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Engaging non-millennials

It’s a language thing. Not a digital phobia.

Millennials (the cohort born between 1980 and 2000) monopolise the limelight these days. Marketing budgets have pivoted to their mantra, and gone-digital. And true, this cohort is fast joining the C-suite. However, it would be churlish to overlook the considerable influence, and wealth of the Non-millennials: those baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1960) and Gen X who followed them (1960 and 1980).

Non-millennials, collectively in the U.S., account for 70% of disposable income. The picture’s not that different in Europe.

It’s often assumed that digital natives are the Millennials along with the latest cohort, Gen Z. The boomers and Gen X relegated to a less tech-savvy category. Well, those non-millennials are feeling left-out.

Only 10% of marketing spend today is targeted at them. Despite them being more loyal to brands.  And, they’ll pay a premium.

It’s a misnomer that boomers lack the digital credentials. The technology revolution started on their watch. From Sega or Nintendo to the early PC, cobbled together in a Californian garage, to the 1984 Mac War, or the emergence of the ubiquitous mobile… not to mention the web and email, they’ve been there. Done it.

The issue isn’t that non-millennials are less tech savvy or less interested in digital or social media. In fact, they respond strongly to the same tactics used to target Millennials.

The hurdle is language.

For example, non-millennials can find the language used in marketing campaigns alienating. They do not always understand acronyms like, “FOMO”. They require it to be spelt out, “Fear of missing out”. Alternatively, campaigns could acknowledge the opaque lingo. Use a brand or industry’s eccentricity as a segue to engagement.

Non-millennials love events. The selfie-moment at a B2B event has its place in their world. However, it helps if someone inspiring creates the moment. For example, if your brand sponsors sport’s stars, have them initiate the photo-op for social channels.

Non-millennials are now more connected than ever with technology. They want to be seen as tech savvy.

Further reading