How To Market To Different Generations
Marketing, especially in the hospitality sector, is about finding what matters to a target market and crafting appeals based on that. However, we’re now in a period where people are living longer than ever. Thanks to savings, retirement funds, and other means of income, it’s not just young people that travel and enjoy smaller boutique hotel experiences. From members of the Silent Generation to up-and-coming millennials and generations in between, different demographics must be approached in ways that appeal to them. So, how do you do it if you’re in the hospitality business trying to attract these guests?
Those born between 1933-1945 are in their 80s and 90s now and are marketed to very differently from younger people today. This generation was raised to value manners and protocol. They want to be addressed by their title and last name and appreciate formality and good diction. Promises are important to them, and they provide loyalty when they feel that promises have been made and kept, but they are just as likely to turn away if they think promises have gone unfulfilled.
Those born between 1946-1964 are the “boomers,” the most numerous of the affluent American generations. This demographic is in their 60s-70s, with many still employed, usually in senior positions or recently retired. While Boomers have a toe dipped in the information age, they still respond well to older forms of marketing, such as direct mail.
In face-to-face relations with boomers, relational interactions are the key. Boomers like to establish personal connections, so asking questions about how they are doing, questions regarding family, hobbies, and other conversational aspects work well.
Born between 1965-1976, Generation X is the demographic that is just now transitioning into more senior management and early retirement positions. Many of today’s current crop of billionaires, such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, fall into this age group.
Generation X was young when the digital era dawned and is thus more technologically literate. They are also more analytical than previous generations. They don’t want conversations or formality; they want facts and are interested in general consumer opinions. While the personal touch can work, they are just as comfortable with a phone call or email.
From 1977-1998 comes the millennial generation, which is only now starting to transition into more important societal positions. This is the first generation where some members are fully saturated in the digital age, having never known a world where something couldn’t be looked up on the Internet with a mobile device.
Because of their familiarity with asynchronous digital communications, millennials often feel less comfortable with what they view as “time-consuming” interactions like face-to-face conversations or even phone calls. Text, social media, email, and other forms of communication that allow them to break, research, and consult with others are often the best ways to approach this demographic.
Whether you want to appeal to all age groups or target a specific age range demographic, the key to successful marketing is understanding their preferred approaches. If you’d like to improve your hospitality or small hotel marketing, contact Occupancy Solutions and let us help.