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From Baby Boomers to Gen Z: How Each Generation Takes Advantage of Smart Technology

September 20, 2018 No Comments

Featured article by Calvin Paige, Independent Technology Author

As you’ve probably noticed, there is a distinct difference in the way each generation takes advantage of technology. The Baby Boomers, who were born from 1946 to 1964, handle the Internet of Things (IoT) differently than the Generation X group, who entered the world between 1965 and 1976. Then you have the Millennials or Gen Y generation, who were born between 1977 and 1995 and the Gen Z gang who came along in 1996 or after.

Because each generation connects with the IoT — literally and figuratively — in varying ways, it is important for tech business owners to be knowledgeable about these differences and then focus their marketing appropriately. With that in mind, let’s take a look at each generation and how they approach tech and how businesses can capitalize on this information:

Baby Boomers: More Tech-Minded Than You May Think

Of all of the generations, the Baby Boomers are probably most likely to start a sentence with “In MY day…” and the finish it by telling you about how they survived their childhood with a rotary phone and a few channels on a black-and-white TV. However, as IoT for All notes, many Baby Boomers live in tech-driven smart homes. They may not have the natural inherent inclination for all things tech like their children and grandchildren, but Baby Boomers are often interested in keeping their homes safer with gadgets, as well as IoT tools that can help with their health such as automated medication reminders, virtualized caregiver platforms and more. As for how to market to them, it is best to adopt a somewhat slower and encouraging approach, taking the time to show them how each gadget works and explaining how it’s beneficial for their lifestyle.

Generation X: Favors IoT for Health-Related Issues

Generation X’ers are generally eager to try out new technology. Because most of them are still working and may have a fairly decent sized nest egg saved up, they tend to be able to afford the latest and greatest gadgets. As a whole, Generation X loves IoT-connected fitness devices; they are reaching an age where they realize it is more important than ever to take care of their health, and they are happy to have wearable tech that makes this goal even easier. Many in this group have teenagers who are tech whizzes, so they are very familiar with what is out there and are happy to try them. If you sense you have a Gen X’er in your store, showing off the newest tech gadgets is a good approach, with a strong emphasis on fitness and home-based technology.

Millennials/Gen Y: Give ‘Em Apps, Lots of Apps

As the American Marketing Association notes, the recent proliferation of mobile apps is led by the Millennials, or the Gen Y group. About 85 percent of this generation uses a smartphone, primarily for their apps. If you suggest that a Millennial call his grandma on his cell phone he may look at you funny, but he will probably be all over the idea of using the smartphone to download apps for everything from Uber to calorie contents of fast food and more.

With this in mind, if you have any apps related to your IoT technology, this is the group that will appreciate them the most. A good example of this is a Millennial who is in the market for a wire-free security camera systemsystem. While the Gen Y’er will undoubtedly appreciate the wire-free cameras that run on batteries instead of cables, they will really like the idea of using a mobile app to view their security system while away, or even from inside the house.

Generation Z: Keep it Brief and Informative, Thank You

As notes, the youngest generation lives and breathes social media, visual content on channels like YouTube, memes and GIFs. They are technologically savvy as a whole, but tend to have a shorter attention span than the older generations. To effectively market to them, keep content as short and sweet as possible as well as eye-catching, and point out the good reviews of your products — the Gen Z’er is likely to buy something based on positive reviews. This generation also tends to put a lot of stock in influential people rather than a specific age group, so if you can get a YouTuber to mention your tech or find a blogger to praise it, this would score big points with the Gen Z group.

Each Generation Can Be Great Customers

No matter how old your customers are, chances are good they will want to use and appreciate the technology you are selling. By understanding some of the key differences among the generations and marketing appropriately, you should find yourself with a wide range of ages in your clients.


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