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Marketing To My Generation ... And Yours - Articles Surfing

Baby Boomers are redefining retirement and old age, just as they have previously redefined marriage, parenting, grandparenting and other lifestages. They want to do it 'their way.' The same goes for Generation X and the emerging Internet Generation. These younger groups are also putting their mark on each new lifestage that they enter, too. How is a savvy marketer to keep up?

Each group, or 'generational cohort,' has its own mindset, tastes, and array of hot buttons shaped by generational defining moments, such as Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy assassination, and the events of September 11, 2001. How can you ensure that your company's products and brands attract new customers across generations?

The answers lie in learning to use marketing to tap into these defining moments, the shared experiences that bind a cohort group together. In our research, we have identified seven distinct generational cohorts:

The Depression Cohort: Aged 86-95 in 2007, this group came of age during the Great Depression. As a result, financial security ' what they most lacked when coming of age ' rules their thinking.

The World War II Cohort: Aged 80-85 in 2007, this group came of age during World War II. Sacrifice for the common good is a common value. Overall, this cohort is more team-oriented and patriotic than other cohorts.

The Post-War Cohort: Aged 62-79 in 2007, this group came of age during the prosperous era that followed World War II. They experienced a time of remarkable economic growth and social tranquility. They participated in the rise of the middle class, and have sought a sense of security and stability ever since.

The Leading-Edge Baby Boomer Cohort: Aged 53-61 in 2007, this group remembers the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy and Marin Luther King, Jr. It was the loss of JFK that largely shaped this cohort's values. They championed causes, such as Greenpeace, civil rights and women's rights, yet were simultaneously hedonistic and self-indulgent (pot, 'free love,' and sensuality).

The Trailing-Edge Baby Boomer Cohort: Aged 42-52 in 2007, this group witnessed the fall of Vietnam and Watergate, and Nixon's resignation during their coming of age years. They tend to be less optimistic about their financial future than older cohorts.

The Generation X Cohort: Aged 31-41 in 2007, these are the latchkey children of divorce, and have received the most negative publicity. They have delayed marriage and childrearing, but tend to take these commitments very seriously. They tend to be 'free agents,' rather than team players.

The Internet Generation, or N-Gen, Cohort: Aged 30 and under in 2007, this group came of age during the 'Information Revolution' of the 1990s and beyond. The advent of the Internet is a defining event for them, and because of their size, they are expected to be the engine of growth over the next two decades. They tend to be more idealistic and social-cause oriented, without the cynical mindset of many Xers.

Submitted by:

Janice Karlovich

Janice Karlovich is the co-author, with Geoff Meredith and Charles Schewe, of "Defining Markets, Defining Moments: America's 7 Generational Cohorts, Their Shared Experiences and Why Businesses Should Care." A free sample chapter is available at http://www.booklocker.com/books/2780.html.



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