How to work with X, Y, Z, and Alpha audience

The relationship between the buyers’ age and their needs and preferences was derived long ago. Modern research shows that in 2020, 40% of solvent customers will be representatives of Generation Z. In this article, I will tell you about the important division of consumers into generations and about the features of attracting these customer groups by business.

Who are X, Y, Z, and Alpha?

American researchers have suggested that the difference between generations goes far beyond the “parents and children problem.” These groups of people differ from each other in a system of values, preferences, and lifestyle. Such differences between generations are dictated by the development of technology, the geopolitical situation in the world, tendencies, and cultural trends. So, let’s find out who are X, Y, Z, and Alpha, and how they differ from each other:

  1. Generation X (1963-1984). These are people who grew up at a crucial economic and political moment. Readiness for reform, independence, and self-confidence are Generation X’s distinctive features.
  2. Generation Y (1983-2000). The so-called “millennials” witnessed the collapse of the USSR, the change in the political model, the emergence of the worldwide network, and a new value system. Ys have no habit of planning for years to come, trying to live here and now.
  3. Generation Z (2000+). Due to the little life experience of the Zs, it’s hard to predict how they will behave in the future. One thing is known for sure – they are not indifferent to what is happening with the world around them. They are not afraid to express their point of view and know that being different from others is not bad.
  4. The new generation is the Alpha generation (2010+). The youngest category in the theory of generations is the active users of gadgets and the Internet. It’s easier for them to take technical innovations because 90% of Alphas can go online before they even learn to walk.

The theory of generations is just one of many attempts to divide the world’s population into several categories. And it rooted well in marketing.

The difference between advertising strategies for different generations

Depending on the audience, bloggers should choose advertising slogans and formats. Especially if a blogger works on the CPA model, and his income directly depends on the result that the advertiser receives.

Advertising for Generation X uses nostalgia as an incentive to buy. If the product evokes emotions, the consumer is more willing to part with money/ That’s why Sony releases the updated PlayStation Classic, the cult game World of Warcraft offers you to plunge into the adventure from the very beginning, and comic book characters increasingly switch to movie theater screens.

The elder generation is pragmatic and knows how to count money, so in advertising, it is appropriate to show the product from all sides and prove its effectiveness. Growing up in an era without the Internet, people of Generation X tend to spend money in offline stores, but with time they try online shopping – if it is more convenient or more profitable.

An adult likes to feel smart and set an example, so Generation X likes to purchase that “helps the environment” or “benefits the community.” It’s quite easy to surprise elder people with VR technologies or even a voice assistant, but similar innovations familiar to young people do not inspire confidence in them – therefore it is more efficient to sell practical products that can be used here and now without reading long instructions.

Generation X is used to classic advertising – on radio, television, and ads. Do not try to surprise them with contests, sweepstakes, live broadcasts, and a discount for a repost.

Advertising for Generation Y should take into account that today it is the most economically active audience, which also likes to read. Therefore, contact with them should be built using native integrations into articles, product selection instructions, reviews, and descriptions of various services. It should be remembered that display advertising is getting worse due to “banner blindness” or, in simple terms, advertising fatigue.

Representatives of Generation Y care about the opinion of recognized authorities, therefore if you invite a popular specialist to advertising integration, it will be a success. The best thing is to use multichannels – advertising will be remembered especially well when it is seen in the media, telegram channels, and in your best friend’s repost.

An Internet user from Generation Y loves his ego, so personalization is an effective strategy. Even if your mailings are sent by robots, teach them to contact the addressee by name, remember his order history and make personal offers. At the same time, you don’t need to sell “face-to-face”, because millennials easily lose confidence in the brand. The first touch should be an acquaintance, where the brand does not ask for anything in return and offers just to register or leave contacts for a small gift.

Advertising for Generation Z is most effective when delivered in video format. According to research with Zetas, they manage to watch 68 videos daily. These are mostly short stories and mute videos on Facebook but also full YouTube videos.

Generation Z creates idols on its own. They do not like to rely on any authorities from the Internet, because the main authority is a peer who has a sense of humor and does not try to follow the rules. Therefore, advertising should show real people in life situations – it was indicated by 80% of respondents.

IBM with NRF poll shows that 42% of Generation Z representatives are willing to participate in a brand-related game, and 36% are willing to come up with content for this game simply because it’s fun. Gamification is the main advertising driver for Generation Z. That’s why corporations like Google, Microsoft, Pepsi, and Starbucks are already fully engaging users in the game process for the game participants to remember them better. For example, the global online Starbucks Puzzle game brought players coffee and desserts, while it brought loyalty and revenue to corporations.

Gradually, the theory of generations in relation to marketing becomes obsolete. It is being replaced by the CPA model (cost per action). Such a model does not imply an endless search for “pain points” among different audiences: the advertiser simply announces a reward for each attracted client, and bloggers work with their subscribers as they see it. As a result, advertising is more natural, and bloggers and advertisers earn more.

CPA advertising is particularly relevant in times of crisis and pandemic when most brands have to cut marketing budgets. 25% of companies have completely abandoned advertising, while the rest are looking for strategies, formats, and approaches that give the result “here and now.” Brands no longer pay for the ephemeral amount of likes or subscribers and prefer advertising campaigns which effectiveness can be measured.

Therefore, bloggers have to reorganize: if before getting money for the fact of publishing an advertising post was just normal, today brands are willing to pay only for the commercial result. The cheating of followers becomes useless – instead, influencers look for new advertising formats, test hypotheses, and have more focused blogs. In the era when an overabundance of advertising is increasingly causing negative, and brands count each penny given for marketing, payment for the result is the only form of mutually beneficial cooperation.