A little bit analogue, a little bit digital. Gen Xers comfortably toggle between media channels, which should make them a marketer’s dream. Instead, their aptitude makes them even harder to reach with the right advertising via the right channel, according to a recent eMarketer story. But their buying power and life stage—Xer household expenditures are above the general US average in nearly all consumer categories—make up for the extra effort.
+ Catch them on mobile. Nearly 90% of Xers, or 57.9 million people, own a smartphone. They use them for convenience and efficiency. Like other generations, they’re mostly like to take notice of ads on mobile when multitasking or on the go (Aki Technologies, November 2018). But unlike other gen cohorts, Xers are receptive to ads while shopping in-store (37%), exercising (39%) and running errands (39%).
+ They watch a lot of nondigital TV—3+ hours a day, about 90 minutes more than Millennials. They’re open to ads but are easily fatigued. Xers expect brands to mix it up. They subscribe to streaming services in part just to avoid ads, according to Deloitte insights. More than 75% of Xers ages 36-52 subscribe to video on demand services.
+ Hey, Google. Xers are starting to get the appeal of smart speakers. eMarketer estimates more than one-third of Xers (35%) will use smart speakers at least once per month as they shift daily tasks from their phones to their speakers. So, Gen X is adaptive but picky. They’ll consume ad content but expect quid pro quo—solid content and a great ad experience.
Micro But Mighty
Influencer marketing today is deeper than a one-time plug. In the name of authenticity, marketers are employing influencers with more intimate, relatable audiences—namely microinfluencers (those with fewer than 10,000 followers). Their power is their ability to break through the marketing clutter and make an emotional connection with the audience, and the brand gets a halo effect. For example, Johnson & Johnson’s Clean & Clear dermatology line enlisted teens with modest followings as influencers for its campaign.
+ Spreading marketing budgets over smaller influencers is paying off, according to Forrester research. Said a pet suppliers brand representative: “We’re increasing our influencer budget to $500,000 next year, with a lot more microinfluencers. We’ve had most of our success there, with people in the 10,000 to 50,000 follower range.”
Consumers love content, so marketers are investing enthusiastically. 55% of brands and agencies in Canada ran a content marketing campaign in the last year, more than any other digital marketing discipline listed, per an Izea survey. Because it’s easy and inexpensive, content has become the catalyst for consumer engagement with branded and sponsored content.
+ Two-thirds (66%) of brand marketers worldwide said content marketing is “extremely” or “very” effective, according to Zazzle Media’s February 2019 survey. Only 3% of respondents said it was “not so effective.” When asked what channels their content marketing strategy was focused on this year, 77% of respondents said written content/blogs, followed by SEO (45%), email marketing (42%), video (40%) and a range of other formats.