Generation Digital Marketing

Generation Digital Marketing

In a previous post we described how consumers are becoming digital first. These connected customers interact with brands in var­i­ous ways, from social accounts and user forums to web­site nav­i­ga­tion and mobile app usage.

As an anchor of customer experience, digital is driving outcomes and influencing purchasing. Consumers of all generations are turning to digital – from comparison shopping and receiving price alerts to receiving medication reminders. Consumers gather facts, opinions and bits of inspiration into their winding purchasing journey. While each generation has some traces of similarity to the next, digital preferences and purchase journey are really quite separate across the board. Consider the following nuances and their implications on how to approach each of the generations.

How each Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z and Baby Boomers use Digital Channels

As an anchor of customer experience, digital is driving outcomes and influencing purchasing. Consumers of all generations are turning to digital – from comparison shopping and receiving price alerts to receiving medication reminders. Consumers gather facts, opinions and bits of inspiration into their winding purchasing journey. While each generation has some traces of similarity to the next, digital preferences and purchase journey are really quite separate across the board. Consider the following nuances and their implications on how to approach each of the generations.

Key Digital Marketing Statistics and Purchasing Behavior by Generation

Born: 1996 – TBD

Reason for Following Brands on Social Media: 60% prefers to shop at retailers that engage with them via social media.

Purchasing Characteristics: 73% would make a purchase based on a social media recommendation.

In-Store vs Online: Gen Z prefers in-store shopping for the atmosphere and store experience.

Implications: An established social media presence should complement touchscreens in brick and mortar stores if retailers want to keep tech-savvy Gen Zers eager to interact with their brand. Offline, stores should promote a chic, tech-savvy, communal atmosphere.

Born: 1977 – 1995

Reason for Following Brands on Social Media: 38% follow for entertainment value.

Purchasing Characteristics: 82% say word-of-mouth is a key influencer of their purchase decisions.

In-Store vs Online: Gen Y generally browse in-store, but buy online.

Implications: Social media is extremely important to Millennials in their purchasing journey because even though they value the opinions of family and friends, they seek out the experiences of other consumers above all.

Born: 1965 – 1976

Reason for Following Brands on Social Media: 58% follow for deals and promotions.

Purchasing Characteristics: 45% of Gen X use their phones to look for a better price or other options while shopping at a retail store.

In-Store vs Online: Gen X makes extensive use of search engines, online reviews, and social media networks before making a purchase.

Implications: Make products and services especially visible and accessible online by using SEO strategies to optimize their research and an active social media presence to demonstrate a personable and authentic brand image.

Born: 1946 – 1964

Reason for Following Brands on Social Media: 60% follow for mix of deals and promos,
53% follow brands for information.

Purchasing Characteristics: 12% look to friends and family for advice on their purchases.

In-Store vs Online: Older generations prefer in-store shopping to experience products and is tied ot their high expectations of customer service.

Implications: Boomers place immense value in brands based on their interactions with sales associates, and retailers can capitalize on this by offering the experience through digital channels.

Gen Z Gen Y (i.e. Millennials) Gen X Baby Boomers
Born 1996 - TBD 1977 - 1995 1965 - 1976 1946 - 1964
Reason for following brands on Social media 60% prefers to shop at retailers that engage with them via social media. 38% follow for entertainment value. 58% follow for deals and promotions. 60% follow for mix of deals and promos, 53% follow brands for information.
Purchasing Characteristics 73% would make a purchase based on a social media recommendation. 82% say word-of-mouth is a key influencer of their purchase decisions. 45% of Gen X use their phones to look for a better price or other options while shopping at a retail store. 12% look to friends and family for advice on their purchases.
In-Store vs. Online Gen Z prefers in-store shopping for the atmosphere and store experience. Gen Y generally browse in-store, but buy online. Gen X makes extensive use of search engines, online reviews, and social media networks before making a purchase. Older generations prefer in-store shopping to experience products and is tied ot their high expectations of customer service.
Implications An established social media presence should complement touchscreens in brick and mortar stores if retailers want to keep tech-savvy Gen Zers eager to interact with their brand. Offline, stores should promote a chic, tech-savvy, communal atmosphere. Social media is extremely important to Millennials in their purchasing journey because even though they value the opinions of family and friends, they seek out the experiences of other consumers above all. Make products and services especially visible and accessible online by using SEO strategies to optimize their research and an active social media presence to demonstrate a personable and authentic brand image. Boomers place immense value in brands based on their interactions with sales associates, and retailers can capitalize on this by incentivising physical visits through digital channels.

The digital era has brought a completely new outlook on how we interpret customers’ requirements and deliver excellent experiences. Understanding generational digital marketing preferences is one piece of the puzzle. Insights should also be gathered from the way customers interact with each touchpoint along a journey.  Putting everything together, you can use this information to inform your marketing campaigns and customer experience decisions.

 

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