Take a good look at your marketing materials and website. Does the language used sound formal, manufactured or “sales-y”? If you answered “yes,” you’re far from alone, but you need to hear this: high-pressure sales messages and corporate-speak are out! Straight talk and human language are in.
In today’s marketplace, the consumer base is dominated with Generation X-ers and Y-ers. They don’t want to spend time interpreting complicated, obscure messages. They want honesty, authenticity and transparency.
This idea is all part of a much broader marketing concept called generational marketing, which is based on the premise that the generation in which people are born has a significant influence on who they are, what they believe, what their values are, their life skills—and yes, what they buy! Basically, the four main generational categories are:
- Millennials or Generation Y-ers (born after 1980)
- Generation X-ers (born between 1965 and 1980)
- Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964)
- Matures (born (born between 1909 and 1945
Think about it this way: What would you say if you were having a conversation with a 25-year-old about your business? How about a 35-year-old? How we talk to people from these generations will probably differ greatly from how we would talk to someone from the Baby Boomer or Mature generation.
When we talk to Gen X-ers and Y-ers, we use real human language. And incomplete sentences, too. These are all things to keep in mind when writing your marketing copy. (But don’t get too informal—there’s still something to be said for spellcheck!)
There continues to be a lot of ongoing research about generational marketing and the motivations behind each generation’s purchasing decisions. But ultimately, you still need to do what’s most effective in connecting with your specific target market. If they’re Generation X-ers and Y-ers, personality and a conversational approach is what’s going to get their attention. If you’re targeting the Baby Boomer or Mature category, then you may want to tone it down a bit, but still keep it personable.
So when you go to craft your next marketing message, imagine your target audience sitting across from you and write to them as you would speak to them. Just remember, in the end, there’s a real human being sitting on the other side reading or listening to your message!