Written By: Alissa Isenhath, Vacation Rental Content/Copywriter
What is generational marketing? It’s just a fancy term for being aware of the buying habits of your guests and potential guests and creating your marketing pieces accordingly.
With the current situation, it’s more important than ever that you speak each generation’s language. We get that knowing what to say to whom is always a challenge, but we just don’t have much margin for error anymore.
To help you with finding the right voice to speak to your various demographic groups, we’ve created this generational marketing guide for you.
Born between 1946-1964, baby boomers are the largest demographic out there, with the majority of the discretionary income. Unfortunately, studies indicate that they are also the least likely to book a vacation rental.
Still, overlooking this group because of either their age or their unfamiliarity with vacation rentals could be a costly mistake. Think of it as a great educational opportunity!
Boomers are absolutely an important aspect of your generational marketing plan. Here’s what you need to know to draw them in.
● Baby Boomers are loyal to the brands they love. If you provide an excellent experience, with great customer service, they will likely return to you. And, like all generations, they’ll tell their friends and family.
● Facebook is the social media option of choice for Baby Boomers. Be sure you allocate marketing funds there.
● Typically, Boomers like to talk to a real person before making a purchase decision. Make sure your website has your phone number prominently displayed and that a knowledgeable staff member is available during business hours (and beyond, if possible).
● Remember, many boomers have money to spend. They’re going to be the ones reserving your larger homes with more upscale amenities. Bear this in mind with Facebook posts and “click to call” links on your website.
Generational marketing looks quite a bit different with this group. Born between 1981 and 1999, Millennials have a different set of values and priorities than earlier generations.
Because many of them were just entering the workforce during the recession of 2009, they turned to entrepreneurship to pay the bills. As a demographic, they are notoriously soft-hearted, eco-minded, and cause-oriented.
They also love social media and can usually be found interacting online. They highly value the opinions of their friends and trusted others and will seek out advice and reviews before making a purchasing decision. Here’s how to market to them:
● Innovation – they love the next great thing. Provide it and not only will they come, they’ll bring their friends
● Interact with reviews – reviews are everything to millennials. Make sure not only that your reviews are stellar, quickly resolve any poor ones, and make sure to meaningfully interact with your reviewers.
● Connect through social media. Millennials use Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and others. Meet them there.
● Discounts – Millennials love a bargain. If you can, offer a special incentive for a booking.
Generation Z was born after 1999, and unlike their Millennial counterparts, don’t remember a time when there was no internet. With their shorter attention spans (8 seconds vs. Millennials 12), you’ll have to grab them fast and hard to gain any marketing traction.
Here are the best methods to rise above the din for Generation Z.
● They’re interested in experiences, not products. So attract them with the offer of an add-on value, such as a hike, an activity tour, or a ticket to an attraction.
● They respond to video, so YouTube and Vimeo are the places to find and gain their attention. Create videos about your area, your most popular homes, and even your experience partners.
● Engage authentically with your audience online. A full 76% of Gen Zers say that brands should reply to feedback and that this feedback is crucial to trustworthiness.
● Consider micro-influencers. Those industry influencers with between 10,000 to 100,000 followers seem to enjoy the most credibility to Gen Zers.
Follow these generational marketing tips and you’ll soon see the results in your confirmed reservations!