How do defining moments in American history (such as: Pearl Harbor, The Great Depression, and Sept. 11th) and marketing relate to each other? Tapping into the latent feelings and values of various generations is an extremely effective way to sell your services.
This can be done by marketing yourself “Multi-Dimentionally”. MDM provides a way to look at clients as “multi-dimentional beings”, driven by a complex set of emotions, demographics, and physiology. The “key” mechanism in MDM is “Generational Group Analysis”. GGA consists of 5 factors that influence the buying behavior of each generational group (GG). These 5 factors are:
#1) Values: This is largely determined by the historical experiences that the members within each generational group share.
#2) Lifestage: This refers to the roles that members of each group take on over a lifetime (such as spouse,parent, divorcee, retiree, etc.).
#3) Physiographics: These are the changes in bodily appearance and function as members of each generational group age.
#4) Emotional – Affinity Effects: Age affects each member’s attitudes about a wide range of issues. (For example: Teens tend to worry about their appearance, while parents tend to put their child’s needs above their own.)
#5) Socioeconomics: This is the financial, educational, career, marital, as well as other social and economic states.
The following is a brief description of each of the seven American Generational Groups and one example of a marketing tip designed to be especially attractive to that GG.
Great Depression GG (Born from 1912-1921; Came of age* during The Great Depression; Aged 81-90 in 2002):
This group’s coming-of-age experience consisted of economic strife. Financial security rules their thinking. This group hates to “waste” anything. Ironically, they are less likely to want a Senior Citizen Discount than the GG directly following them! Marketing yourself as someone they can “trust” in their home who offers “quality over quantity” service is very attractive this GG.
World War 2 GG (Born from 1922-1927; Came of age during WW2; Aged 75-80 in 2002):
“Sacrifice for the common good” is an ideal widely accepted by members of this group.
They are more “team oriented” than those of other GGs. This group is inclined to be
impressed with how long your company has been in business than the other groups. If
you have been in business 10 years or more, advertise this fact to them.
Post War GG (Born from 1928-1945; Came of age after WW2; Aged 57-74 in 2002):
This group experienced a time of economic growth, social tranquility, McCarthyism, and
moving to the suburbs. They took part in the “rise of the middle class” and expected prosperous times to continue indefinitely. This GG represents, by and large, today’s
grandparents. Many of them are healthy, active, and sitting on large “nest eggs”. This GG responds well to being marketed to as “Caring Grandparents”. Marketing your service in terms of say… “Keeping that grandbaby crawling on clean carpet” is attractive to this GG.
Baby Boomer GG (Born from 1946-1954; Came of age during the turmoil of the 1960s; Aged 48-56 in 2002): This group vividly remembers the assassinations of JFK, RFK, and MLKjr. They came of age during the Vietnam War era. Members of this GG are dichotomous: they
championed causes (Green Peace, Civil Rights, Women’s Rights), yet were simultaneously hedonistic and self-indulgent (pot, “free love”, sensuality). Emphasizing the health benefits of your cleaning will score big with this GG. Mailing out a newsletter featuring the information is a good idea.
Generation Jones GG (Born from 1955-1965; Came of age during the first sustained economic downturn since The Great Depression, Aged 37-47 in 2002): This group witnessed the fall of Vietnam, Watergate, and Nixon’s resignation. Raging inflation led members of this GG to be less optimistic about their financial future than the Baby Boomers. More and more of this group’s members are finding ways to work from home. Internet and cable TV advertising would be an effective way of reaching this GG with your sales message.
Generation X GG (Born from 1965-1976; Came of age during a time of instability and
uncertainty, Aged 26-36 in 2002): These are the “latchkey” children of divorce and they themselves have delayed marriage and having children (they do not take these commitments lightly). This group’s members put quality of “personal” life ahead of “work” life. They tend to be”free agents” rather than “team players”. This group is saturated with and quickly dismiss out-of-hand oversoldsales pitches full of hype. They need to be spoken to directly in your marketing materials in a way that says to them, “You are different. We respect that.” The best way to reach this group with your sales message is to do it in a way that drops all pretense and talks directly to them in a non-threatening way.
N Generation GG (Born from 1977-?; Came of age during the “Information Revolution”; Aged 25 and under in 2002): This group is called the N-Generation or N-Gen because the advent of the Internet is the defining event for them, and because they will be the “engine” of economic growth over the next two decades. They are very idealistic and social cause oriented. They are more likely to be team players, without the cynical, “What’s in it for me?” free agent mindset of many
Generation Xers. This GG is the most diverse of all. Fully one third of it comes from a minority group. In marketing to this group, it is wise to reflect greater “cultural diversity” in your ads.
By now, you should be able to see that MDM offers a whole new way to sell your cleaning services to the customers most likely to need and want them. MDM goes far beyond the 20th Century approaches that focused only on demographics and over-broad characterizations.
These approaches may have worked for you in the past, but chances are they won’t work for you in the future. Our clients demand personal attention and service that suits their lifestyle. They do not want to be encumbered with incorrectly targeted or misguided promotions.
Using a MDM marketing approach can provide a sense of familiarity and personal appeal to them, as well as providing you with the groundwork for building long-term relationships. …..and that’s the name of the game, my friends! Mark Stanley * A “Coming of age” experience is defined as the period between the ages of 17 and 23 in which, by that time, an individual’s unchanging “core values” have usually been set.