A quick summary of our ever-changing global demographics
Every 15-20 years a new generational label is created. As technology ramps up faster each year, these gaps will become much tighter. How is this decided? Well, let’s not get into that today. You know the labels: Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z.
Many marketers make the mistake of using these labels at face value. A Millennial today is not the same as a Millennial 5 years ago. Every year makes a difference. New products, words, apps, and ground-breaking innovations have the potential to make an impact on any generation. That’s you should look past the label, and concentrate on the cultural shift within each generation as time goes on.
Questions that make your head spin
- What are they interested in again?
- Who are they now?
- How do they interact with each other?
- Why do they keep changing?
These are the types of questions that have constantly changing answers, which you need to keep up with in order to help your marketing efforts.
The Generation Gap
The Bank of America published one of the most intriguing global generational summaries.
Here’s what they found:
|**Silent Generation**||**Baby Boomers**||**Gen X**||**Millennials**||**Gen Z**|
|**Life-Defining Events**||WW1 and WW2 · Great Depression · Electric Appliances||Cold War · Moon Landing · Transistor Invented||End of Cold War · Live Aid · 1st Personal Computer||9/11 · Iraq War · Advent of Social Media||Post-Great Recession · Arab Spring · Rise of AI|
|**Communication Style**||!(uploads/comm-1-l8ok8x.png) Handwritten Letters||!(uploads/comm-2-p9uspq.png) Telephone||!(uploads/comm-3-geqct7.png) Email / SMS||!(uploads/comm-4-ztcjnp.png) Instant Messaging||!(uploads/comm-5-gbohqr.png) Emojis|
|**Key Technology**||!(uploads/tech-1-g7y7kz.png) Vehicles||!(uploads/tech-2-mjnjwo.png) Television||!(uploads/tech-3-miclru.png) Computers||!(uploads/tech-4-llblwo.png) Smartphones||!(uploads/tech-5-qy58sz.png) Virtual Reality|
|**Hobby**||!(uploads/hobby-1-fywvwm.png) Reading||!(uploads/hobby-2-i9dsl2.png) Watching TV||!(uploads/hobby-3-xfrmza.png) Internet||!(uploads/hobby-4-ggf9lj.png) Video Games||!(uploads/hobby-5-ysurf4.png) Streaming Music|
|**Iconic Figure**||Franklin D. Rossevelt||John F Kennedy||Kurt Cobain||Mark Zuckerberg||Malala|
|**Music**||Jazz · Swing||Elvis · Beatles||Nirvana · Madonna||Britney Spears · Justin Timberlake||Justin Bieber · Taylor Swift|
|**Transportation Method**||'55 Ford Thunderbird||SUV||Bicycle / Car||Uber / Lyft||Mom's Prius|
|**Current Living Situation**||Retirement Home||Semi Detached House||Owning a small apartment||Renting a small apartment||Parent's home|
|**Social Network (Besides Facebook)**||The Rotary Club||Match.com||Tinder||Snapchat|
|**Deepest Fear**||The present and the future||No longer the center of attention||What about my generation?||Paying off student debt||Low batteries|
|**Key Life Question**||How did the country go so wrong?||Where's my viagra?||What's the point?||What's a career?||What's a landline?|
|**Defining Condition**||Permanently Aggrieved||Erectile Dysfunction||ADHD||Gluten-intolerant||Peanut Allergy|
I find the chart above quite embarrassingly accurate, factual, and entertaining. It’s short, but thought-provoking. I’m hoping they do an annual update to make all our lives easier. I also hope you found the information above useful. Cheers!
Reference: Bank of America - Merril Lynch