Targeting Your Content for Different Generations


Finish this sentence: “Back in my day…..”

Now imagine that sentence posted on your site, or your Facebook account somewhere. That statement is going to be a big hit with those that identify with it – your generation — and get a collective rolling of the eyes from everyone who doesn’t “get it.”

Speaking to the generational differences of your audience can help bridge the gap with your store and cement a common bond. Creating an online presence that understands and identifies with its customers is a powerful thing for your business.

With an online store, your customer could be virtually anyone from anywhere; back-and-forth conversations have been largely replaced by one-way communication: website content, emails, blog posts – that seemingly need to speak to everyone on that same personal level.

Tailoring your message can mean the difference between making a sale and creating a lifelong customer.

I Know Who My Customer Is…Don’t I?

Online shopping has freed many people to shop at places they might otherwise seem unwelcome. For example, I might be into video games, but don’t like being the oldest person in the store (by far). I can avoid that discomfort by shopping online. In fact, I can feel welcomed to be a part of that online community. As stores move from brick-and-mortar to online sales there is almost always a demographic shift of their customer base, breaking the perception of who they think their customers are.

You probably know the makeup of your customer base, but if you want to know for sure, you can use Google Analytics to give you some basic demographic information of your customer (gender, age, area of interests) by making a slight modification to your Google Analytics tracking code.

demographics ga

Writing Content to Different Generations

Tailoring your message to your audience shouldn’t be seen as manipulative, but rather makes them more open to hearing what you have to say. Once you define your audience’s age you can more easily speak to them by discretely using popular culture references of the time, and appealing to their particular ideals and values.

We are all familiar, to some degree, with the different imposed descriptions of these age groups, so here is a sample of shared ideologies for the different generations (apologies in advance for lumping you into one of these groups; this is a broad generalization meant only to help us tailor our messaging):

Using Different Methods to Target Different Age Groups

Creating a variety of messaging centered on different demographic groups doesn’t mean you need to create separate websites to deliver them. There are a ton of ways to get your message out there that speak to the different age groups. There is plenty of overlap between these platforms, but here is a brief guide to targeting your audience:

Do I Have To?

Your customers are diverse, but they also share a strong commonality: an interest in what you are selling. You don’t have to make popular culture references to the moon landing, Power Rangers or the Kardashians to connect with your customers. But keep in mind the ideals that these generations hold when crafting your message, and you’re likely to create a community they identify with, trust and return to again and again.

Josh Pruett

Josh Pruett was a Senior Marketing Consultant at Volusion, where he used his experience and granular interest in analytics to build efficient, profitable, marketing campaigns for store owners.