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“So I am a millennial, but I am an elder! Elder Millennial! Wizened. Sage. Yes, gather ’round the Snapchat, children. I’ll tell you the tale…of the landline.” – Ilaza Shlesinger

We both enjoyed long evenings in silence, in front of a fire, no fewer than two screens in our faces and a fresh cup of bone broth and Kombucha in our hand. At times breaking that silence to share a relatable meme. We spent our money on costumes for our dog, craft beer, and yoga pants. Planning our next vacation to feed our wanderlust and draining our finances, but relying on my childhood inheritance of Beanie Babies to support us long into retirement. Because experience trumps basic necessity. The government should pay for school and healthcare…

UGH… puhlease… I am going to throw up my avocado toast on you. Do you really think that everyone born in the same year, let alone the same “generation”, is the same? I am not your daughter, nor your lazy next door neighbor, and your assumptions of me are going to make you irrelevant and kill your business. So when I read these clickbait headlines that generalize giant swaths of people with the sure fire way to reach them all, I can’t help but roll my eyes.

Cases in point, a few headlines that pop up in my Google search on “Marketing to Generations”:

Millennials are making frozen food hot again, but can they stop killing everything else?
The Long, Lost Baby Boomers in Marketing
How to Attract Millennials Without Totally Rebranding
And lastly, Corporate America Can’t Afford to Ignore Gen Z (because now Millennials are becoming so passé)

That generation with disposable income and no kids is quickly becoming the generation with kids and no disposable income, or no kids and no disposable income, or kids and disposable income or… Just as with anything, there is no silver bullet. It’s all about balance. What communications channels are you using? What does your content look and sound like? Do you have a balance across products and mediums? Are you controlling the conversation? It is less expensive than you’d think, and it’s easier than you’re making it out to be.

You are living in the most intelligent marketing era in history. Stop obsessing about generations and start communicating based on data.

Marketing to people who span decades based on a label is just lazy; so are assumptions based on YOUR reality. You have thousands of data points on people, but you’re swapping photos of silver foxes with kids in backpacks and you think that will attract business? I am here to tell you, break your bubble! You are living in the most intelligent marketing era in history. Stop obsessing about generations and start communicating based on data.

Now, where’s my participation trophy?

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