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is in Evolution into the Age of Genergraphics
The Age of Genergraphics
Understanding the influence one generation has on another will
be the key to successful marketing in the future, contends Phil
Goodman, president of market research and planning company
Generation Transitional Marketing in San Diego. He's the creator
of "Genergraphics," a method of marketing to customers of
different generations by taking into account their generational
The Internet, Goodman says, is tailor-made for Genergraphics.
Companies will retool their websites using buzzwords geared to
each of the major generations: seniors, boomers, Gen X and echo
boomers. Customers visiting a company's website will click
intuitively on the link meant for their generation, and then
they'll see products and services described with generational
buzzwords and images that fit their mind-sets.
Goodman claims Genergraphics will triple the chance of making
a sale. "People buy different products and services according to
their generations," he says. "You're not just wasting space or
time on whatever advertising and marketing you're doing. You're
gearing it toward that mind-set."
Goodman thinks boomer grandparents will be one of the most
powerful groups 10 years from now. Some boomers are working on
their third or fourth marriages and are bringing kids into the
mix--from previous relationships and kids they have
together--making blended families of forty- and fiftysomethings
an emerging trend. Donald Trump is a famous recent example of a
boomer blending two or more families.
But of all the major demographic categories, the most
overlooked could be the Generation X consumer in his or her 30s
and early 40s. "Up to this point, it's been the stepchild
generation behind the powerful baby-boom generation, but Gen Xers
are entering their peak earning years and peak buying years for
many product categories," Chung says. "Marketers are only now
trying to understand them."
Basic demographics still play a role in drilling down
consumers, but companies need to go beyond demographics to spot
emerging customer categories in a rapidly changing marketplace.
"We're in the middle of a huge transformation in the shape of
marketing," Smith says. "You've got to have better information
about consumers." Call it the shape of things to come...
The Demographic Revolution
The following demographic groups should be on the radar of
every smart marketer in 2005 and beyond.
Cablinasians: Tiger Woods coined this term to refer to
his mixed racial heritage, and he's not alone: 1 in 16 Americans
under 18 today is of mixed racial heritage. Marketers who tap
into the multiethnic experience could win big.
Unmarried, professional women in their 30s and 40s:
These highly educated women aren't weighed down by family
responsibilities and have disposable income that high-end
marketers are chasing, says James Chung, founder of Reach
Advisors, a Belmont, Massachusetts, strategy and research
Empty nesters: These are the boomers whose kids have
moved out, creating a new stream of disposable income for these
parents--and new marketing prospects for entrepreneurs.
Twixters: These are twentysomethings who've been so
fussed over by their boomer parents that they can't deal with
adulthood. According to University of Michigan, Ann Arbor,
economics and public policy professor Bob Schoeni, cited in Time,
the percentage of 26-year-olds living with mom and dad rose from
11 percent to 20 percent between 1970 and 2004. If they hold
jobs, these young people have disposable income that's probably
not spent on rent or mortgages. They also have parents willing to
spend on them, too.
Gen X: The 44 million Gen Xers born between 1965 and
1975 are entering their peak earning years. They're raising
families, they're tech savvy and they love to shop.
Boomer grandparents: Grandparents are becoming day-care
providers to their grandkids, and in some cases even more: As of
2003, 900,000 grandparents had been responsible for most of the
basic needs of their grand-children for at least five years,
according to the Census. The number of boomer grandparents will
only rise and increase in power as boomers age.
Progressive Prioritizers: Thirty-one percent of women
25 to 29 held a bachelor's degree or higher in 2003, compared to
26 percent of their male peers, according to Census data. What's
emerging is a generation of young, educated women who are
prepared to leave their jobs to stay home with kids and then
return to the work force when they're ready. Savvy marketers will
find ways to catch women as they go between both mind-sets.
Blended families: Younger boomers are remarrying. Some
are even working on their third or fourth marriages and have kids
in the mix, says Phil Goodman, president of Generation
Transitional Marketing in San Diego.
Single mothers by choice: More women are having
children without partners. In 2002, 12 percent of births were to
unmarried women ages 30 to 44.