Marketing to Gen X: 6 Tips for Success

Brianna Anderson
Published: Apr 17, 2024
Last Updated:
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Every generation has different shopping habits and priorities. My Gen X mother always has a coupon handy and loves the convenience of shopping in physical stores. Meanwhile, my Gen Z little brother orders everything online and follows his favorite brands on social media. 

Companies can use generational marketing to best serve these diverse needs and interests. This approach involves using audience profiling to tailor marketing efforts for different generations based on their shared characteristics and values. Many marketers focus on targeting baby boomers and millennials, but the generation between these groups often gets overlooked. Discover top tips for marketing to Gen X so you can engage this valuable audience. 

Who Are Gen Xers?

The Pew Research Center defines Generation X as people born between 1965 and 1980. This generation is often referred to as America’s “lost generation” or  “middle child.” These nicknames reflect Gen X’s placement between two larger generational cohorts: baby boomers and millennials. 

People who belong to Gen X tend to have similar traits and values, including: 

  • High spending power: The World Economic Forum reports that Generation Xers are the biggest spenders. In 2021, this generation spent an average of $83,357. By contrast, millennials spent $69,061, and boomers spent $62,203. 
  • Concerns about finances: 2023 study found that Gen X households only have an average of $40,000 saved for retirement. As a result, many members of Gen X feel concerned about their financial future. 
  • Prioritization of work-life balance: Gen Xers were among the first employees to recognize the importance of work-life balance. They tend to have a strong work ethic but also care about spending time with their families.
  • Busy lives: Many Gen Xers are juggling careers, childcare, and supporting their aging parents. 
  • High social media usage: People often assume that Generation X isn’t tech-savvy, but that’s not the case. According to a recent Wavemaker study, 92% of Gen Xers use social media daily. 
  • Brand loyalty: The Wavemaker study reports that Gen X has more brand loyalty than other generations, making them valuable customers. 

Every individual is unique, so these traits won’t apply to all members of this generation. However, Generation X statistics can help you tailor your marketing to appeal to a significant portion of this demographic. 

What Attracts Generation X?

Common lifestyle choices and values shape Generation X shopping habits. According to a recent Forbes Advisor study, here are a few considerations that this generation often takes into account when making purchasing decisions: 

  • Data privacy: 87% of Gen X respondents said that data protection was the biggest factor that impacts their brand loyalty and purchase decisions.  
  • Employee well-being: 85% of Gen X prefer to support brands that treat their employees well. 
  • Brand reputation: 68% of Gen X consider brand reputation when buying products and services. 
  • Sustainability: 60% of Gen X respondents prioritize companies that try to minimize their environmental impact. 
  • Purchasing experience: 46% of Gen X prefer to make purchases in-store, compared to only 28% of Gen Z.  

Marketing campaigns that align with these values and preferences can effectively attract and retain Generation X customers.  

Top 6 Tips for Marketing to Gen X Successfully

The Pew Research Center predicts that in 2028, there will be 64 million Gen Xers in the United States. Companies that earn the loyalty of this generation of consumers can achieve significant growth and profitability. Here are six strategies to market to this demographic effectively. 

1. Gain Their Trust Through Spotless Reviews

Generation X tends to highly value product reviews and customer testimonials. According to a TELUS International Survey, 86% of Gen Xers report that positive reviews have influenced their purchasing decisions. 

Incorporate social proof in your content marketing strategy to appeal to Gen X. Create content that showcases your customers’ positive experiences with your brand. For example, you can write case studies that explore how your products and services have benefited clients. You can also include quotes from satisfied customers in blog posts, social media posts, and other content. 

2. Entice Them With Discounts and Loyalty Programs

Generation X faces significant financial challenges due to several factors, including high debt and caring for aging parents. According to a 2023 survey, 50% of Gen Xers feel financially insecure. Given these hurdles, many Gen Xers are eager to find a good bargain. 

Gen X-centric marketing should promote opportunities for customers to save money and stretch their budgets. Consider offering loyalty programs with member perks and savings. You can also use digital marketing tactics to send Gen X customers emails with exclusive offers and coupons. 

Check out’s brand loyalty examples for more ideas about ways to win over customers. 

3. Ensure You Give Them Excellent Customer Service

Gen Xers will often become loyal customers to brands that deliver high-quality service. Marketers can use flywheel marketing tactics to deliver more engaging experiences and increase customer satisfaction. 

Consider sending customers emails with personalized product recommendations and exclusive offers based on their browsing behavior. You can also create a Generation X blog with posts tailored to the interests and pain points of this target audience. These tactics will help customers feel understood and valued. 

Additionally, 60% of Gen X consumers say that human customer service is “very important.” Marketers can accommodate this preference by engaging with customers on social media and addressing concerns promptly. 

4. Use Targeted Ads and Make Them Relatable

Marketing professionals can use targeted ads to capture the attention of Generation X. Conduct market research to identify the latest Gen X trends. For instance, you can survey customers about their lifestyles, hobbies, and favorite products. It’s also helpful to monitor industry trends such as new technology that could influence Gen X behavior. 

Use this data to create relatable ads that resonate with this generational cohort. For example, you can create commercials that reference 1970s culture to evoke childhood nostalgia in Gen X consumers, or produce ads that reflect aspects of the Gen X lifestyle, such as raising teenagers. 

5. Engage Them Through the Right Social Media Platforms

Most Generation X consumers use social media, but this cohort favors certain platforms. The most popular social platforms for people in their 40s today include YouTube (92%), Facebook (75%), and Pinterest (59%). Older Gen Xers in their 50s also prefer YouTube (83%) and Facebook (35%). 

The most effective Gen X marketing plans engage consumers on one or more of these social platforms. Here are a few ways to use social media for businesses

  • Partner with Gen X influencers to promote your brand. 
  • Create visual content to share on Pinterest, such as infographics and photos of Gen X customers using your products. 
  • Share how-to videos on YouTube. 
  • Develop personalized Facebook ads. 
  • Use social media content optimization to make your posts easier to find. 
  • Encourage customers to post user-generated content on social media and share their posts. 

6. Provide Helpful and Educational Content

Gen Xers often value self-reliance and self-sufficiency. They’re also naturally more skeptical than other generations and tend to research products and services before making a purchase. 

Generation X brands should create educational content to help these customers learn about the industry and their products. There are many types of helpful content, including articles, infographics, and webinars. These resources should provide meaningful and relevant information for Gen X customers. 

Create Marketing Content Tailored to Gen X

Research shows that Generation X are loyal customers with significant spending power. Yet many companies don’t target this demographic in their marketing campaigns. According to Wavemaker, only 4% of marketing research focuses on Gen X, and only 5% of brand spend on influencer campaigns is aimed at this group. 

If Gen X is part of your target market, be sure you're thinking about the nuances of how they like to consume content and create content that will be sure to resonate with them.


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