A lot of marketing articles have focused on millennials, the group roughly defined as those born between 1980 and 2000, give or take a few years. This trend makes perfect sense, because these young adults have major purchasing power and are directing where marketing strategies go. The problem with lumping all of them into one group becomes difficult because of its inherent diversity, and how marketers can’t be all things to all people. This is no different for travel marketing.
But they are not the only group to pay attention to. An article written by Greg Kihlstrom in iMedia Connection details how there are three key demographic cohorts that you should also target, even if they may not seem as currently relevant as the millennials.
1.) Grandparents age 60+
This cohort is a subgroup of the baby boomers, or those born between 1946 and 1960. But they certainly shouldn’t be marketed to in the same way that you would do with the larger group.
First of all, they are often seeking multi-generational family experiences that their kids and grandkids can be a part of. These often mean they’re on the lookout for more active experiences, more independent itineraries and private group pricing. Second, they don’t necessarily want to go the budget route. Many of these affluent travelers have money to spend, and they want to treat their family members well.
So in your travel marketing strategy, you might want to think about looking at your family-friendly offerings, and target those who are going to foot the bill – most likely grandpa and grandma. You might not think that these seniors are on social media, but don’t make that assumption. More than half of adults in this age group logged onto Facebook in 2014, up from 45% in the previous year.
Kihlstrom writes that the upshot for marketers is you can focus on social media to as a strategy to target these folks, not just direct mail.
2.) Generation X, single without kids
This is the demographic that’s between the baby boomers and the millennials, or those born between 1961 and 1981. But once again, the key is targeting the subgroup rather than the whole lot. In this case, it’s those who aren’t married and do not have children.
Because of this lack of financial commitment, GenXers tend to have plenty of disposable income and love to spend it. Your travel marketing here can focus on a even mix of emails, social media and direct response, featuring your higher end packages and luxury offerings.
Two caveats with this group – they tend to have higher than average college loan debts and work more intensively than others. Marketing messages that emphasize emotion over simple benefits would likely be the most effective approach. But also don’t forget to back up your promises with evidence in the form of visual content and testimonials, especially from satisfied customers.
3.) Generation Z
These are the kids of Generation X and sometimes the millennials, born between 1999 and 2004. This group is probably the first fully wired generation, who know electronic devices and touchscreens all too well. While they can’t specifically be marketed to just yet, you can be aware that within five or six years, many will think about travel, particularly spring break and holidays at home.
Long term, you’ll want to think about how you might want to emphasize mobile and digital marketing. Kihlstrom also mentions that you’ll want to put a more realistic, diverse, independent and even entrepreneurial spin on your message, rather than try to convey a perfect homogeneous experience. Make sure that you have a conversation with this group, as they expect two-way communication through technology.
How have you marketed to these sometimes neglected demographic groups in your travel marketing? Share your thoughts below!