Why You Should be Marketing to Gen X

Michelle Markelz
Marketing News Weekly
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Key Takeaways

What? Gen X has more purchasing power and brand loyalty than its generational peers.

So what? Marketers have often overlooked Gen X in favor of serving millennials, even though they have less purchasing power.

Now what? Marketers must earn Gen X loyalty with relevant and valuable rewards.

​Studies show Gen X is a cohort of brand loyalists with money to spend

Though once called the Slacker Generation, Generation X could be a reliable source of revenue for brands, if given the opportunity.

There are approximately 81 million 35- to 54-year-old American adults who make up Generation X. According to a survey by Yahoo, Audience Theory and Ipsos, they earn 31% of the household income in the United States, making them the most powerful generational consumer segment. Though much attention has been paid to the interests and idiosyncrasies of their older (boomer) and younger (millennial) counterparts, Gen Xers have reason to be on the minds of marketers.

Generation X behaviors and interests make for interesting opportunities in insight gathering and engagement. A recent survey by CrowdTwist found that Gen X is responsive to loyalty programs, likes to engage with brands on Facebook, and is driven by product price and value. 

Of Gen Xers surveyed, more than 88% say they join loyalty programs to save money while more than 71% join to receive rewards. And more than 85% of Gen Xers report that discounts or coupons are the most important benefit of a loyalty program.

SEE ALSO: Customer Marketing 101: How to Engineer an Awesome Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs are a win-win for customers and marketers. They provide insights that can inform pricing, inventory, timing of campaigns, win-back offers and strategies to upsell or move customers into a higher purchasing category through incentives. For customers, they create status, offer gamification opportunities and rewards.

While more than two-thirds of Gen Xers surveyed report that they use Facebook, almost as many report that they don’t receive any loyalty points for engaging with brands on the platform—thought 56% would like to.

SEE ALSO: How Social Analytics Grow Brand Loyalty: Lessons from Leading Brands

Millennials have been described as commitment-averse, but Gen X describes itself as loyal to brands. Nearly half of those surveyed say they are extremely or quite loyal to brands once they buy-in to products. They are less willing to switch brands, but that’s not to say they don’t require any work. More than 63% say that they will abandon loyalty programs if the rewards aren’t relevant or valuable. 

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Author Bio:

Michelle Markelz
Michelle Markelz is a staff writer for the AMA’s magazines and e-newsletters. She can be reached at mmarkelz@ama.org.
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