How to market across generations

Leah Meirovich

To reach different age groups, jewelers need to embrace multichannel advertising with targeted messaging.

Many jewelers rely on “tried and true” methods of advertising, blasting consumers with the ideal of a happy couple: A man spots a gorgeous woman across the room and can’t take his eyes off her; their love grows, and he proposes with a beautiful, sparkling engagement ring. The idea behind this is to suggest that you, too, can have the romantic fairy tale if you shop with that jeweler. And for many in the target market — women — this is a story that sells.

While such generation-neutral marketing may strike a chord with some shoppers, it doesn’t always sit well with those who want to see brands representing them and their needs.

I think when you build your advertisements, you need to market to each of the different generations separately, because they are all going to be interested in different things,” says jewelry consultant and author Beth Bernstein. “For instance, if you were to consider a celebrity endorsement, you need to consider that every generation is looking for someone they can relate to. Someone like [actresses] Helen Mirren or Meryl Streep might appeal to the older generation, but the younger ones will likely not even have heard of them. However, you also can’t assume that all millennials and Gen Zs are keeping up with the Kardashians.

And it’s not just the content you need to consider when reaching out; the way in which you offer that content that can also make a difference.

There has to be a multichannel approach because of the different generations of consumers you have out there,” notes Megan Crabtree, owner of jewelry consultancy group Crabtree Consulting. “I think every type of generation is going to have a different way you can get to them. There’s not one type of marketing that’s going to work consistently and reach every type of consumer.”

Crabtree points out the radical differences in shopping behavior between baby boomers and millennials or Generation Z. “Through Covid-19, 5% of consumers in the US aged 65 and older bought a product online for the first time. So if your marketing is just an online digital approach, you’re probably not going to get that older consumer, whereas you’ll see the younger generation on their phones every minute of the day.”

Finding your financial focus

Many small and independent jewelers don’t have the money to create four or five different ads targeting multiple generations on multiple channels. However, most brands are not aiming to reach every generation all at once, maintains Laryssa Wirstiuk, founder of jewelry consultancy Joy Joya. In those cases, it would be more beneficial to figure out the age range of your brand’s target market and put most of your dollars into reaching that generation, allocating a smaller budget to the others.

Millennials and above tend to spend more time on Facebook and Instagram, so you may want to create ads using Facebook business manager and then decide what specific channels you want to show those ads on to reach them,” she explains. “But if you’re targeting Gen Z, it might be a completely different story. You might want to focus your attention more on Snapchat, TikTok or Instagram.

Most jewelers already have the means to determine what their target generation responds to and where they should focus the bulk of their marketing budgets. They just don’t always pay enough attention to that information, says Crabtree.

Retailers have already been doing multichannel marketing in local magazines, radio ads, social media,” she says. “Now I think people just have to get smarter, look at the data and the results they’re getting…and dive in on what works and pull back from what doesn’t. Right now, they’re just kind of throwing something at the wall and hoping it sticks.”

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Source Rapaport

Photo © Cartier.