Generational Marketing in the Hospitality Industry: Generation X

brown Blog, The Marketing Minute

In our last installment, we learned about the unique challenges of marketing to Millennials—a segment that might not include your target customers of today, but one that could be absolutely vital to your business in the future.

While you’re trying to build a lasting relationship with them, however, what are you doing about the customers you need right now? Your company needs a different marketing plan for each generation you hope to attract, with executable tactics in a variety of different facets, such as:

  • Branding/Positioning
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • New Customer Acquisition Strategies

So now, in our next two posts, we’ll turn our attention to Generation X and Baby Boomers. These are two generations that have plenty of spending money, and, if they’re treated well, plenty of loyalty as well.

GENERATIONAL FOCUS: GEN X

Gen X includes those born between approximately 1965 and 1980. They currently number about 66 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and are projected to surpass the number of Baby Boomers in 2028—that sounds like the distant future, but it’s only 11 years away!

Many in this generation were labeled “slackers,” but don’t be fooled—most Gen Xers have families now and are in their prime earning years. And hard as it may be to imagine, they aren’t all that far away from becoming empty nesters.

Fittingly, family drives many Gen X decision-makers, and emotional connections are extremely important. They’ve been through tough times, so they demand trust and often are skeptical. Gen Xers are sophisticated and independent, and while they enjoy luxury, they’re price-conscious, too.

THE RIGHT MARKETING APPROACH

Generation X is quite comfortable and very active online. They didn’t grow up with the Internet, but they were right there when it exploded. You can engage with them using social media such as Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook, along with emails and texts—in fact, that’s what they prefer in many instances.

Another great strategy is pursuing sponsorships that tie in with family activities like youth sports leagues and school events. Family is important to Gen X, and marketing efforts that meet parents where they are can be incredibly effective. As a bonus, these also can serve to position your company as community-minded.

And don’t forget the power of moms. Influencers such as “mommy bloggers” and other family-focused public figures can carry a great deal of weight among Gen X mothers, who make many decisions for their families.

Finally, Gen Xers won’t fall for “tricks,” and they’re likely never to come back to your brand if they feel they’ve been manipulated. Operate with honesty and transparency—as we always should, of course—and you’ll earn loyalty, trust and continued business from this generation.