Thursday, November 06, 2008

Generation X: Coming of Age Online

Born between 1965 and 1981, Generation X is no longer the grungy, ripped-jeans kids Time magazine first described in 1990. Gen Xers are now in their peak years of product and service consumption, and they view electronic media as a primary tool for conducting research and accomplishing a vast array of every day tasks.

EMarketer's new Generation X report analyzes the attitudes and behaviors of the first generation to reach maturity sitting in front of computer screens while talking on mobile phones.

According to US Census Bureau statistics, 83.8 million people were in the 25-to-44-year-old Gen X age bracket as of July 2007. And, even to a greater degree than the baby boomers that preceded them, Generation Xers have embraced technology. For information on everything from parenting to consumer products, they go online. For them the Internet, along with mobile phones and PDAs, is a convenient way to shop, bank and network with peers.

Unfortunately, Gen X presents unprecedented challenges to marketers. The media they use is fragmented. They embrace a wider range of lifestyles than previous generations. And, weaned on MTV and cable television, they are largely immune to traditional advertising.

Country radio is fortunate, at least. that we can watch younger-targeted radio formats over the next three to five years and learn from mistakes they make, but one thing is certain: we won't be doing things the same way in ten years .. or we'll be only a 50+ format!

Fortunately, there are many examples of successful country stations which have found that they can use core values univerals to do well across the demographic spectrum of the family reunion that is the country target audience, from teens to seniors.

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