Marketing Focus to Shift to Gen‑X

Spending by the Baby Boom generation has fueled a large part of the consumer economy since the 1960’s.  Author Mercedes Cardona, writing for Daily Finance, points out that this generation has ‘led the way out of the last two recessions’ and has also accounted for a significant percentage of luxury purchases. As 1076537_family_portraitmarketers determine where to focus their ad budgets while we exit this recession, Cardona suggests that Baby Boomers will not be the target.

Nearly half of all Boomers have cut back spending during this recession. The older members of the group are postponing retirement and trying to earn back what they lost in the crash. Several analysts believe that this group, as a whole, will not return to their high-​spending past.

In the meantime, Cardona offers evidence that Generation X members are still expanding their households and are buying goods and services. Because they can’t move into higher paying jobs that the Boomers won’t retire from, Gen Xers will be looking for bargains in the marketplace.

Cardona  predicts a couple of trends will emerge from this shift – luxury retailing  may be a much smaller segment of the marketplace, even in the long term, and younger consumers with short attention spans will be the focus of more ad dollars. They can be best reached with mobile or social networking strategies.

[Source: Cardona, Mercedes. Retailers turn away from baby boomers, focus on younger customers, Daily Finance, 10.01.09]
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.