As marketers, we study targeting (“people, under the 9P’s,”) target markets and “target audiences.”
Target markets is a marketing term and target audiences is a media term. Think buyers and consumers of media as a differentiator.
One of the most common ways to segment markets and audiences is by generations. We all know the Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials. Those coming of age now are the “Digital Natives,” aka “Gen Z.”
While the marketing world is worrying about what to call the next generation, they are thrusting themselves onto the scene. Millennials are about 21ish to late 30-something. Digital Natives are right behind.
Generational segmenting is good for marketers because we have learned people within a given generation tend to share many traits and behaviors, making it easy for us to target them with appropriate products and services.
Millennials have dominated conversation in recent years, in large part to both their size as a generation (the largest our country has ever seen) as well their habits, some endearing, some not. We’ve seen the proliferation of take-out, delivery and avocado toast.
Well, the Millennials better look out, because the Digital Natives are making their presence be known! Since the most recent school shooting tragedy in Florida, mainstream news has been covered with images of young people protesting the government’s lack of government response to calls for gun control.
What’s interesting is that this group or segment has largely come to the fore since Donald Trump was elected president, emerging in part at last year’s Women’s March. Now they are the lead story in papers and the evening news.
Millennials have not been politically charged or motivated. In fact, according to Pew Research, less than have voted in the last election (compared with nearly 70% of Baby Boomers voting in the last election).
Digital Natives, named for being the first generation to go from cradle to grave with smart phones, computers and the Internet, will not be bigger than the Millennial generation, but they may be more vocal. They are already more vocal than Gen X has ever been.
The last generation to be this vocal as they came of age: Baby boomers. The 2 Guyz are not always vocal but we surely are observant of change.
What will this mean for consumer behavior and purchase habits? The 2 Guyz don’t know yet, but we will definitely be watching!