Jason Ryan Dorsey, author of “My Reality Check Bounced,” gives presentations on how the various generations communicate. This is important for organization as, for the first time, four generations are working together in the marketplace. Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute attended one of those lectures and took it further, noting that this phenomenon has great impact on how we market to this wide variety of people. According to Pulizzi, Dorsey explained the current generations as:
Generation Y (born 1977–1995)
This group has grown up with the feeling of entitlement, which has created, in many of them, the idea of delayed adulthood and a belief that one truly becomes an adult at the age of 30.
Generation X (born 1965 – 1976)
This group is naturally skeptical. Its members believe that actions speak louder than words. Gen X is also the most loyal generation, not to brands or organizations, but to individuals.
Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964)
Mantra: Baby Boomers judge success by work ethic. How hard do you work? How many hours do you work in a week? Baby Boomers believe there are no shortcuts to success.
Traditionalists (born before 1946)
Mantra: Extremely strong military connection. Traditionalists are, and always have been, comfortable with delayed gratification.
So how do you communicate to these disparate groups in the ways that foster relationships and convey your understanding of them?
Honing in on Gen Ys, Pulizzi notes that they are the texting generation, advising that companies start there and then go to email – though this group generally only reads the subject line. Whatever you do, however, don’t call them, as they see it as an invasion of privacy, and don’t use calls to action that ask them to call YOU, as real friends text.
There’s more, of course, as Gen Y and every other generational group learns and consumes information their own ways and with their own preferences.
This means that now, more than ever, you have to ask: To whom are we communicating and are they getting our message? And, as always, the multi-generational Next-Mark can help.