News outlets such as The New York Times and Washington Post define Generation X as those born between 1965 and 1980. Often nicknamed the “latchkey” generation, Gen Xers grew up during a time when society was less focused on children and more focused on adults. More women were entering the workforce than ever before, and the divorce rate was at an all-time high. As a result, Gen Xers tend to be independent, resourceful, and self-sufficient.
Today, this demographic makes up 30% of consumer buying power, and a whopping 49% of the cosmetic procedures market, far outweighing both baby boomers and Gen Z. Despite their vast purchasing power, Gen Xers can be difficult to reach, and often report that they feel overlooked. Here, we explore some of the traits of this demographic and provide tips on how to reach them where they live.
The Trait: Gen X is Technologically Savvy
Gen X grew up straddling the pre- and post-digital world. They value – and have come to expect – an informative, updated website; a relevant Google My Business listing; and a robust Yelp presence. In fact, 72% use the internet to research businesses, whether the purchase is ultimately made online or in-person. But don’t rule out email marketing – it’s still one of the best ways to reach Gen X. They’re comfortable using email for work and for staying in touch with far-flung family, so it stands to reason that they would be responsive to email marketing.
The Takeaway: In addition to keeping your website updated and responding to reviews, develop a content and email marketing strategy to reach them. First, build up your blog presence to serve as a resource to distill the dos and don’ts in beauty, followed by a regular email campaign (we recommend at least a monthly send) to push that content out straight to their inbox.
The Trait: Gen X is Skeptical
Gen Xers love facts and figures and will take to the internet to research purchase decisions with a fervor unmatched by any other demographic. They remember a world before email blasts and pop-up ads and appreciate human connection.
The Takeaway: Earn their trust by making sure your cross-platform messaging is authentic and consistent. Capitalize on this with personalized, targeted marketing. Remember salutations? Manners? They still count. And skip the overt sales pitch – Gen X can smell a hard sell a mile away.
The Trait: Gen X is Brand Loyal
Gen Xers lead the pack when it comes to reading and writing reviews, and research has shown that as many as 45% of consumers say they’re more likely to visit a business that responds to negative reviews.
The Takeaway: Good customer service may sound like a no-brainer, but having a positive experience is crucial to repeat business. A simple thank-you goes a long way with Gen X, but also consider discount offers and rewards. And stay on top of reviews – engage with the positive and respond to the negative – in a timely manner.
The Trait: Gen X is Active on Social Media
While this demographic still understands and appreciates the value of traditional media, 95% use Facebook, and 70% will likely purchase from a brand they follow on social.
The Takeaway: Be sure to tailor posts (and ads!) to them. Use Facebook’s proprietary tools to target your ads to a narrowly defined audience (for example, women between the ages of 40 and 55 who live within a 50-mile radius of your practice), and tap into their robust analytics to help track engagement. By all means, make sure your About page is informative and up to date – and includes a call-to-action.
The Trait: Gen X is Outwardly Mobile
The majority of Gen Xers are busy professionals and are likely to have families, and their online activities are more purpose-driven than entertainment related. A staggering 92% of Gen Xers own a smartphone, and Nielsen reports they log upwards of 21 hours per week on mobile, second only to Gen Z.
The Takeaway: Make sure your site is responsive (mobile friendly), and that links and buttons are spaced appropriately to prevent the frustration of hitting the wrong button. And pay attention to text size – copy that is easy to read on a 15” laptop won’t necessarily be legible on mobile. Page load time matters, too – not only does Google penalize sites that are slow to load in their rankings, but users will, too, bouncing elsewhere to look for what they need.