Understanding your Audience

Target AudienceRobby Slaughter (@robbyslaughter), a workflow and productivity expert with a focus in helping organizations and individuals to become more efficient, more effective and more satisfied at work, was the keynote speaker at a recent seminar hosted by the Society of Marketing Professionals Services (SMPS) called ‘Productivity Across Generations’. My knowledge of Generational Theory was largely undeveloped and much of the information to follow must be credited to him. But it got me thinking about how the concept applies to trying to reach your target audience.

Let’s start with the four common generations that make up today’s society keeping in mind these are generalizations and not a one-size-fits-all list of characteristics/traits, etc.:

  1. WWII or the Silent Generation – born 1925 & 1945
    • Raised by turn-of-the-century farmers
    • Grew up in an industrialized society, extreme poverty and war
    • Value hard work, loyalty and respect authority
    • Generally not technology fluent
  2. Baby Boomers – born 1946 & 1965
    • A product of war success when many parts of the word were rebuilding
    • Often work-centric, extremely hardworking and motivated by positions, perks and prestige
    • Highly competitive and live to work long hours to gain status
    • Established and defined the modern office and slightly more fluent with technology
  3. Generation X – born 1966-1980
    • Grew up in an era of two-income families leading to ‘latch-key’ children
    • Often independent, resourceful and self-sufficient
    • Values flexibility, work/life balance and is less likely to stick with one employer their whole career
    • More technology fluent and willing to pursue tech that will help business
  4. Generation Y (Millennials) – born 1981-2000
    • Grew up in a technology driven society
    • Often selfish but very self aware
    • Values team involvement, collaboration, information sharing, praise and affirmation
    • Extremely technology fluent and intuitive

It begins to become apparent that previous generation’s experiences help to shape the next generation and the experiences one faces while they are alive shape their expectations and values. Every age has different worldviews, a different sense of work and a different way of communicating.

We often haven’t thought of what others have experienced over time which makes them who they are, act the way they do and value certain things. If we know what matters to them most and what they will pay attention to, we can begin to see more wins in a shorter amount of time.

Taking into account one another’s experiences and having a general understanding of generational tendencies is just one step in helping you reach your target audience. If your message or message vehicle is targeted to the wrong group, you’re going to miss.

If you’re looking for a way to reach your target audience more efficiently, contact us. We are marketing professionals who know how to find what your audience is expecting and package a message in a way that will resonate with them.

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