Generation WHO? Understanding the trends of each Gen
You’ve likely heard of Millennials or the Gen-Z, but are you totally sure who or what they are? If you were to say they are a generation of people, then yes you’d be absolutely right.
But it goes a little further than that.
A generation denotes people born within a very specific period of time. Our current generations are:
Baby Boomers: People born from 1944-1964. Currently 55-75 years old.
Generation X (aka Gen-X): People born from 1965-1979. Currently 40-54 years old. Also known as the "MTV generation."
Generation Y (aka Millennials): People born from 1980-1994. Currently 25-39 years old. Also known as the "avocado toast" generation.
Generation Z (aka Gen-Z): The newest generation, and the generation after Millennials. People born from 1995-2015. Currently 4-24 years old.
As each generation represents a specific period, it makes sense that particular traits and influences can be attributed to each one. Understanding them can provide effective insight into your marketing efforts, as it will help you identify key things such as motivations, ethics and adaptability (in a tech-led world).
Live to work
Self worth = work ethic
Loyal to employer
Enjoy working in teams and proving themselves to the team
Need to know that they are valued
Want to make a difference
Many Baby Boomers around today will be grandparents, or even great-grandparents. For many schools this can be a useful demographic to market to, with school fees being paid for by them.
Focus on more traditional marketing practices such as print, though we are seeing a huge trend for the older generation to sign up and use Facebook (popularly dubbed the ‘Silver Surfers’). Content should reflect practicality, Boomers value things like saving money and time.
Work to live
Focused on results
Adapt to change
Eager to learn
Thrive on flexibility
Education is a necessary means to succeed
Gen Xers will form your older parent base. For schools this can be a great help as many will have already had children put through education. Gen Xers are often referred to as cynical and value loyalty. Appeal to their desire to achieve.
Millennials (Gen Y)
Fully transparent, shares everything
Do well with detailed instructions
Desire to make an impact
Commerce & conscience together
Education is a highly expensive necessity
Do not perform at their best in a traditional work environment
Find solutions using technology
Millennials are the Yahoo, mobile phones, Google, Facebook, iPhone generation. With the first real taste of open information at their fingertips, Millennials can be strong-willed.
Experiences and stories should lead your marketing efforts with this generation. Be confident in using modern digital marketing platforms.
Gen Z (Centennials)
Tech-innate (first generation to grow up with modern technology)
Accepting of others
Entrepreneurial and inventive spirit
Concerned about the cost of education
The true digital natives of our time. Gen Z will not know a world without social media, without mobile phones and computers. Technology has always been there and Centennials will have integrated it seamlessly into their lives.
Marketing for this generation will be wholly “of the time” and should give insight into how schools can prepare for their futures. Many Gen Zers will be current pupils.
Breaking down the different generations in this way is by no means an exact science. We cannot simply state that a 23-year old and a 47-year old are so different that they will not be able to coexist together. However, by grasping the values that each generation can be said to cherish can help guide your school marketing in general. Give it a try.
What are your thoughts on the different generations? Have you experience particular trends dependent on who you are dealing with? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Please do comment below.