How to Target Generation X through Paid Ads

Finding new audiences is a constant challenge for marketers. If you've never tried marketing for Generation X, you could be missing out on a valuable group of consumers.

Why should you customize ads for a Generation X target market? Your clients are individuals, but they also belong to a group based on the year they were born in. As unique as they may be, they move through some experiences and periods of life together.

What makes Generation X so valuable? We're going to look at who these consumers are, what experiences can affect how they respond to ads, and some best practices to ensure your ads hit the mark.

How old is Generation X?

1965 to 1980 are typically referred to as Generation X years.

The name "Generation X" was taken from a 1991 novel by Douglas Coupland entitled "Generation X: Stories for an Accelerated Culture". Some say the name gained popularity also because of the generation's refusal to be defined. The X refers to the variable "x" so they can be named but may not be limited by definition.

What is special about Generation X?

Generation X was often ignored as marketers instead targeted the bigger baby boomers and millennial generations. However, a look at their spending shows that this is a worthwhile target audience for our marketing.

While stereotypes can be harmful, we can look at their shared experiences to consider what motivates them, what they value, and what they might be concerned about in their current stage in life.

The oldest of this generation grew up during the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal. Others remember the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Generation X took over computers and the Internet, saw the year 2000 and the AIDS epidemic. Gen X is the first generation to have been exposed to the internet for most of their life, although most of them did not have access in their childhood.

People often characterize Generation X as autonomous, adaptable, independent and ethical, with a “big picture” mindset. They are occasionally viewed as skeptical, but they could also be called critical thinkers. They are currently considered financially stable, but they also trade with hunters.

Why you should target Generation X with paid ads

Why should you target Gen X in marketing? Purchasing power is one reason. They make up about 25 percent of the population but bring home about 31 percent of the income.

There are roughly 65 million Generation X, and they're spending millennials by 41 percent and baby boomers by 18 percent.

Which brands does Generation X like right now? The top 10 brands include technology, retail, media and entertainment, automotive, and apparel companies. Other categories may include solutions to the concerns they are currently facing, such as: These include aging parents, maintaining their health and wellbeing, protecting the safety of their families, or helping them plan retirement.

SaaS platforms offer flexibility and affordable ways to make consumer lives easier and better. Generation X appeals to both.

Strategies for Targeting Generation X Through Paid Ads

It is wise to remember that the elders of this group act more like baby boomers, while the youngest act more like millennials. Generation X marketing strategies should include paid search ads, email marketing, social media, and even the occasional direct mail.

Your online presence is important. Gen X shoppers tend to be careful researchers of companies and products before making any purchasing decisions.

Make sure your website is clear, up-to-date, accurate, and full of reassuring information and reviews. If they don't like what they see online, they will likely switch to one of your competitors.

Generation X are tech savvy enough to use Google regularly and frugal enough to look for coupons and promotions. You can target them with paid ads that use the language they are likely to use for this type of search. Make sure your copy of your ad uses terms such as "discount" or "coupon code" and make your advertising clear and authentic.

To avoid missteps? A strong sale is not needed or welcomed and could be daunting. So avoid making too much promises. In addition, 66 percent still shop in brick-and-mortar stores.

Run paid ads on social channels that they use the most

Generation X consumers like social platforms, with nearly 78 percent active on social media. Which platforms do you prefer? Statista shows:

  • 76 percent use Facebook
  • 70 percent use YouTube
  • 47 percent use Instagram
  • 40 percent use LinkedIn
  • 39 percent use Twitter

Don't forget platforms like Pinterest and Etsy. 35 percent of Pinterest users are between 30 and 49 years old, and 27 percent are between 50 and 64 years old. The average Etsy seller is around 39 years old. The content on Pinterest is heavily geared towards their interests, including DIY, cooking, and home projects.

Generation X - Pinterest DIY ideas

On each platform, create campaigns directly targeting that group and use a range of ad types to make sure you take advantage of those channels. For example, if you know they are heavy Facebook users, you want to use all kinds of Facebook ads, including images, dynamic ads, videos, and carousel ads, to get their attention.

Keep in mind that if they are following brands on social media, it is to find out about promotions and discounts. Build in some promotions and specials on your social posting calendar, for followers and fans only.

Create ads that are specifically designed for Gen X.

Generation X is loyal to their favorite brands, but wary of invasive advertising. They don't enjoy aspects of digital marketing that seem intrusive to their personal life, and are not fans of text messaging or retargeting.

They're more open to email marketing, and including offers and promotional codes in emails can be a great way to attract these customers.

Be authentic and show that quality and service are essential elements of your offering. You need to create ads that speak to them directly, with ad copies and messages that speak their language. Use images that reflect real people and Gen X's daily life.

They are mobile friendly and 90 percent of them own smartphones. Make sure your website and ecommerce store are mobile optimized to provide a great experience and turn visitors into customers.

Incorporate reviews into your paid ads for Generation X.

Brand loyalty means building trust, and this generation wants social proof. Show and tell them that they can trust you to keep your promises.

Share case studies, view testimonials, enable platforms that invite reviews, and share your best reviews through your advertising.

Submit strategies to get more reviews and then use them in your advertising. Use the insights you gain from studies to create ads that feel even more relevant and meaningful to your audience.

How can you inspire your customers to leave more reviews?

  • Offer them multiple ways to leave reviews.
  • Make sure the review process is quick and easy for your client.
  • Share positive reviews from other customers.
  • Offer incentives.
  • Reply to all reviews.
  • Work on finding solutions to frustrated customers.

Look for signs that your customer is happy enough to leave a positive review before asking. Good times to ask may be after they've expressed their satisfaction, when they reorder a product, when they refer you to a friend, or when they mention or tag you on social media websites.

What can you do with the feedback you get from customer reviews? Add snippets to your paid ad to encourage searchers to click your ad and include ratings, reviews, and testimonials in your ad theme.

Adding social evidence to your paid search lists can help you stand out and increase your click-through rate (CTR). This can increase your Quality Score, ultimately lower your cost per click (CPC), and increase your sales.

Get creative and use customer reviews in paid social media ads. Make sure to protect the privacy of your customers. Add an offer or testimonial line to your email marketing. Add them to your homepage to attract organic traffic as well.

Create paid ads that appeal to Gen X emotions

Generation X is currently at an age where nostalgia can be an effective element in advertising. They like reboots and setbacks.

Are they more emotionally connected to the past or nostalgic than other generations? Not necessarily. Generation X has access (and the first significant access) to all of their memories and old favorites. They also have access to platforms that allow them to share this content and connect with others based on it.

Generation X is interested in past events, entertainment, pop culture and music. 75 percent of Generation X spend their YouTube time watching nostalgic content such as videos about past events or people. They also enjoy watching video content to learn DIY skills and to keep up with news and current events.

This McDonald & # 39; s commercial starring Jason Alexander from Seinfeld has over 2.5 million views on YouTube. While there are some younger viewers watching these classics, you can bet that many Generation Xers will remember watching them when they first aired on TV.

How can you use this in your advertising? Create nostalgia with throwback elements that will remind you of your favorite ad spots, programs, or films from your youth.

Create and promote a loyalty program in your paid ads for Generation X.

Creating a loyalty program can be a great way to reach out to Generation X. Gen X is known for its brand loyalty and is likely to value and respond to companies that reward their loyalty.

They like to stick with brands they trust, so relationship building is important. Generation X is often overlooked by marketers and can be won over as part of an exclusive group.

Building these connections over time ensures that Generation X customers stay loyal and don't migrate to competitors. If you can show them that you care about excellent service and programs that make them feel important, stick with it.

What should loyalty programs include? Generation X likes special treatments, limited offers, and special attention on special occasions. You will likely appreciate birthday promotions, recognition on special anniversaries, and special discounts and events.

Examples of paid ads for Generation X.

The best Gen X marketing examples use platforms that they use and target their interests and values. Typically, effective ads with this group target Generation X marketing traits and use elements of nostalgia to build connections quickly.

Look out for crossover ads that use nostalgia to get Gen X's attention, such as: In this ad, one of the main characters on a popular television show in recent years recreates a memorable sequence from Ferris Bueller's Day Off, a 1986 film known to this generation.

Younger consumers will recognize the "Stranger Things" actor. Almost every Gen Xer will intercept the reference and cameo from one of the original actors.

When a company chooses Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Robocop, they are targeting a specific audience.

Released in the founding years of Generation X, these films, when used in advertisements, can create an instant relationship between a Gen X consumer and the brand.


It is true that each generation group behaves differently, has different motivations and views, and consumes media differently than the others.

Before you write your ad copy, learn a little about how Gen X live and what they love, then let your language and ad copy show that they're your focus. This “middle child” generation is often ignored and is likely to respond positively to recognition and understanding.

As you learn more about these differences, you can target these groups with paid ads that are likely to get resonance, rather than blanket ads that everyone misses.

Remember, you don't have to do this yourself! Reach out to digital marketing experts so you can effectively connect with valuable audiences.

What could Gen X targeting with paid ads do for your business growth?

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