How to engage with Generation X

Posted 10 October 2023 by Bruce Ely Johnston

Generation X is the neglected middle child. Born between 1965 and 1980, they’re sandwiched between millennials and baby boomers. And they’re busy!

Many Gen Xers are shouldering substantial financial responsibilities, including mortgages, childcare, and caring for aging parents. So where does retirement fit into all this? They’re more pessimistic than baby boomers and are doubtful about being able to afford to retire.

Get to know Generation X

Now aged between 41 and 56, Generation X are growing their family, developing their careers and juggling responsibilities. Many Gen Xers still read newspapers and magazines. They also listen to the radio and watch around 165 hours of TV a month.

This generation grew up as technology advanced, making them comfortable with digital tools and online communication. They spend roughly seven hours a week on Facebook – more than any other generation. They’ll also use the internet for research and go online for financial management.

Although pre-pandemic they preferred to transact in person, as for so many of the population, digital transactions have now become much more familiar.

Generation X values self-sufficiency and appreciates financial advice that empowers them to make informed decisions.

The best way to communicate with Generation X is through email marketing

Generation X relies on email for work and updates from family. They check their email regularly: at work, at home, on tablets and iPhones, and desktops. And they can afford to buy the latest gadgets.

Gen Xers are suspicious of institutions and sceptical about hype. Once they find a brand that matches their values and aspirations, they tend to remain loyal customers.

So, with all this background in mind, what are the best ways to engage with them? Here are 6 ways to tap into Generation X wants and needs

  1. Give them context

Of all the generations, Gen Xers lead the way in online reviews. They write and consume online reviews and will use them to help inform their purchasing decisions.

Tap into this: use client testimonials in your marketing material and include a reference and/or link to your Google reviews and your VouchedFor profile.

  1. Tell it straight

Generation X have an impressive ability to sniff out rubbish. The majority are managers or entrepreneurs and so have the knowledge and experience to know when someone’s spinning them a line.

Tap into this: Give them the information they crave and be authentic in your messaging. Don’t expect them to fall for any old sales spiel. Be frank – they will appreciate and respect your honesty.

  1. Turn it into a story

Many of this generation are parents and consume media that relates to their values, for example, advertising with a focus on family life.

Tap into this: Root your conversations in real-life possibilities. Your financial expertise gives you the ability to change lives. Share true stories of how your advice has helped others.

  1. Engage on social media

It’s not only millennials who are obsessed with social media, Gen Xers are equally likely to engage with brands this way. In some cases, they are actually more likely to use social media, especially Facebook.

Tap into this: Make sure social media forms at least part of your marketing strategy. Use it to promote the stories they are most likely to respond to. And remember to keep your messaging authentic.

  1. Give them something to watch

This generation love video. They watch hours of TV and consume plenty of online video content too.

Tap into this: Use short videos to promote your services. If you’re comfortable behind the camera, consider setting up a YouTube channel and create video content that informs and educates people about financial planning. Alternatively, consider adding footage of recorded client testimonials to your website.

  1. Give a great digital experience

This generation won’t take kindly to a clunky, outdated web experience. If your website is slow to load, looks outdated, or is full of trite sales patter, they’ll go straight for the back-button.

Tap into it: Invest in a great website. To make a great first impression, consider asking a respected digital agency to build your website for you.

In conclusion

Generation X represents a significant demographic for planners and engaging with them in an authentic and meaningful way can pay huge dividends. By aligning your strategies with their preferences, values, and aspirations, you can build lasting relationships, support them through their financial journey, and make valuable referrers out of them too.

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Bruce Ely Johnston

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Bruce Ely Johnston