SMI Advertising began in 1996, and our approach to helping a client market has changed considerably over the years. In 1996 we had no social media; the use of the internet was minimal, cell phones were still a novelty in many ways, and they did not access online information. We didn’t know what a tablet or iPad was, and we had no idea there would be something called Zoom one day. We couldn’t Google, and we got our news from TV, radio (yes, radio had news departments back then), or the paper.
In 1996 there was radio, TV, newspaper, billboards and a variety of local magazines. Buying media was simple, we could buy one or two radio stations, a TV station and at the time, the newspaper was a must-buy. Fast forward to 2020, and it makes one dizzy trying to navigate marketing because of all that is available. Think about this:
We now have four identifiable age groups, some have groups within the group, and each consumes media differently. We can’t cast a broad net as we did in 1996 and get everyone.
Sure, there was some targeting in 1996 as certain TV shows, radio stations, etc., may have had an older following, or younger, more male, or female leaning, and a few other preferences.
Today, consider these divisions:
· Baby Boomers: Baby boomers were born between 1944 and 1964. They’re current between 56-76 years old (76 million in U.S.)
· Gen X: Gen X was born between 1965 – 1979 and are currently between 41-55 years old (82 million people in U.S.)
· Gen Y: Gen Y, or Millennials, were born between 1980 and 1994. They are currently between 26-40 years old.
o Gen Y.1 = 25-29 years old (31 million people in U.S.)
o Gen Y.2 = 29-39 (42 million people in U.S.)
· Gen Z: Gen Z is the newest generation to be named and were born between 1995 and 2015. They are currently between 5-25 years old (nearly 74 million in U.S.)
Now consider the fact that each one of these groups has to be reached using different methods:
Place importance in accuracy to detail and ease of use
Still look at printed materials but also still actively online (and will keep rising)
They want to find the information easily
Desktop-driven or tablet driven (less mobile)
Enjoy clear and concise information
Mixture of mobile, tablet and desktop
Enjoy comparisons and reviews/ testimonials
Millennials aka Generation Y
Large internet users and can regularly multi-task so content needs to be attention grabbing
React to incentives and offers
Brevity is key – want information quickly
Mobile driven (and tablet use)
Articles or written content should be short and concise
Generation Z aka iGeneration
Used to changing media, apps and content
They enjoy what is new and will embrace it immediately
Sharing content easily is important
Enjoy visual and interactive experiences
To target a consumer, one must have a clear understanding of who that person is.
Age is a prevalent method of segmenting audiences, but there are many others; having a clear understanding of your target audience is the first step when creating content. Depending on your service or product, you may be able to focus on one or two generational groups. As you go broader, you can’t ignore the differences.
As a business owner or manager, your time is probably taken up running the day to day operations of a business, leaving very little time to consider your marketing. This is where SMI Advertising helps you make sense of this tangled mess we call advertising/marketing. Just knowing the generations’ division isn’t enough; one must also consider where to reach them and the message that will resonate with a prospective customer.
If you need marketing/advertising help, please give me a call. We will meet with you and review your needs and show you how SMI can help you get the highest return on your advertising collars.
Call me (Larry Stevens) at (334) 409-0022 to arrange a meeting.