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Generational Diversity Marketing Across the Spectrum. Presenter: Julie Gillespie Ottawa Area Intermediate School District. Goals for the Session Be Able to Identify and Appreciate Generational Differences

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Generational DiversityMarketing Across the Spectrum

Presenter: Julie Gillespie

Ottawa Area Intermediate School District

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  • Goals for the Session

  • Be Able to Identify and Appreciate Generational Differences

  • Have a Greater Understanding of the Communication Challenges Associated with Generational Diversity

  • Be Able to Develop Strategies and Tactics That Reflect a Deeper Understanding of Generational Diversity

  • Have Fun!

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Generational Diversity…One of Many Changing Human Dimensions

Aging Population

  • 77 Million Baby Boomers Will Retire in Ten Year Period from 2002 – 2012

  • Life Expectancy has Increased (78.9 Yrs Projected Average for Women in 2015)

  • By 2025, the United States will be as “gray” as Florida

  • By 2030, one in five Americans will be age 65 and older

    Cultural Diversity

  • Hispanic Group is the Fastest Growing Segment

  • By 2042, minorities (currently one-third of population) will become the majority

    - A little early to be concerned, but the wave is coming

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  • Generations…

  • Generations are among the most powerful forces in history

  • Tracking them through time lends order – and even a measure of predictability – to long term trends

  • Each of us carries deeply felt associations with various events in our lives (Great Depression, D-Day, JFK Assassination, 9/11)

  • The sum total of these events has in many ways made us whowe are….a Generation

  • Harvard Business Review

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  • Generations…

  • As each generation ages into the next phase – it’s attitudes and behaviors mature, producing new currents in the public mood (ex: 40-year-old today versus in the 1950s)

  • Generations follow observable historical patterns– a powerful tool for predicting future trends (handout from Harvard Business Review)

  • Generational designation is more of a psychographic then a demographic…people do not belong to their age brackets

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Generational Diversity: Generation Gap on Steroids

  • Five Generations Live Together for the First Time

  • (19 Generations Total Since the Puritans)

  • Matures/Silent Generation

  • Baby Boomers

  • Generation X

  • Generation Y/Gen Next/Millennials

  • Generation Z/Gen Media/Gen V

  • This makes for unusual contradictions in the Marketplace - need for larger typeface and pod-casts

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Silent Generation

  • Born 1920 – 1945

  • Loyalty is All-Important

  • Worked Same Job “Cradle to Grave”

  • Believe Long Service Should be Rewarded

  • Respectful of Hierarchy

  • Resistant to New Ways of Doing Things

  • Grew Up on “Little Rascals”

  • The “Good Kids”

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Baby Boomers

  • Born 1945 – 1964

  • Approximately 78 Million

  • Raised in the Aftermath of World War II

  • Recession Made Them Rethink Loyalty

  • Confrontational, Megaphone Toting

  • Launched a Consciousness Revolution

  • Workaholics

  • Not Ready for Retirement (Financial or Otherwise)

  • Dominate culture, religion and values (resource: AARP)

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Generation X

  • Born 1965 – 1976

  • Approximately 48 Million

  • Saw Their Parents Burnout Trying to Balance Work and Life

  • Children of Divorce, Latchkeys, and Ad Hoc Day Care

  • Value Their Own Lives

  • Less Ideological Than Their Parents

  • Brought a New Pragmatism to Education

  • Respect Productivity Over the Long Haul

  • Loyal to People Rather than Companies

  • Approach Work as Independent Contractors

  • Need Open Communication

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Generation Y/Gen Next/Millennials

  • Born 1977 – 1994 (sons and daughters of the Boomers)

  • 80 Million Strong (surpassing the Boomers)

  • Continually Connected

  • Speak Their Own Language (ROTFLUTS)

  • Skeptical of Authority

  • Influenced by Peers (Social Networking – the 21st Century’s Front Porch)

  • Seek Recognition and Fame

  • Enjoy Absurdity and Odd Humor

  • Embrace a Variety of Subcultures (think avatars)

  • Skim Text and Information Quickly

  • Easily Bored

  • Expressive and Digitally Creative

  • Workplace Flight Risk (they can always go home)

  • Ambitious, Demanding and Question Everything


Video Clip

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Generation Z…Gen Media…Gen V

  • Born 1995 – 2009

  • First 21st Century Generation

  • Raised During the Green Awakening

  • Lifelong Use of Communications and Media Technologies – “digital natives”

  • Active Consumers

  • Raised in an Era of Equality

  • High Degree of Influence Over Parents’ Purchasing Decisions

  • Lives are Full of Structured Activities

  • May Turn Out to Be More Indulged and Anti-Social than Generation Y

  • Attracted to Video, Music and Real Time Interaction

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Changing Marketplace – The Power Bookends

  • Generation Y – Market Savvy and Empowered

    • Highly Brand Conscious

    • More Racially Diverse Than Their Parents

    • Don’t Respond to Traditional Marketing Efforts

    • Rival the Boomers in Size and Eventually in Buying Power

  • Boomers – Healthier, Wealthier and Wiser Than Their Parents

  • Highly Value Conscious

  • Less Racially Diverse

  • Respond to Nostalgia and Tradition

  • Less Technically Savvy than Their Children

  • …Impact on Schools

  • Difficulty Communicating with and Influencing Gen Y’s

  • Gaining Senior Citizen Support can be Challenging

  • Loss of a Collective Public Education Identity

  • Approximately 70% Do Not Have Children in School

  • …Communications Solutions/Strategies

  • Creative Marketing Strategies for Gen Y’s – Get Them Where They “Live”

    • Social Networking, Blogs, Interest Websites

  • Target Boomers on a More Regular Basis – Not Just When We “Need” Them

    • Longest Term Relationship to Date

    • Most Likely to Value Tradition in Public Education

      • Recruiting and retaining skilled workers,

      • layoff potential, cost containment, prioritizing, union conflict/demands

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    Gen Y/Gen Z Impact on Communication/Media

    Technology/New Media

    • Dwindling Print Medium – particularly newspapers

    • Blogs are “Hot;” Gives People a “Voice”

    • MySpace, Facebook, Social Networking

    • Greater News Breadth; Less Depth

    • Media Saturation - Message Overwhelm

    • Decline of First-Hand Experience

    • Reality -Not as Boring as It Used to Be (Candid Camera vs. Survivor)

    • Potential for Distortion of Facts/Mitigation of Reality (think Second Life)

    • Growing Dichotomy Between Written and Spoken Language

    • Electronic Documents Are Perceived to Have More “Currency”

      …Impact on the Communication Function

  • Marketing Plans Must be More Complex and Varied

    • Fewer Print Projects/Forget Newsletters

  • Line Between Communications and Technology is Becoming Blurred

    • File Formats, Programming

  • Difficult to Get Key Messages Across to Customers – Power of the “Delete” button

  • Greater Demand for Consultative Services Related to New Media

    …Communications Solutions/Strategies

  • Greater Use of New Media to Communicate

  • Broader Use of Media for Communicating with Parents

  • Greater Focus On and Use of Web

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    Marketing Across the Spectrum

    Intergenerational Marketing Will be Challenging…But Not Impossible


    Speak Everyone’s Language

    Consider Attention Spans

    Encourage Candid Conversations

    Remember that Public Education has Intergenerational Relevance and Importance

    It’s a Lot Like….