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 Generational Communications Learning to Speak Their Language - Presented by Monnie Huston Wertz, M.Ed.

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Presentation on theme: " Generational Communications Learning to Speak Their Language - Presented by Monnie Huston Wertz, M.Ed."— Presentation transcript:

1  Generational Communications Learning to Speak Their Language - Presented by Monnie Huston Wertz, M.Ed.

2 Initial questions about your business?  How do you communicate with your clients?  How do you or should you use technology?  How do people get information about your business?  What could you be doing to reach more Gen Xers and Millennials?

3 What’s so different? BoomersGeneration XersMillennials HandshakeHigh fiveFist bump Direct mailEmailText message TVDVROn-line Yellow pagesGoogleCell phone app TypewriterComputerSmart phones Library booksCD-ROMsOn-line databases

4 Generations  GI (born 1901-1924)  Silent (born 1925-1942)  Boomer (born 1943-1960)  Generation X (born 1961-1981)  Millennial (born 1982-1999) Taken from Howe, N., & Strauss, W. (1991). Generations. New York: Harper Perennial.

5 Who is Generation X?  Bottom Line Generation  New “Lost” Generation  13 th Generation  Cynical Generation  Slacker Generation  The Brash Pack  The Baby busters

6 Are you a Generation Xer?  Do you know who shot JR?  Do you know the meaning of the words “wax on/wax off”  Do you own cassettes?  Did you ever use a Trapper Keeper?  Do you remember “Solid Gold”?  Did you meet OJ Simpson while he was running through airports with his luggage?  Do you still feel conflicted about whether to “Just Say No” or to “Just Do It”?  Did you ever have super hero Underoos?

7 Culture/Contribution  Flexible and casual (birth of Casual Fridays and flex-time at work)  Yellow pages to Google and letters to email (beginning of tech orientation)  Come from weak families  Multi-employers – death of company loyalty  Lack of economic opportunities  Independent and self-propelled

8 Things to remember: Gen Xers  Don’t like hype – repelled by overstatement and hypocrisy.  Communicate open and directly – acutely aware of media manipulation.  Offer opportunities to educate them on your products and/or services. This is where the DIY revolution came from.  Offer a variety of times – flexibility is key and they value their lives.  Appeal to their sense of humor and creativity.  Concerned about gender stereotypes.  More likely to choose environmentally friendly products. Taken from Myron, Monique Reece and Truax, Pamela Larson, “Anatomy of the ‘Generation X’ consumer”, Denver Business Journal, April 24, 1988.

9 Millennials  Net Generation  Keyboard Generation  Google Generation  iGeneration  Digital Natives  Generation Y  Sunshine Generation  Baby Boomlet

10 Are you a Millennial?  Has the Green Giant always been Shrek not a guy on a vegetable can?  Has Earvin “Magic” Johnson always been HIV positive?  Does the KGB mean nothing to you?  Has Bobby Cox always been the manager of the Atlanta Braves?  Have their always been flat screened TVs?  Have condoms always been advertised on TV?  Have you ever used a card catalog to find a book in a library?

11 Culture/Contributions 1. Special 2. Sheltered 3. Confident 4. Team Oriented 5. Achieving 6. Pressured 7. Conventional  Howe, N., & Strauss, W. (2000). Millennials Rising The Next Great Generation. Toronto: Random House.

12 Things to remember: Millennials  Needs to understand how things benefit them specifically  Expect a multitude of choices – not dependant on “brand” or peer pressure for consumer choices  Low tolerance for delay and require constant feedback (text)  Practical and results oriented – expect processes to work consistently  More apprehensive and less self-reliant than former generations (parents) (decision making)  Word of mouth is the paramount of most trusted form of information – specifically from peers. Information taken from Millennial Behaviors and Demographics (2006) by Richard Sweeney and The Millennial Generation ( by Dr. Jeanna Mastodicasa

13 Influence of Technology

14 Examples of Common Technology  Facebook/discussion groups  Cell phone apps  Google search/customer reviews  On-line sales assistance

15 Facebook


17 Cell Phone Apps


19 Peer Reviews These reviews and ratings have become critical in Gen X and Millennial consumers decision making processes.


21 Bottom line to communications  Mobility – cell phones, email, iPods, pdas, wifi. Ask customers how they prefer to be contacted.  Interactive – IM, pop-up chats, discussion boards, blogs. If they don’t feel they can talk to you, they won’t come.  Specific – individualized responses, tailored information. The concept of privacy is dying so don’t be surprised by their expectations.  Clarity – clearly outline what services and products are available and on what terms. Managing expectations is important.  Diversity – of message and sensitivity to whom it is directed. Don’t assume language, ethnicity, or background.

22 Questions?

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