Could You Pass Marketing 101 Today?

The CMO plays an important executive role in firms for developing and implementing the company’s long-term strategic plan, including new product opportunities, acquisitions/joint ventures, and other growth initiatives to meet the company’s annual revenue goal. The CMO also creates and executes a marketing plan that builds the company’s brand, including developing consistent messaging across all on and offline marketing channels to the proper target audience.

I am going to focus on the responsibility of identifying the proper target audience. First, let’s define them: Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y. A whole book could be written about each of these demographics; for the purpose of this article I will highlight cultural events, various names and age segmentation. Then take your best shot at the quiz.

Silent Generation: Currently 67 - 87 Years Old

Born between 1925 and 1945, saw the Great Depression, lower birth rates due to World War II, Korean War, icons such as Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, better education, this generation tended not to protest or carry posters.

Baby Boomers: Currently 48 - 66 Years Old

Born between 1946 and 1964 with cultural influences of rock ’n’ Roll, Woodstock, Beatles, Vietnam War, JFK assassination, “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “Happy Days,”

women’s rights, civil rights, sexual freedom and new highways that encouraged travel.

Gen X: Currently 32 - 48 Years Old

Born between 1964 and 1980. Gen X is also called the MTV generation, grew up with AIDS epidemic, 40% have divorced parents (Wall Street Journal, 2011), dot-com bubble and attaining high educational levels.

Gen Y: Currently 14 - 32 Years Old

Born between 1980 and 1998. The demographic cohort, also known as the Millennial Generation, Boomerangs, Echo Boomers, Trophy Kids and Eighties Babies. Grew up with computers, environmental awareness, high expectations for employment, marry later.

1. Which female in this demographic group influences or makes 80% of household decisions?

A. Silent Generation

B. Baby Boomers

C. Gen X

D. Gen Y

Answer: B. Baby Boomers. According to Marti Barletta, once the college bills are out of the way and children are on their own, the discretionary spending power of 50-plus women soars. They spend 2.5 times what the average person spends. Women are the primary buyers for computers, cars, banking, financial services and a lot of other big-ticket categories.

2. Which demographic dominates 94% of consumer packaged goods categories?

A. Silent Generation

B. Baby Boomers

C. Gen X

D. Gen Y

Answer: B. Baby Boomers. Only five percent of advertising is aimed at them. (Source: Marketing Daily, July 22, 2010)

3. Who purchases 80% of luxury travel?

A. Silent Generation

B. Baby Boomers

C. Gen X

D. Gen Y

Answer A. Silent Generation and B. Baby Boomers. According to Pew Internet and American Life Project, 42% of all travel industry purchases happen online, and adults 50+ account for 80% of all luxury travel spending.

4. Who purchases three out of five new cars in the U.S.?

A. Silent Generation

B. Baby Boomers

C. Gen Y

D. Gen X

Answer: B. Baby Boomers. J.D. Power & Associates says customers over age 50 make up 62.5% of annual new car sales. Boomers buy more new cars and spend more on the each car.

5. Who holds 70% of the U.S. Wealth and spends the most online each month?

A. Silent Generation

B. Baby Boomers

C. Gen Y

D. Gen X

Answer: B. Baby Boomers. A Metlife Study Fall 2011 older households have experienced a $659 billion increase in the past 10 years, up 6%. In contrast, household income for adults aged 25-44 fell 7% for an aggregate income loss of $312 billion.

USA Today surprised people when it reported Boomers are among the biggest buyers of technology; additionally, the Women and Consumerism survey found that the most affluent segment of women, who have no children at home, are especially heavy users of PDAs and computers.

Did you get an A+ on your marketing quiz? Most CMOs are Baby Boomers themselves between ages 48 and 66. They understand the life stages and desires of this demographic from adventure travel to being an empty-nester, caregiver or grandparent.

It’s worth noting, Baby Boomers have incredible, energetic role models. George Clooney and Brad Pitt, both Boomers were nominated for best actor at the upcoming Academy Awards. Madonna, 53, was the Super Bowl half time’s coveted entertainment and Bruce Springsteen, 62, opened up last week’s Grammys.

Tags: baby boomers
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5 comments about "Could You Pass Marketing 101 Today?".
  1. Tony Nino from PADV Pasadena Advertising , February 21, 2012 at 1:27 p.m.
    Just as an aside, Boomers are probably aware of the Korean War years 1950 - 1953. The following line about the "Silent Generation" should have been a bit better proofed: "Born between 1925 and 1945, saw the Great Depression, lower birth rates due to World War II, Korean War," Deserved or not, such a discrepancy reflects negatively on all the research in the report. Tony (Boomer/Silent cusp - and active protester) Nino
  2. Ruth ann Barrett from EarthSayers.tv , February 21, 2012 at 1:52 p.m.
    Excellent, thanks for the information. Let's hope that numbers can overcome stereotypes. Most of the technology invented today is by boomers, including mobile and mobile apps. Really.
  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited , February 21, 2012 at 6:09 p.m.
    Beautiful post.
  4. Nancy Padberg from Navigate Boomer Media , February 22, 2012 at 1:02 a.m.
    Thank you Paula and Ruth Ann. Tony, I reviewed your last 4 comments for other authors and they are all negative too. Its amazing when colleagues support one another in the industry - please try to. As you well know all the demographic information can be off from 1 to 5 years, no one owns this information.
  5. Suzie Mitchell from Mitchellpr.com , March 5, 2012 at 4:54 p.m.
    This is great information. Thanks for the post and I enjoyed the Q & A format