Choose Your Target: Generations X, Y, Z

Choose Your Target: Generations X, Y, Z

A quick glance to marketing history will reveal that it moves forward with generations and their trends. Directors mostly make their decisions by analyzing these generations in the marketing process. Due to generations and the movements following them, all the needs in the marketing process becomes more transparent.

Millennials—Generation Y and Z have already started to monopolize business content through the internet, making conference presentation, writing research papers and finally conducting sales and marketing strategies. Everyone talks about the lifestyles, habits, choices of these generations and the ways to impress them.

There are six defined generations that live in the modern world right now. If you want to understand these generations better and you are curious about their features, values, buying behaviors and their preferences on marketing channels, keep reading.

We will analyze the best digital marketing strategies in order to target three important generations but let’s learn more about these generations and movements first.

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Meet the neglected middle child generation X: They are the smallest generation that was born between 1965-1980 and called the bridge between The Millennials and The Baby Boomers.

Nowadays, generation X thinks about which private school they should send their children, whether to invest on real estate or currency and at the same time they try to protect the careers that they had clawed their way up to reach. This generation who went to high school at the ’80s thinks they are pessimistic about having enough money to retire.

As you may guess, generation X is extremely busy. They deal with their kids, they pay mortgage and work HARD!

hey are very active in digital media and social networks—we can see that more than 80% of this generation are on Facebook, MySpace (is it still a thing?) and Twitter. They are almost as good as Millennials in adapting technology and they are more loyal in their political preferences than all the other generations.


Even though the people in generation X say that they are very strict about their lists when shopping, it is known that they don’t make plans prior to shopping and buy whatever comes their way. Since they grew up without experiencing online shopping, they savour walking around on stores but they don’t reject online shopping entirely. When it comes to marketing, this generation is our true hybrid.

When the Great Recession—2008-2012 Global Economic Crisis—had hit, generation X was gaining momentum in the workforce. They never thought they could have social security after they are retired. This generation always saves money in order to send their kids to private school, to buy a house or even set up their own business; so this takes us to… Discount codes.

We can use this logic when doing marketing to generation X. This generation’s possibility to buy a service or product that helps the society or environment is high. Adore Furnishing with their social responsibility project called “My cat house is from Adore” is a great example. 

So generation X likes righteous brands and prefers them.

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Since generation X uses social media a lot, there are many ways for marketing experts to attract their interest. There are online healthy eating or yoga programs which they can register via Instagram, denebunu web site which sends products to their homes to try at regular intervals, e-mail programs that send pregnant mothers monthly e-mails or notifications that contain information about their pregnancy processes or shipping great toys to their homes for every age after the child is born. We can’t think of a better way to build customer loyalty for generation X!

You can try this favorite method of traditional marketing in generation X with your mind at peace. Send them brochures, personal discount coupons and more through the mailbox! Did you know that 86% of this generation receives a discount coupon in their mailbox daily and 68% uses them?

YvesRocher is a good example.  They sure nail this technique by sending coupons to people on their birthdays or special occasions!


Meet the generation Y, The Millennials: They were born between the years of 1979-1995 and showed up at the beginning of the 2000s. Sophisticated, technologically informed and immune to traditional marketing strategies, the generation Y consists of individuals who hear and know everything but have been on a voluntary house arrest since their teen years. 

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They tend to delay some steps such as housing, career, and marriage more than other generations. Also being the first generation of digital natives, Millennials’ interest in technology and their shopping ways—having many options that make it possible to compare prices—have helped to build marketing methods.

With an extremely egocentric attitude, this generation has to take time to exercise for an hour every day and to choose the most suitable healthy diet among others contrary to the other generations.

This generation is tenderhearted and sensitive so they value social issues far above financial concerns. That’s why most of them choose to earn less money in a job they like instead of earning more in a desk job that they find boring.

But Millennials have economic potential all the same! Marketing experts seek new channels in order to connect with this generation which has a 200 billion dollar purchasing power. This generation shops in actual stores the least—it’s absolutely true, I went to grocery shopping yesterday first time in a month—but they tend to spend a lot when shopping. They look at the photos in Instagram before deciding where to eat, search Google before shopping, ask their friends for their opinions in the closed Facebook groups that they’re members before purchasing a book, chats via WhatsApp in the treadmill instead of talking on the phone. This generation has Yahoo, cell phones, Google, Facebook iPhone and many more and thanks to the limitless access to knowledge, they have assertive, strong opinions—and they always defend them.

Do not think it’s this easy to understand the generation Y. This generation who grew up with technology, even witnessed its development, have wanted to feel the nostalgia to their bones since 2015.

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Reebok updated and released their Retro series and it sold like crazy, Casio re-released Baby-G, we embraced Levi’s’ mom jeans, we are waiting excitedly for the third season of Stranger Things, Netflix is showing Friends, a movement called Retro Gaming has begun and we even laugh harder when we see painter Bob Ross’s memes…

Ok, Bob Ross may be an exaggeration but if your target audience is generation Y, the thing you need to do is to remind them of the old, nice and colorful days. “Good old days!”

One caution: When we say recreating nostalgia, we don’t mean you should make the place smell like mothballs. You need to be inspired by the future while reminding them of the past. All the examples we listed above have presented the old by updating it.

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The Tricks to Thinking Like a Generation Y Member in Marketing

Innovation Must Be Your Only Focus

Generation Y doesn’t like what they already have, they like the next product that will be released after a month. This generation posts their photos in restaurants and third wave coffee shops which became popular on social media and make the business owners tons of money! The simplest example: Apple! After Steve Jobs had transformed the way the computers looked and felt, Mac sales have exploded. Think of Dating Apps and the popularity of the photos that’s been taken with drones. If you want to market to generation Y, you should adopt an approach that brings a mutual problem or a duty to a new light.

Recognize the Importance of Comments!

Generation Y never responds to traditional marketing strategies. Millennials who view the Instagram photos of a restaurant before eating and starting gym membership according to their friends’ recommendations, value the ideas of their friends, family, and other people.

They read all the reviews on Zomato before making a reservation, they look at the Instagram photos shared by the hairdresser when they will have a haircut and when they will be traveling, they consider all the feedback from the guests who stayed at the house they have chosen in Airbnb. So the best way to slily market to this generation is to keep other customers’ feedback and experience well. 

Generation Z Features

Meet the most diverse generation of all: Born between 1996 and 2010, it is expected that the members of this generation will constitute 33% of all population. This highly self-confident, innovative and target driven generation consists of young people who want to make a difference in the world. This generation has grown up with a mix of many various family structures, even more various ethnic groups and ambiguous gender roles.

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They believe in diversity and equality and they are against discrimination in not only society but also in advertisements. Remember that this generation is very passionate about their individual desires. The most important thing for Z’s is a satisfactory and good work environment where they can improve themselves.

They have been exposed to the internet, social networks, and mobile systems ever since they were children. In combination with many information sources being collected and online experience, this setting has naturally produced a “hypercognitive” generation. 

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You have only eight seconds to impress them! Let’s be clear on this: This doesn’t mean they are distractible. On the contrary, to protect their valuable time, they analyze and filter the information you send them in only eight seconds to understand if it’s important for them or not.

Generation Z manages their personal social media accounts just as a brand account; they display the image that they want to reflect the world through their accounts.

We’re sorry but the only thing we can say about generation Z is that they are extremely hard to market! They have deep insecurity towards advertisements and since they lose interest quickly they skip them as soon as possible. Their inspirations before shopping are platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Even when shopping in stores they get feedback from their friends through the photos they share with WhatsApp.

The Tricks to Thinking Like a Generation Z Member in Marketing

Stay Away From Cliches: Personalize
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Even though it’s still too early to classify generation Z with broad terms such as “lazy and narcissist”, these features summarize the macro trends which make this generation unique.

Growing up reduces privacy in this culture that’s open to redefining the basic descriptors like gender, sexuality, and race, and it completely transforms the traditional determiners of “adulthood”.

Depending upon generation Z, identity can now be changed and applied to different people. If you want to change your marketing strategy according to this generation, present them the flexibility, the distinctness and the personalized service that they care about. Adidas is a good example of this. Do you think it’s a coincidence that Adidas Originals Instagram account (the one that emphasizes personalized variety) has more followers than Adidas’ global account?

Help Them Bring Their Strength Out

Generation Z views their identity as a source that must be transformed into money. Miniso and İpekyol brands continually emphasize micro influencer usage and content created by consumers through their Instagram posts and stories and it builds sympathy and loyalty.

They Want Technology and Tactile Experiences Both

Their smartphones are remote controls for a lifetime but screens are not enough for Z’s. It seems like older generations want to have real experiences but actually, this is not the case. Generation Z wants to be the first to explore and to experience the whole world firsthand, from traveling to products. For his reason online shopping can’t really fulfill their desire to touch and taste instantly.

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This generation wants to see innovative technologies similar to mobile shops and screens in real stores and they want to take advantage of perfect customer services. Digital expert staff who can help them in their decision process, visuals that inspire in -store posts and augmented reality are all innovations that would attract Z’s.

Before Generation X: Baby Boomers

Meet the children of Cold War: Born between 1846-1954, this generation’s life philosophy was to work and 95% of them are now retired.

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It’s not hard to guess why they were called Baby Boomers. This generation is called “Baby boomers” because they are a part of 1 billion babies who were born in the population explosion that has taken place after Second World War. After a very short time, there will be no members of this generation working in industry or other sectors.

This generation was born in a period when Turkey was going through a revolution and having the hardships of transitioning to a multi-party system and they have a strong yearning for property and services. Unlike generation Y, Baby Boomers are workaholics and very resilient in working long hours. Changing jobs were always frightening for them and they always felt secure in long term employment. They believe in teamwork, not individuality. If you wonder how they survived in a business life that’s overrun by technology, their young coworkers have taught Baby Boomers how to use technology very well.


By the way, Boomers are the most valuable consumers right now! They are the ones who spend the most money when they go shopping and surprisingly they don’t hesitate to spend money on first-class cables or the latest smartphone. But still, it’s important to know that Boomer’s are not very likely to buy smartphones.

The Tricks to Thinking Like a Generation Z Member in Marketing

Benefit From Brand Loyalty

I learned something when observing my Baby Boomer uncle: loyalty. Ever since their younger days, my uncle and his wife have been going to the same restaurant every Sunday. Eating in another place on Sundays is a betrayal for them. If you can prove your product or service has perfect quality than you can have Boomers.

If It Still Works, Don’t Touch It!

This generation is the most suitable one or traditional marketing and sales tactics. Boomers would like to speak with a real person before buying something—but do not call them at supper!

The moment they see an invasion in their private lives and spaces, they would feel uncomfortable with the brand. Since Boomers are using Facebook to interact with their friends for a long time, they can even report your advertisements that they are annoyed to see to Facebook.

If you want to market to Boomers who are interested in the function and benefit of your product or service, you should fill them with information.

Final Word

Let’s not forget every generation has unique personalities. If you are confused about how to use this demographic targeting info to develop a digital or traditional marketing strategy for your company, our marketing experts would love to help.

Do not be intimidated by the generation that comes after generation Z. Generation Alfa who were born in 2010 with the launching of iPad comes with great obscurity. Researchers’ predictions about this generation are high but there is still time to analyze their features. Right now we want them to grow up and all five generations to savour their good days together when there is still time left.

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