Marketers, meet your new consumers!

So, how about this economy, eh?

OK, so we’re tired of hearing about the depressed economy already. We know! We also know that a tight squeeze for some companies doesn’t have to mean hard times for you. Actually, it could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain market share, create loyal customers, and grow like a weed. And how the heck do you do that?

One simple way is to get in touch with the future of the consumer market – the people who will spend the country out of the red and back into the black. So which big spenders will you be seeing a lot more of? What groups with a disposable income should you keep an eye on? Who will drive the economic recovery?

Who is……Gen X and Gen Y!071005_consumerforum_bruce-temkin_edited_v3

Gen what now? The X-ers are people generally born from 1965 into the late 70′s, and Y-ers (or Millenials) came next, born between 1980 and into the 90′s.

A recent report from PricewaterhouseCooper and Retail Forward points to the affluent segments of these groups with the disposable income to make a difference. The “up-market affluents” of the Gen X market will also be influential in the economic comeback, the report says, because of their stage in life. About 60 percent of this age group has attended college, but unlike the Baby Boomers who preceded them, Gen X “may work to live rather than live to work.”

And what’s the Gen Y point of view? Only a quarter of the consumers interviewed said that they actually changed their spending habits because of the economy. Fewer existing debts and less of an urgent need to save leaves more money sitting in their pockets.

Potential customers? Yes. Same tactics to reach them? No. Companies need to understand that effectively connecting with these consumers is nothing like old marketing.

You’re living in the past – it’s a new generation.

Phone and face-to-face are out. Texts and online communication are in. Gen Y wants it, and they want it now! They’re used to the instant gratification of the digital world, and where their discretionary budget is concerned, these consumers are happy to spend on the latest and greatest technological toys. They’re all up in technology… and YOU need to be too!

Want to find these breeds in their natural habitat? They’re spending a lot of their time swarming all over the social networks. Like we’ve suggested in other posts, these are great tools for conducting your own market research and keeping up with the public perspective on your industry. How else can you make friends with the affluent Xs and Ys of the world? One word: APPS.

So go ahead, get out there and meet the new generation.

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