Do you know the five generations that basically make up the available market of the collective business community? Let’s take a look:
Traditionalists: Born 1945 and earlier
Baby Boomers: Born 1946 to 1964
Generation X: Born 1965 to 1976
Millennials: Born 1977 to 1995
Generation Z: Born 1996 and later
We’re guessing you’re surprised to learn there are 42-year-old Millennials and maybe just as surprised to learn some of them have kids who are old enough to serve in the military, but are too young to be Millennials.
It’s true, just as it’s true that some of the Generation Xers are already becoming grandparents.
Often we get ideas about generations and those ideas get stuck in time. For awhile now, people have had an image of Millennials as sitting around in coffee shops, tapping on their mobile devices and looking for “experiences” more than they look for things.
Every generation carries certain notions throughout their lives, but every generation also learns a lot as it goes. The traditionalists will probably never text as their primary means of day-to-day communication (although we’re sure there are exceptions and perhaps your grandmother is one mean texter), but they obviously have gained a lot of wisdom from their life’s experiences. They don’t see everything today the same way they saw life in 1955.
And that brings us to an interesting observation about Millennials: They’re still pretty much the Millennials you’ve known, but as many of them approach or even exceed 40, guess what they’re starting to have more of.
That means marketers have a new incentive to bond with them, and to take advantage of every technological advantage that will allow you to do so. Marketers have gotten used to saying, “We have to bond with Millennials because they’re the up-and-coming group, our future market.”
They’re no longer up and coming. They’ve arrived. They’re no longer the future. They’re today. They still want instant access to everything. They still value experiences over stuff. They still rely on things like online reviews. They still expect to be able to complete their purchases online. They still want their purchases to show up on their doorstep within a day or two. They’re still likely to talk on social media about what their experience with you was like
But they’re not as likely to be living with roommates, or always looking for the cheapest deal. They still don’t marry as early or as often as the generations before them, but a lot more of them are likely to be married than five or 10 years ago. And many of them are now parents to those up-and-coming Generation Z-ers you’re already obsessed with marketing to.
The Millennials have grown. They’ve matured. The markets who can meet them where they are – particularly via technology – are accessing a far more lucrative market than you might have thought.