It was a period in history that would produce lasting changes in American society. The beginning and end of the race to the moon, social and political upheaval that would redefine long established cultural norms, a divisive, unpopular war and the coming of a great and historic period of economic revival. Much of what was produced in this era would initiate the most significant technological advances in world history. The period of 1960 thru 1980 also produced the X generation. Heirs to the Baby Boomer generation, members of Generation X number just 66 million people and would be the beta group for new technology and the disruptive digital age. It was the generation that bridged the expanse between the old and new global economy and would soon become the lost generation to marketing.
Positioned between the Baby Boomer and the Millennial generations, Generation X are the pioneer users of social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. While Boomers learned to utilized the new technology, it was the 72 percent of the Gen Xers who became the soldiers leading the evolution. With fewer members than the generations that came before and after, Generation X would soon feel as though they were marketers’ “middle child”, often overlooked and at times ignored.
As they continue to mature, Generation X is earning 31 percent of the total income in America and initiate 51 percent of the nation’s business start-ups. With significant disposable incomes the “forgotten generation” outspends all others when it comes to housing, clothing and dining outside the home. With an average annual income of $50,400 and a deeply established foothold in the economic middle-class, marketers cannot afford to overlook this significant target market. Gen Xers make up around 20 percent of the population, control 14% of the nation’s wealth, and wield more than $2.4 trillion of spending power annually.
Reaching this target market will require a commitment of marketing spend to social media, particularly to Facebook where 51 percent of Xers hold membership accounts. Well educated (thirty-five percent hold college degrees), this consumer group commits seven hours a week to social media, according to a 2017 Nielsen study. Marketers across the spectrum of the consumer industry must learn to understand this generation’s needs and expectations in order to survive in business.
The last generation weaned on Saturday morning television, Generation X is the last to favor television advertising more than digital media. Fans of nostalgia, this generation loves a good story. Marketers need to focus creative efforts on telling their brand’s tale and pay close attention to the details of the plot. Almost rabid users of streaming and satellite services, Gen Xers also embrace new media outlets. Seventy-five percent are followers of YouTube.
As heads of households that include aging parents from the Boomer generation and extended stay Millennials who have failed to launch, Generation X yields significant influence and financial support over those who came before and after. According to a recent study by Merrill Lynch, Generation X are the pioneers of the $500 million annual “economy of support”.
In the vast array of market segments in this dynamic economy it is easy for marketers to favor attention on those segments with the greatest numbers. However, Generation X, with its diminished membership, has significant economic and social influence over much greater numbers of the overall consumer market. Failing to formulate a strategy to attract and court this important segment can have a significant negative effect on a brand’s success.
For more on how Junction Creative Solutions’ (Junction) in-house Xers can assist you on developing an effective Generation X strategy, call 678-686-1125 today.