Business People's Hands Holding The Speech Bubble With BusinessThe issue of a cross-generation audience has always posed a problem for marketers. The digital arena is no exception, but there are more tools and platforms with which you can launch relevant campaigns to specific audiences.

Communicating with your audience is key in advertising, but people want different things – and that is certainly the case for prospects that come from different generations.

The first thing you need to determine is the number of generations you are targeting and determine their mind set and the benefits your services or products can offer them.

Here is a list of the five generations in the marketplace:

Traditionalists, born pre 46

The war generation typically cling on to old-fashioned values and are clearly getting on in years. They are likely to be dependent on others, which also includes their decision making.

Marketers need to earn trust from the oldest generations so your advertising campaign must sound honest and sincere. Tell them how much you want to help them and how much you will help them. Throw a discount in to show you have good intentions. Pensioners are more open to bargains.

Baby boomers 1946-1964

Post war babies are mostly retired or thinking of retiring. They are therefore wary of what they spend their money on. They are also of the generation that grew up on expressions such as “too good to be true” and “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

Baby boomers are a tough nut to crack and they do not fall for ads that over promise. Be realistic and shape your campaign to offer the best value for money package that includes a tempting but believable bonus.

Generation X 1965-1976

The 38-50 age group are more or less in tune with modern technology. They may not all be the most internet savvy, but you can bet they know how to purchase and research online.

Traditional TV ads do not influence this age group, nor do they have time to sit through a lengthy sales pitch and typically avoid social media marketing. They want straight-to-the-point, honest talk and will only buy things they need.

Generation Y – 1977-1990

The Y Generation are fully interconnected with cable TV, mobile phones, social media and computer games. There are many ways to reach them, but they are more persuaded by promotional offers and word-of-mouth advertising.

This age group are typically active on social media networks, but are also fed up with marketing ads appearing in the news feeds. The best way to reach them is by providing informational content and creating a sales funnel that leads them to your product page.

Generation Z 1990-2009

The youngest generation were born plugged in to technology. They are influenced by online media, virtual acquaintances and their peers. Although sensibilities still lean towards the “I want it!” they are also wiser to forms of advertising that make promises companies do not keep.

Their attention spans are also shorter so quick, sharp ads work better. Don’t leave any room for them to question, just tell them what they need. Images work very well on this generation. Show, not tell.

To be a successful marketer, knowing how your audience think helps you find the right words for your ads, and knowing how to reach them determines where you should place relevant copy.