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How to Market to People Not Like You: "Know It or Blow It" Rules for Reaching Diverse Customers by KELLY McDONALD

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Chapter 8. Different Ages Want Different Things

In Chapter 2, I gave a brief overview of key generational segments and how the manner in which they received information helped shape their consumer habits. In this chapter, let's dive a little deeper into these different generations with the idea that learning more about them may trigger ideas for you on new customer segment opportunities.

There are currently five core generational segments:

  • The Matures (also called Traditionalists or Veterans, although in the latter case, the term refers to "veterans of life," not veterans of war)

  • Baby Boomers

  • Gen X (also known as Baby Busters)

  • Gen Y (also known as the Millennial or Gen Next)

  • Gen Z (also known as Gen Net)

Each generation has distinct characteristics and a "personality" of sorts. While not everyone from each generation fits the characteristics I'll outline here, there are broad generalizations that do apply. And for our purposes in this chapter, I will draw comparisons between the generations so that you can see how they differ in key ways.

MATURES: BORN BEFORE 1946

Convenience, Control, and "Like-Mindedness" Rule

The Matures are the oldest generation, those born before 1946. Their children are grown, and many of this generation have stopped working and have retired. They tend to have conservative views and are slower to adapt to technology, since many worked their whole careers without it (see Figure 8.1).

Crime and personal safety are some of their chief concerns, as well as financial stability. ...

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