The dance was a hit and showed the couples’ awareness that a dance to modern music might not appeal to their grandparents’ generation.
There’s a simple lesson to be learned here—various generations have different values and interests.
The recent Super Bowl halftime show is another prime example of the need to understand your audience. Many people who have an interest in pop music loved the performance by The Weeknd. Those who don’t keep up with pop culture were left wondering why the backup dancers were wearing bandages on their faces. Whether you loved or hated it, this was a great reminder that different audiences and generations respond to content differently.
Your marketing strategy is no different than these two examples. What works for one generation may not work for another, and that’s okay. Let’s look at how you can make sure your products are appealing to various generations and demographics.
Identify Your Target Demographic
You can’t be everybody’s cup of tea, so find out who is. Start by identifying your core target audience. The hardest part about this exercise is realizing that there will be outliers. We’re talking about identifying your most popular customers.
What age are they? What are their interests? What types of brands do they love? If you don’t know the answer to these questions, consider holding a focus group with some of your top customers to find the answers. After you’ve identified your core demographic, identify some secondary demographics. To reach your customers with what they love, you’ll first need to realize who they are.
Meet Them Where They Are
Now that you know your target demographics, it’s time to think about where you can find those customers. While some prefer to receive emails, you’d be surprised at the number of people who still love a well-done direct mailer. Young generations may love receiving branded swag in the mail, like a t-shirt or backpack, while a fridge magnet is the perfect option for others. If you don’t know…ask. Survey your current customers to determine if they prefer direct mail pieces or would like a personalized email every week. If you never ask, you’ll never know the answer.
Develop Different Messages
Different audiences require different messages in order to be effective. Luckily, we’re living in the information age where you can segment your audience for both digital marketing and direct mail. Social media marketing allows you to drill down different audiences and target those individuals with separate messaging with the click of a button. If you understand who your customers are, you’re able to essentially do the same thing with physical mailings. Make sure to use language that your target demographic would use. Since you have already identified brands they love, consider studying how those brands speak with your target audience.
Remember—what works for one customer may not work for another, and that’s okay. You’ll need to do the research to understand your audience and cater to their needs. Segment your audience into different groups based on the type of marketing they prefer, and offer each audience the things they love the most in the way they like to be communicated with most.