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Marketing to Generations

Marketing to Generations

by Ellen Fruchtman, President

In an article which appeared on RetailDive.com, October 20, 2017, titled “The Definitive Guide to Generational Marketing”, author Cara Sappini revealed some interesting data and observations. We all know generations have different shopping habits, and how many times can you read about Millennials wanting the “experience”? Here’s what marketers have to say about appealing to different generations, and some ideas you can use for your own business:

Generation Z (born between 1995 – 2014). This is the youngest and most difficult to appeal to for any fine jeweler. On the other hand, they’re 60 million strong, so we better figure it out. According to a recent study by Yes Lifecycle Marketing, over half of this group (57%) are moved to make a purchase with quality as the lead attribute, and yes, over price. They also value “brand prestige” more than any other generation, with 11% saying it’s important to them. Another study by InMarket said this generation is far more likely to buy luxury brands. So, heads up. It appears if we can weather the Millennial storm, it’s going to get better. They love personized gifts for themselves and when purchasing for their friends.

What should you do: The oldest of this generation is 22 years of age, barely out of college. Place some digital advertising, targeting females ages 16 – 22. Advertise inexpensive brands that include popular sayings. Market engraving messages of your choice. You can also market those brands to females ages 40-50 with different messaging. These would be pieces they can buy their daughters. You can send the same imagery with different messaging yet again targeting Females 60+ as great gifts for their granddaughters. Then compare the marketing and see what performed better. 80% of the Gen Z community is influenced by social media. Mobile is king. If they can’t click to preview the piece easily online (and perhaps purchase), you’re not going to attract this age group.

Here are the online channels they engage with most:

  • Mobile (56%)
  • Display Advertising (56%)
  • Email (46%)
  • Social (42%)

Millennials (born between 1980 – 2004). There’s not a lot to say that has not yet been documented on this group. Jewelers shouldn’t fret, however. They are looking to establish a relationship beyond the sale and can be very loyal. As a retailer, you may want to consider a loyalty program. 22% use them; 15% say it influenced their purchase decision. Because we know they love “experiences”, you might want to consider offerings that go beyond jewelry. Or perhaps, consider in-store events which would be fun for this group and only for this group. Connect with young business groups in your city. Many local Chambers have younger divisions, or Young Entrepreneur groups, etc. Entrepreneur online published an article with the Top 12 groups you should think of: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/241192 .

48% want to buy from the people behind the brand —meaning you. It’s important you’re involved in your community and be the face of your brand. Luca Cian, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia said this: Once upon a time, I see an advertisement, I get up and buy it. Today, I see an advertisement on TV, I become aware of the product, I look for an online review on it, and then I buy it.” Yes, you need to focus on their online experience, but traditional venues (like TV) are still very powerful. It is a combination of factors which lead them to check you out. Take every step you can take to increase your online reviews. Podium is one of the best companies in this space, and more importantly, it is simple. Contact Brian Rea at brian@podium.com. Please tell him Fruchtman Marketing sent you!

Channel preferences:

  • Email (67%)
  • Mobile apps (61%)
  • Social media (50%)

Generation X (born between 1966 – 1981). Let’s face it, no one talks about them very much. But, this generation is very active online. 56% are searching for recommendations and reviews and they love surfing websites. In terms of social media, it’s Facebook all the way. But, this generation is motivated big time by price. 85% said it’s what motivated them the most to purchase, 25% being quality driven. That’s not to say they’re not interested in quality (they are) but, ultimately, it’s price that is the differentiator. The great news is they love to shop in neighborhood stores, and the trend is moving back that way.

Excellent customer support hits their hot button. As a retailer, remember to touch this group often with emails about free services you offer. If you want a loss leader, consider offering a FREE Appraisal. Make sure your service offerings beat your competitors on everything from free rhodium plating on an engagement ring (for life) to free shipping and delivery (if you sell online). If you’re buying Facebook advertising, consider testing some discounts or providing a gift card to see if that moves the needle. Link them to a special area of your website (since they love perusing) and you don’t necessarily want to make this offer available to everyone. Make sure you’re email marketing to this group with strong, direct subject lines.

Channel preferences:

  • Email (69%)

Boomers (born between 1946 – 1964). There is no doubt this is the generation that loves to spend. So much so that many are having to put off retirement for several years. They call it conspicuous consumption. They just like stuff. They also have the most disposable income. And yet, retailers are neglecting to heavily market to this group. Even if they feel they have enough fine jewelry (can you ever have too much?) they are large buyers for their children and grandchildren. They are also thinking about their estate and what they’ll leave. Consider having an event with some people who can talk about this issue along with an appraiser. This group might be thinking of selling items they no longer wear. Consider Estate selling events or how you can buy their larger diamonds and pieces with immediate payment. Ease of purchase is extremely important to them. Perhaps you want to offer a good customer (or any customer in this age bracket) free delivery to their home. They happen to still like Direct Mail. So segment your list and perhaps do quarterly reminders about all of these services. 45% are likely to watch ads on YouTube. Who would have thought?

Channel preferences:

  • Direct Mail (59%)
  • Email (59%)
  • Social Media (19%)

From a marketing perspective (and for retailers on a tight budget), consider who you specifically want to target. Social media is not very expensive, so you might be able to target all of these demographics. But, you will want to target them with different messaging. That’s key. Understand what they utilize most in digital marketing and use it. And, without a doubt, they still use traditional media. Plan to always make that part of your mix.

Want an assessment of your marketing? Contact suits@fruchtman.com. What we do for others, we can do for you.

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