I’ve been doing some reading lately, and realize that I cannot be labeled by a generational name. I am a marketing nightmare. An anomaly. I don’t fit into one label, and based on my friends and family, I know I am not alone. This is why marketers are having to dive into more invasive techniques like IP targeting and geofencing around a certain area to get a message out.
Let me explain.
While I was born in 1965, some research tells me I am a Generation X’er.
But, I have to say, I feel more like a Boomer. According to marketingteacher.com (http://www.marketingteacher.com/the-six-living-generations-in-america/), this is the group that loves rock and roll AND also has another subset of so-called Yuppies. This is where I think I fit! The partying group, the first to accept homosexuals, the optimistic team-driven group. YES! I am with my people! To get a marketing message to me, you could simply buy a TV commercial within any show that was for women ages 25-54. Done.
But wait, The Generation X group sounds right too. I did not have a computer in high school, and even did my papers for college on my typewriter. The written language was now beginning to phase over to the digital age with the advent of computer science classes and “coding” in higher ed. Yes, sounds like me. I have even changed my career the prescribed 7 times. But as I am at the tip of this generation, and the end of the Boomers, I cannot relate to the issues about the Vietnam War that made this generation so bitter towards government or big business. (That has happened to me, but not because of where my parents WERE, but because of where I am NOW.) To get a marketing message to me, you would need to keep in mind that this generation is late to marry, quick to divorce, and is cynical of the government. So, you could try a radio ad, or even a TV spot during the network news.
So , as I am on the edge of both of these generations, and perhaps many of you reading this are as well, I am a tough cookie to find. As an advertiser, you know I will probably watch the shows that are for women ages 25-54, but I will do it on my DVR, and on my time…fast forward through those commercials. I will listen to the radio, but mainly NPR. I have married twice, divorced once, and have an 8 year old. So, I am an older parent who is concerned about the world we are leaving her.
This is why IP targeting is a hot marketing technique. The advertiser can purchase a mailing list from a vendor and match that mailing list with the IP addresses in the house. This list could come from you shoppers club card, or a mailing list from an AC vendor you use. There is a certain % of inaccuracy, but there is also firm % of accuracy! So, the digital ads start coming in to your desktop, you click on an ad because you are interested in the product, and then they retarget you after that with more ads since you showed you were interested in the first place! No generational label for that, just the micro marketing we are able to do in a digital world that could really care less about how old you are or when you were born, but more about your activities on and off the web.
If they don’t find you with an IP list, they will get to you through your phones. Mobile precise targeting is now a hot item where you can use in-app advertising based on your location. Trying to reach parents? Do a mobile precise campaign around schools and drop of and pick up times while parents are in their cars waiting for Johnny or Susie to come out, and on their favorite app. If you are a university and are looking to increase your applications, try a mobile precise campaign around high schools. And here’s the kicker folks, once they find you, they can keep targeting you even if you move OUT of the region of the original target.
This about this next time you get a marketing message. Was someone looking for your age? Or was someone looking for YOU based on who you are and what you are doing TODAY. When you think about it, it’s pretty cool, and incredibly creepy at the same time. But, it’s effective.
I hold fond memories of my electric typewriter and the bottle of white-out that came with it. It was a simple time where you handed in a paper and there was no digital footprint left behind. The digital revolution has got to help re-write the generational labels. There is no way to send a marketing message based on age and year born, and have that be your sole marketing technique.
I’m glad I’m so complicated. It exposes me to all kinds of marketing messages, some dead on and some really OFF.
What “generation” are you?