By Farzin Andrew Espahani | Solution21 | VP of Growth and Marketing

Why Marketers Should Focus on Gen X More than Millennials

Marketers this day and age are well aware of the 81 million Americans born between the mid 60’s and early 80’s that make up Generation X. However, many have not yet recognized the amazing potential in this highly influential group of adults that are considered a technologically-advanced generation. At Yahoo, research is regularly conducted with their advertising partners to break down economic realities, macro trends, and life responsibility that shape the behaviors seen in decisions regarding spending.

Generation X was one of the first generations to be introduced to the joys of the digital age—with the older members growing up without it entirely. The younger members, now in their 30’s, were raised without tablets and smartphones. However, this generation is known for many entrepreneurial breakthroughs with the millennials expanding this trend.

Statistics of Generation X

  • Adults ages 35-54 are considered part of Generation X, which makes up 81 million Americans
  • Generation X accounts for 29% of estimated dollars of net worth and 31% of total income
  • The media income of Generation X is between $66K and $70K every year, far surpassing other age ranges in today’s society
  • Approximately 25% of Generation X adults have either taken steps toward starting their own business or have successfully done so—representing the highest percentage of business founders
  • 68% of Generation X adults find it difficult to work with “entitled” millennials and firmly believe they work harder than the following generation
  • 55% of businesses are started by Generation X-ers, while baby boomers account for 29% and millennials for 17%

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Generation X-ers are also striving towards work/life balance with their responsibilities in the office and at home. Approximately half of Generation X-ers in their 40’s and 50’s have a parent who is over the age of 65 and is being financially supported by them, as well as those giving financial support to at least one child of their own. Over half of Generation X parents dream about having an entire night or evening to themselves to do nothing at all. This means that marketers looking to target this audience need to focus on building an emotional connection with Generation X adults with their work/life balance strategies.

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Work/life balance includes family time. However, with multiple tech devices in the hands of millennial children, Generation X parents find this difficult to achieve. Generation X-ers are commonly known for multitasking during time they could be spending with their children, managing several devices at once, switching approximately 9 times per hour. 84% of Generation X parents are using at least two devices in their primetime hours, most often around 7pm in the evening.

Generation X adults state that their tech-savviness is due to their children whom 54% believe have a better grasp and understanding of technology than they do. 43% of Generation X adults provide internet-enabled TV in the home, even though they are not nearly as obsessed with technology as their millennial counterparts. Generation X-ers also feel as though health is a major concern, especially when approximately 17% of these adults have had a recent “wake-up call” in the area of health within the last three years.

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59% of Generation X adults also utilize wearable technology. This includes fitness tech that is continuing to become more popular. This may be linked to the generation’s concern about their overall health and well-being, shifting their focus to exercising to keep their mind sharp and their body at its prime.
Because of many of the findings in research, it has been shown that Generation X adults are worthy of inclusion into recent marketing trends because of their continued use of today’s technology. Along with the millennials, marketing companies need to take to heart these insights and incorporate Generation X into their marketing strategies to successfully increase sales and brand representation.

Images and Graphs Credit to: Yahoo Insights