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Generational Marketing: How Retailers Can Appeal to Different Age Groups

June 20, 2019

Baby Boomers Millennials Generation X Y Z 3d Illustration

What is Generational Marketing?

Retailers today are familiar with the ever-growing importance of CX: customer experience. Customers no longer make shopping decisions based off of price or quality alone, now they prioritize their spending on the brands that connect with them in unique, captivating ways.

But with the variation in shopper generations and multitude of marketing techniques available, how do you know how to best connect with your audience? Two words: generational marketing. Generational marketing means targeting a specific generation of consumers based on the upbringings, behaviors, and preferences that distinguish them from other age groups.

Right now, the majority of retail consumers can be separated into four main generation categories:

Baby Boomers: Born Between 1946-1964
Generation X:
Born Between 1965-1980
Born Between 1981-1996
Generation Z:
Born Between 1997-2012

Whether your retail products appeal to one group or all four, we’ll show you how to leverage generational marketing to provide the best customer experience to your target audience.

Marketing to Baby Boomers: Ages 55-73

The oldest of the four generations, Baby Boomers are known for their traditional shopping habits. These consumers value accuracy and ease of use in the products and services they purchase, and are the most brand loyal out of the four groups. Retailers should highlight the simplicity of their products, as well as prioritize a good loyalty program with their point of sale to increase retention and satisfaction with these customers.

Having been around before the emergence of mobile technology, Baby Boomers respond well to conventional advertising, such as in-person, television, or print ads. That’s not to say they aren’t online though– retail marketers can appeal to Baby Boomers online using search engines, Facebook, YouTube, and blogs.

Marketing to Generation X: Ages 39-54

Meet Generation X, the smallest of the four groups and often referred to as “the bridge between millennials and baby boomers.” These consumers are reaching the peak of the careers, and are the most likely to have children in their household. Because of this, retailers can focus generational marketing on family-friendly and career-focused language and imagery to best relate to these shoppers.

Although they grew up with more traditional marketing tactics, Generation X responds well to both modern and conventional communication. Email marketing works especially well for this age group, as well as regular coupons, promos, and deals. Over 72% of Gen X consumers research businesses online by browsing reviews, testimonies, and blogs before purchasing from a brand– which retailers should leverage in their generational marketing techniques when connecting with this group.

Marketing to Millennials: Ages 23-38

The age group that reshaped long-established marketing techniques, Millennials, are known for their unconventional shopping patterns and momentous buying power. Also known as Generation Y, this group values innovation, convenience, and social responsibility. Millennials enjoy having options when it comes to product fulfillment, and are the least frequent in-store shoppers– so having a strong online presence and e-commerce store is crucial.

Which verticals can retailers use to connect with these shoppers? Here’s a statistic to keep in mind: 84% of Millennials don’t trust traditional advertising. Millennials respond well to mobile-driven content, but anything unconventional, eye-catching, and attention-grabbing will do the trick, since Gen Y is extremely fast paced. When it comes to millennial generational marketing, creativity is key. Social media marketing, short videos, and blogs work well with this powerful group.

Marketing to Generation Z: Ages 7-22

The generation giving Millennials a run for their money, Generation Z, is the youngest, most baffling group of them all. Sometimes referred to as “centennials,” this age group’s buying power seems to grow by the minute. Gen Z is unlike any other generation, growing up in the boom of modern technology. An omnichannel retail strategy is vital for these consumers, as they are used to switching between devices, media, apps, and content at lightning speed.

How can retailers use generational marketing to reach Gen Z? Interactive and personalized experiences are essential components of your marketing plan. To achieve this, retailers should tailor fun, engaging experiences to this audience and draw them in using social media, influencers, and personalized emails and texts.


When implementing generational marketing techniques, ensure that your strategies align with your overall brand values and messaging. The goal isn’t to market many different perceptions of your brand to different age groups; it’s to communicate with consumers in different ways to get them all to reach the same end goal: buying your products.

To learn more about how retail technology can boost your marketing strategy and provide a better customer experience, contact TallySoft today.

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