between generations, a passcode to identify the consumer
“Growing up using a smartphone”. Everyone seems to agree that Generation Z takes credit for this quotation. Despite every study data indicating that millennials are imposing new buying patterns (online) and impacting brand choices, nothing equivalent has been articulated for prior generations, even for Generation Y. In other words, the user experience. It’s all happening because of their lifestyle, the rising average age of marriage, and their all-encompassing focus on media, entertainment, technology, consumer goods and food/beverage and automotive services.
Let’s stroll alongside millennium idealism and be completely transparent just like Gen Z and their desire for products and services. Let’s incline towards research as well, just like Generation X, for every advertised product…Or fact, like a baby boomer.
Interactive reports exist for a variety of reasons, including the differences between generations and their approach to social media – which is currently the primary channel for digital advertising and product sales. However, the day that each person comes into this world is the main—and possibly most significant—reason.
Let’s learn a little more about the generations stated above, and not only:
The digital behavior of the Balkan countries and the latest trends
The generations have undoubtedly evolved along with technology. The history of social media, which is essential for the survival of enterprises, has been written by the human instinct to communicate using a language that combines words, images, numbers, and symbols. Why are we mentioning enterprises? Well, they are the ones that along with the marketers define and target the profile of the ideal consumer across generations.
Let’s have a look at the data provided by DataReportal for the year 2023 to better understand the digital behavior of the Balkan countries and their patterns before we get into details about the consumer’s characteristics (among the four generations).
The data lead us to the conclusion that, in the Balkan countries, the Internet and social media are accessible to the majority of the population. The motives for digital habits are already known and quite a few, although they differ from one generation to another. Here we can mention the constant need for information, getting in touch with friends, family, and new people; being updated with the latest news; watching videos, shows, movies, or listening to music; following a tutorial, and also the need to about finances or health problems.
We, the creators, turn to the Internet and social media because of the above reasons, but also for launching successful campaigns.
Different generations prefer different social platforms
A question that throws up a multitude of other questions is: Which social media is most preferred by different generations?
· TikTok is significantly more popular among younger users, of which 8.9% of Gen Z women and 5.4% of Gen Z men aged 16–24 stated that TikTok is their favorite social platform.
· Facebook is the first choice of Generation Y and Generation X, respectively, 33.7% of women and 33.6% of men in total, aged 25–54.
· WhatsApp is the most preferred platform for a small percentage of Generation X and baby boomers—20.4% of women and 19.3% of men in total, aged 45–64.
Let’s see another infographic from DataReportal to argue the assertion that Generation Y has not been called the most influential generation in the last 10 years for nothing. Even when it comes to the most used social platforms in the world, what this generation prefers the most ranks first on the list. This platform is Facebook.
Most popular social platforms around the world, until January 2023
Differences that come together for an undeniable truth
Millennials – these social influencers – use social media like Facebook to connect, share experiences and learn. They prefer content that is informative, relevant, and entertaining, but also inspiring. They are known as social influencers because, in the B2B buyer demographic, they result in a higher percentage.
According to the annual report of TrustRadius – a trusted platform in technology decision-making – millennials are the biggest buyers in the “game”, and it turns out that 60% of them are the real power.
Gen Z – grown up with smartphones, apps, and online platforms – value authenticity and creativity, and prefer short, visual, and above all interactive content. It is not for nothing that TikTok turns out to be their favorite platform.
The same TrustRadius report for 2023 shows that this generation only makes up 2% of the B2B buyer demographic, an almost negligible percentage.
Genz X – social buyers – use online media to research, compare, and buy products/services while being open to advertisements and offers. They are value-oriented and prefer content that is clear and compelling. What is required in this case from the agencies, is to highlight the benefits and features of the brands, to offer incentives and guarantees.
So far, it turns out that Gen X trails millennials in terms of purchasing power, at 32%.
Baby Boomers – social learners – stand out for their conservative approach to social media. They remain appreciative of factual and logical content. They like to stay informed but remain skeptical. To appeal to Baby Boomers, platforms also need to guarantee credibility and reputation. So obviously you can’t break into them by using Snapchat.
In the TrustRadius report, baby boomers make up just 6% of the B2B buyer demographic.
Being fully aware of the distinctive features of the generations, today’s marketers, in order to be ready for the future, must ensure that they’re always in pursuit of innovations and forms of content that social media offers. Marketing agencies also need to take into account communication strategies and digital strategies that millennials and Gen X are the biggest buying power and that Gen Z, unlike Boomers, is on the rise. This should translate in the long term into a different redistribution of buyer demographics.
However, one thing remains indisputable: Learners, influencers, and social buyers are all feeders to the marketing ecosystem.
For more than 20 years Vatra is a leading agency in design, branding, and digital communication that passionately connects brands with 55 million consumers in the Balkans.