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Marketing to Cross Generations: Millennials vs. Gen X vs. Baby Boomers

While being a business owner, and trying to find a way to bridge the gap between reaching the generations can be a little maddening.

Trying to paint the campaign as the same thing, and sending it along to all generations may fall flat.

For example, if you’re trying market to someone in their 50’s vs. 20’s on a social network such as Facebook – you’re going to see completely different results.


You must realize that although Facebook has an aging population of 55+ as the main users, they are new to technology and digital marketing tactics.

The 20-year-old essentially grew up with this. They are aware of digital marketing tactics, and have a high bullshit IQ.

So how do you make it all work? Let’s go through a few tips!

Marketing to the Millennial Generation (Born between 1981-1999)

1. Are you innovative?

The Millennials are interested in what’s going to happen next. The iPads, iPods, iPhones and the Mac computers. When the late Steve Jobs took innovation to another level with redesigning the look and feel of Mac products, people bought in and it took off! Remember when the first iPod came out? 1000 songs in your pocket!

We may all poke fun at Starbucks and other trendy restaurants for having their locations filled with people on their laptops with some headphones in with their attention tied into social media, reading reviews, sending memes and whatnot. But, they are there, and the businesses are thriving having a place for like-minded people to chill and go about their business.

In short, if you are looking to marketing to the Millennial Generation look at reaching them to show them an new innovative look or perspective for a problem that you can solve with innovation or technology.

2. Social Media Incentives

Add some incentives in to your marketing plan on social media. By offering a small discount or incentive if they were to check-in to your location, or talk about your company, not only does this increase exposure of your business, but if this gets shared by followers or friends of those who check-in, could result in having more people show up to buy more product, or if you are a restaurant, grab some more food or beverages.

In short, if you are looking to entice those from the Millennial Generation to visit your location. Offer a small discount for checking in on social media. This could be come a great source for new leads and business.

3. Review, Review, Review!

The Millennial generation lives and dies by the review. They research products, and services. The look at beautiful imagery and are highly influenced by their peers. While they typically ignore traditional marketing tactics, they decide where to eat based on Instagram picture of food, or look at different clothing or hair styles on Facebook and ask their friends what they think about it before they decide to commit to a purchase or making plans. They research Yelp and Facebook reviews, or read blog posts about a location or product before they try it out.

In short, try and get people to write reviews, and hope they are good reviews! The higher the quality, the better success you may find in attracting the Millennial (or other generations).

Marketing to the Gen X Generation (born between 1965 and 1980)

1. Are you a Do-Good Brand?

Having an ethically produced, organic product is high in demand (even for the Millennials). The Gen X generation aren’t really into the trends, but more likely to purchase a product or service that could benefit the environment or the society. A good example could be if you are selling a product that a portion of the sales go to (insert cause here).

In short, if you have an environmentally friendly product or service. You could create content for social media or blogs for your website that talk about how each purchase is helping a cause.

2. Coupon Kings and Queens!

The Gen X generation saved up for their own home, starting their own business or even University. If you’re looking to gain some ground here and have a product or service that is going to help make their lives much easier, look at a coupon. 2 for 1, 50% off.

Email marketing may seem passé to some. But, this generation focus on their email at work, on their phones or tablets. It’s one of the best ways to get to them. (But, don’t forget you must get them to subscribe to your email marketing first!)

In short, don’t be afraid to offer a coupon discount to the Gen X’ers. They will love you for it.

Marketing to the Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964)

1. Ask for the Up-Sell!

Baby Boomers have extra cash stored away. They don’t mind splurging on different items – entertainment, wine and more. They are happy to know the value of a service, and don’t mind paying the extra money for it.

For example, if you have a product or service that is available in different bundles (good/better/best) and the higher tier item provides more value, take the time to explain the difference between them and how the higher priced bundle will make their life easier, last longer, and provide a better-quality experience they will be more apt to pay for the higher priced item because they can appreciate the value behind it. They want the top-shelf item! They aren’t going to be drinking $9 wine in their 60’s. They are going to splurge on themselves. They’ve earned it!

In short – If you can provide value at a decent price, and enhance quality of life and user experience don’t be afraid to ask for the up-sell!

2. Brand Loyalty

Baby Boomers have the tendency to be extremely loyal to brands. They’ve used it their whole lives. They are accustomed to the joy the product or service gives them, and they want to keep it that way and don’t like change.

In short, if you can prove to the baby boomer generation that your product is high-quality and great value, you should be able to turn a Baby Boomer into a life customer and a huge advocate for your business.


In conclusion, it’s important to realize the difference between each generation. They do not respond the same way, and have different outlooks on life and how to be marketed to.

It’s important to have your strategies in place for different demographic targeting and create content that speaks to each. Taking the time to do so, should help you increase engagement with your brand and overall, help you increase sales!

If you think this information can help you or others, feel free to share it to the social network or your choice (or email a friend that might be a Gen X'r)


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