Manual Rocking the Ages: The Yankelovich Report on Generational Marketing

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Yet contrary to the image portrayed in the popular media, this is a savvy generation, enthusiastically ready, willing and able to take on the challenges they face. For Xers, hard work is a pragmatic necessity and they are careful in planning for the future.


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In many ways, Xers are embracing some of the values of Matures because they too have lived through uncertain formative years. For this reason, Xers seem better able to deal with economic downturns than their Boomer predecessors. The first describes each of the three generational groupings in some detail while the second focuses in upon the implications of generational marketing upon certain key sectors and areas of life: technology, computer and Internet use, health care, consumption patterns, leisure, and home-buying activity.

Key marketing conclusions coming out of the first part of the book are: Don't think of Matures as 'seniors'; they resist the label and will punish products and services that attempt to pigeon-hole them into that stereotype. Rather, promote the convenience and accessibility of products along with the idea that 'you've earned it'.

In contrast, Boomers feel that they deserve products and services as an inalienable birthright, rather than having to earn them.


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Marketing approaches to this group have got to walk a fine line between realizing that Boomers are aging while never mentioning the dreaded word 'senior' and thus will require in time the full range of age-related products and services, while at the same time continuing to cater to their need to rebel and forge their own path. Particular interests of the Boomer generation at this point in their lives and at this point in the economic cycle is the desire to simplify, and a focus of the family.

GenXers tend to be skeptical of modern advertising and overly-slick marketing pitches. Approaches to this group that work particularly well tend to be frank, not take themselves too seriously, and involve a little fun at the same time, though, GenXers are still somewhat unsure of themselves, and need to be reassured that the choices they are making are fundamentally sound and practical. Using this generational framework and a sea of data from the MONITOR survey, Smith and Clurman identify in the second part of the book a number of generational differences that have interesting marketing implications in specific areas: Regarding technology, the authors make the point that simplicity of use will be a key selling feature in the years ahead.

This, though, should be presented to the three generational groups in different ways: Matures will interpret simplicity as accessibility, which implies ease of use, service and support, as the key features that will sell them on new technologies and products. Boomers will be attracted by the efficiency of new products and technologies, that will make their lives easier and save them time and headaches, or contribute more directly to their personal productivity. GenXers will value practicality, and will be attracted most by technologies that will make things more useful and functional.

Rocking the Ages: The Yankelovich Report on Generational Marketing

Turning to the use of computers and the Internet, the authors here define a new concept, cybercitizens, which simply means people who are comfortable with and frequently use this technology. Matures who are cybercitizens are quite different from the general profile of Matures overall, who tend to shy away from direct computer use. Mature cybercitizens seek out novel experiences and opportunities for personal creativity, and actively embrace computer technology.

Boomer cybercitizens, in contrast, are much like Boomers overall, and use the Internet for work and personal fulfillment. Xer cybercitizens are again a little different from their generational cohort overall, and tend to be on-line for fun and recreation rather than business reasons. The authors expect that this will naturally change over time, as Xers become more job and career-oriented. Clurman and Smith do make the point that while Matures and Boomers see the Internet as a separate technology to be incorporated into their work or personal lives, Xer cybercitizens see the Internet and the world wide web as completely integrated into their day to day being.

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In a related area, entertainment, Smith and Clurman note the following: Matures want entertainment that is easily-digestible, presented in a non-confrontational and non-controversial manner. They want their information presented to them in summary form, and feel as a group no compelling need to be part of the 'information age'. In contrast, Boomers need to feel and be plugged into the information society. They need their information presented in terms of categories and options, so that they have full access to the entire range of options available.

Organization of content and programming is important here.

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Xers want to participate in their entertainment experiences, and interactive and highly participatory media and technologies that allow them to do this will do well in appealing to this group. List this Seller's Books. Payment Methods accepted by seller. AbeBooks Bookseller Since: 04 January Home J. Walker Smith, Ann S.

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22 Smith J W Clurman A Rocking the ages The Yankelovich report on

Published by Harperbusiness. Save for Later. About this Item Light rubbing wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins not affecting the text.

J. Walker Smith: Business Trend Analyst