gen z to boomers: how to market to every age

by: Sarah Kneebone

Not all generations are created equal when it comes to marketing messages. In fact, quite the opposite. It’s one of the main reasons why targeted generational marketing and communications are so powerful (and why memes can be so hit and miss!). Knowing your key audience’s habits, beliefs and channel preferences enables you to hit the nail on the head, every time.

Read a snippet from our report below and take a tailored approach to your generational marketing, stat.




It doesn't pay to stereotype.

When we look beyond blanket stereotypes and evaluate segments within generations, we often find that, lo and behold, certain older consumers are very interested in health products (it’s not just green smoothie-loving Millennials driving the industry!) and some younger consumers still prioritise traditional brands.


“Understanding where consumers are discovering your products is an important part of understanding what kind of messages they’ll respond to. Different generations are also often in very different stages of their lives, and messaging should reflect that. As technology becomes more ubiquitous for all generations, understanding how each generation uses that technology means establishing connections across generations by serving audiences messaging that matters.”

- Kenshoo


young gen y woman knitting

Getting cosy with Gen X.

As one of the smaller generational groups, Generation X is often ignored by marketers and lumped in with the Baby Boomers. However, they have a great deal of spending power and shop for a wide variety of products for themselves and in some cases, for their children. They’re also more loyal than the younger generations, making them a lucrative group for marketers to focus on.


1. What large-scale events shaped them? 

Gen X grew up during a time of global recession.

2. Who are they?

Born between 1965 and 1979, those from Generation X are currently between 40 and 54 years old.

Often referred to as the “work-hard, play-hard” generation, this cohort craves independence, prioritises education and is very eager to learn. They are innovative and independent thinkers. As a result of rising divorce rates and a faltering economy during their upbringing, Generation X is resourceful and self-sufficient.

3. How do they consume media?

This group is more likely than Millennials to watch traditional TV. They hang out on Facebook. However, many are looking after older relatives or raising children, so they opt for useful, succinct content over straight-up entertainment value.

When it comes to marketing messaging, Generation X is often easier to reach via email and direct mail than social media. In fact, 80 percent of Gen X-ers cite email as their preferred means of brand messaging.

Nuanced marketing tip:

Generation X is a relatively small and, therefore, under- studied and overlooked group of people. However, due to this group’s purchasing power, spending habits (they spend more each year than Boomers!) and life stage, it would pay brands to invest in their own research on members of this segment to glean insights into their nuances.

As society’s perceptions of different demographics continue to shift, it’s important for marketers to be on the front foot when it comes to targeted messages, so we can all avoid blinkering ourselves to any unconventional or unprecedented opportunities for growth. Interested in targeting other demographics too? Find key opportunities for each age in our report.

gen x mum talking to gen z daughter

Making your generational PLAY.

Speaking of different demographics, there’s a whole bunch of very clever ones (if we do say so ourselves!) at PLAY HQ, ready and waiting to help you accurately segment your target market.

If you’re eager to explore the nuances amongst your consumers, get in touch with our PLAY experts at: 02 8097 0200 or




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about the author

Sarah Kneebone

Sarah is PLAY’s go-to content writer with a passion for marrying creativity and communication with clever strategy. A former marketer with PLAY and for international brands such as QBE Insurance and General Motors, Sarah moved home to the UK to raise her little family and start a health coaching business. Luckily for us, she continues to share her talent for the written word with the team in Australia.

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