Author: Jarrod Walpert / Source: Entrepreneur In a society obsessed with millennials, I’ll just say it -- I’m a Gen Xer. All gasps aside,
In a society obsessed with millennials, I’ll just say it — I’m a Gen Xer.
All gasps aside, there’s good reason why you should be paying closer attention to me. First, some reminder math: Gen Xers are the 37- to 52-year-olds in your life, born roughly between 1965 and 1980. We grew up on Three’s Company and Growing Pains, knew MTV as the original music curator, solved the Rubik’s cube well before Candy Crush and understood what going viral meant before it was even a thing (e.g., that urban legend that Mikey from the Life cereal commercials died mixing Pop Rocks and Coke. Spoiler alert: he’s still alive).
No question, today’s brands have a myopic focus on millennials. I don’t dispute their importance or that they’re changing how we must communicate to grow our brands. Couple that with a renewed interest in boomers, and where does that leave Gen X? In the proverbial corner (yes, my fellow Xers, that was a purposeful reference to Dirty Dancing).
The truth is we have become an ignored generation when it comes to target segmentation. But, here’s fair warning: If you keep ignoring us, you’re probably going to regret it.
Why? Because we’ve come of age. We represent something that marketers can no longer afford to ignore: We are today’s most ambidextrous generation.
We’re in our forties and fifties and in the prime of our earning years. We’ve stepped into leadership roles and have become the decision makers. We’ve got elevated spending power, and we’re also important influencers — to millennials in the workplace and to our boomer parents who continue to navigate today’s digital culture. Whereas millennials grew up digital natives and boomers continue to learn and adapt to new technologies, as Gen Xers we found our way by being in between.
When we left college, we entered a workforce that was on the cusp of digital transformation. We learned to cross the bridge from analog to digital in our early twenties. Gen X was the first generation to use email in the workplace. We didn’t have collaboration…