Cateora & Graham’s 17th Edition, International Marketing Wall Street Journal Online

The Wall Street Journal’s International Marketing Blog features interesting insights on marketing campaigns from around the world. On February 13, 2020, the blog published an article by Tania Zeharia, which discussed how marketers and advertising agencies can best approach a multicultural and multigenerational audience using digital marketing analytics and measurement. Below, we summarize the key points of this enlightening article.

Why Market to All Generations in the First Place

The digital marketing industry is experiencing an interesting generational transformation, as more and more people are utilizing digital marketing and engaging with brands through digital channels (e.g., websites, mobile apps, social media platforms). According to a 2020 Edelman Intelligence Survey, 70% of people between the ages of 16 and 24 reported to Edelman that they rely mostly on digital marketing to learn about products and services, and 54% of millennials reported using digital marketing to make purchasing decisions.

This has significant ramifications for the marketing and advertising industry, as for years, the 55+ crowd was considered the most valuable demographic for attracting new customers (e.g., Procter & Gamble’s “Pour It” ad campaign). However, with Generation Z, and the millennials who came before them, now playing an integral role in shopper’s decisions, marketers need to pay close attention to the best ways to reach each of these consumers with specific marketing messages.

Marketing to All Generations Is Paramount To Successful Campaigns

The first step to effectively reaching all generations with your marketing efforts is to establish key marketing goals, wrote Zeharia. To successfully achieve these goals, marketers should follow a systematic approach that incorporates digital marketing analytics and measurement. For example, if your top marketing goal is to increase web traffic to your site, you may want to consider implementing online marketing strategies, such as blogging and social media. If your goal is to generate sales, you may want to consider focusing on specific groups and offers that will drive revenue above your expectations, continued Zeharia.

The ability to effectively market to all generations is important for a number of reasons. First, Generation Z is the largest living generation, and they have extensive digital influence and social media presence. Second, having multiple generations interested in your brand is an incredible opportunity to expand your audience. Third, having a more encompassing group of consumers to target enables you to develop more effective, holistic marketing strategies.

Key Takeaways From Tania’s Article

The main takeaway from Zeharia’s article is that marketers need to take into consideration the differences in consumer behavior, expectations, and digital literacy when developing marketing strategy for Gen Z, millennials, and any other generation. Below, we have listed some of the key points from Tania’s article, along with our thoughts and suggestions for marketers who want to effectively reach different generations.

1. Consider The Differences In Consumer Behavior, Expectations, And Digital Literacy When Designing Marketing Strategy

One of the first things that may come to mind when thinking about designing marketing strategy for Gen Z, millennials, or any other generation is to consider the differences between these groups in terms of consumer behavior, expectations, and digital literacy. For instance, compared to earlier generations, Gen Z is more likely to use humor in their marketing content and are open to new experiences, while millennials are more likely to rely on digital marketing and have a higher attention to detail, wrote Zeharia.

Considering these differences will help you to design more effective marketing campaigns and generate increased online presence and engagement. It will also be beneficial to take into consideration how each generation uses different social networks, such as Twitter vs. YouTube vs. Facebook. For example, if your goal is to generate views on YouTube, you may want to develop a strategy that incorporates techniques from influencer marketing, such as sponsored content and celebrity endorsements. For more tips on attracting and engaging Gen Z, millennials, and any other generation, see our blog post on How to Effectively Market to Digital Natives.

2. Establish Key Marketing Goals, And Be Transparent About The Reason Behind Them

In keeping with point one, marketers should set specific marketing goals and determine the reasons behind these goals. Setting measurable marketing goals enables you to track your progress and determine whether or not you’ve successfully met these goals. Additionally, establishing key marketing goals will help you determine what approach to take regarding new marketing initiatives. For example, if your top marketing goal is to increase web traffic, and you’re looking for a way to achieve this, you may want to consider experimenting with online marketing strategies, such as paid ads and sponsored content. Establishing a clear rationale for your goals will also help you develop achievable marketing strategies that will increase your odds of success.

3. Measure The Effectiveness Of Your Campaigns, Incorporating Key Data From Analytics And Social Media

The second step in the systematic approach to designing successful marketing strategy is to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. This includes gathering key data from analytics and social media to determine the reach, frequency, and efficiency of your digital marketing strategy. Analytics will enable you to track the results of your campaigns and determine which ones were most effective, while social media can help you determine the reach of your campaign and determine the type of people engaging with your content.

Gathering data from different sources, such as analytics and social media, can provide a fuller picture of your audience and help you determine the most effective techniques for reaching them. Additionally, analyzing this data will enable you to determine the types of individuals that your campaigns are reaching and engaging, as well as the frequency with which these individuals are engaging with your content. This information can help you determine the appropriate balance between digital and traditional marketing, as well as help you gauge the success of your campaigns.

4. Consider The Differences In Language, Culture, And Media Preferences When Designing Marketing Strategy

Just as there are differences in consumer behavior, expectations, and digital literacy between different generations, there are also significant differences in language, culture, and media preferences.

For instance, compared to millennials and members of the Silent Generation, Gen Z is more likely to utilize text-heavy content and less likely to prefer watching videos or reading text-heavy articles, wrote Zeharia.

These differences present significant challenges to marketers who want to reach this generation, as video content is less accessible to users of other generations. Additionally, language can be a barrier for some individuals, particularly those from non-English speaking countries. Your marketing strategy will be more effective if you accommodate these differences and develop a plan that takes them into consideration.

5. Design For The Web

Having a clear grasp of the differences between web users and mobile users is crucial for designers and developers who want to effectively market to consumers on different devices. The most effective and efficient way to expand your reach to mobile users is to design for the web. This means creating websites, building apps, and using online marketing strategies, such as SEO and content marketing, that work across all devices.

If your top marketing goal is to increase sales, you may want to consider focusing on specific groups and offers that will drive revenue above your expectations. Designing for the web also means creating marketing collaterals, such as landing pages or sales letters, that can be efficiently used on all devices.

Additionally, if you want to effectively reach millennials, you might want to consider using video marketing or podcasts, as these types of content can be accessed on mobile devices and therefore more useful for this generation.

Developing Marketing Strategy With Gen Z, Millennials, And Any Other Generation In Mind

Developing a marketing strategy that effectively reaches all generations, or at least the major ones, is not as difficult as it seems. By taking the time to consider, analyze, and compensate for the differences in consumer behavior, expectations, and digital literacy, marketers can significantly increase the effectiveness of their strategy and, ultimately, their odds of success.

Thanks for reading! We hope this article helped you in your quest to develop marketing strategy that effectively reaches all generations.