Rethinking Marketing Tactics: Are Gen Z and Millennials Really That Different?

Rethinking Marketing Tactics: Are Gen Z and Millennials Really That Different?

Rethinking Marketing Tactics: Are Gen Z and Millennials Really That Different?

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The world of marketing is known for its ebbs and flows of tactics and strategies, but one practice appears perennial—segmenting audiences into generational categories. However, a close examination of the recent audience preference survey by InMobi Insights compels us to question this practice. Should we even be emplacing so much weight on generational cohorts—Gen Z, millennials, Gen X, baby boomers—to define audiences?

Before we delve into this, let’s break down the findings of the InMobi survey. The survey unveiled that Gen Z (ages 18-24) have a strong predilection for user-generated content. In contrast, younger millennials or those aged 25-34, emerged as content omnivores, demonstrating no clear preferences. Meanwhile, older millennials (35-44) still take pleasure in traditional TV, albeit appreciating user-generated content as well.

The implications of these results are multifold and they extend beyond mere content consumption habits. The diversity in content preferences observed within cohorts identified by age raises the overarching question—why are marketers persisting with generational cohorts as the prime instrument to segment audiences?

Although generational categorization can be a useful starting point, the essence of marketing requires us to venture beneath the surface. The complexity of consumer behavior necessitates not just demographic, but also psychographic segmentation which takes into consideration attitudes, values, interests, and lifestyles.

Adopting this alternative perspective can be greatly advantageous for marketing strategies, cultivating a more profound understanding of consumer behavior. It grants marketers a more detailed lens through which they can tailor their products, message and marketing mix, as per psychographic profiles, thereby ensuring greater consumer engagement and response.

Bringing light to this issue, the Pew Research Center offers a similar standpoint. The think-tank has shared five considerations regarding generational categories, which align with our discussion. Most notably, Pew warns about the risk of overemphasis on generational identity, advocating instead for a consideration of numerous factors, including but not limited to age, that cause behavioral shifts over time.

Integrating these ideas with our analysis of the InMobi Insights survey, it becomes increasingly evident that we need to reassess the persistent industry habit of using simplistic generational tags to define audiences. While they can be informative, they only present a part of a much larger, more complex picture. As marketers, we must strive to uncover and understand this complexity to devise strategies that go beyond one-dimensional classifications and resonate with audiences on a deeper level.

So, as we imagine the future of audience segmentation in marketing strategies, perhaps it’s time to redefine our understanding—Gen Z, millennials, baby boomers. These aren’t just age brackets, but a spectrum of individuals, each with their own unique content consumption habits. The crux remains, from the boardroom to the bedroom, it’s time we questioned our reliance on generational categories and adopt a more nuanced strategy to achieve effective audience segmentation.

Casey Jones Avatar
Casey Jones
8 months ago

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