Marketing to Gen X

For many marketers, Gen Z is the main focus. The ”TikTokification” of marketing and advertising has made it seem like younger generations are the key to success. However, there is still a significant and valuable market that often gets overlooked — Generation X. The ironic thing about Gen Xer’s elimination from marketing efforts is that they are responsible for a considerable portion of consumer spending. 

The Wall Street Journal reports that Baby Boomers will pass on $68 trillion to millennials and Gen Xers. Between 2018 and 2042, $70 trillion is expected to trickle down to their heirs, making them the wealthiest generation today. 

However, only 13% of Gen Xers say they feel represented in media and advertising. The disconnect is a missed opportunity for marketers. Let’s learn how to fill this gap in marketing to Gen X. 

What Is Generation X? 

Generation X is the demographic cohort born between 1965 and 1980. Their current age ranges from mid-40s to late 50s. They are often referred to as the “middle child” of generations, sandwiched between baby boomers and millennials. 

Notable Characteristics of Generation X 

According to Pew Research, Gen X has the following characteristics: 

  • Technology use
  • Work ethic 
  • Conservative
  • Smart
  • Respectful 

Marketers must keep these traits in mind when targeting Gen Xers. Just because Gen Xers are older doesn’t mean they are not tech-savvy. In fact, 92% of Gen Xers use social media daily, with 50% of these using TikTok

WeForums data shows that Gen X spends more than other generations in terms of eating out, clothing, entertainment, and housing. So, you have a considerable market for your product. 

But here are a few tips to keep in mind when marketing to Gen Xers. 

Segment Gen Xers in Two Groups 

One reason Gen X is a bit hard to target is because of the age range within this generation. Younger Gen Xers have more millennial-like habits, whereas Gen Xers born earlier share characteristics with Baby Boomers. 

Divide both groups into different segments and create targeted campaigns to connect with them. For instance, the younger group might be more interested in technology and social media marketing, while the older group may respond better to traditional forms of advertising. 

In some instances, you may have to dig a bit deeper. For example, Gen X and millennials form Facebook’s primary user base. But millennials also prefer using Instagram. So, if you’re targeting younger Gen Xers, your marketing campaign must include both platforms. 

Offer Discounts and Promotions 

Who doesn’t love a good discount? Gen Xers grew up in a time when coupons were all the rage, so it makes sense why discounts appeal to them. 

Try to incorporate promotions and discounts in your marketing strategy. For example, you can offer a discount for their first purchase. Also, give them special offers to renew subscriptions. 

Other options include birthday discounts and seasonal promotions. Since Gen X uses these platforms frequently, you can use personalized email marketing and social media to convey the message about these discounts to your audience

Use Testimonials to Build Trust 

Gen Xers are a bit skeptical of marketing tactics. They grew up when advertising wasn’t as prevalent, so they tend to question the authenticity of products and services. 

Unlike Gen Z, they’re not super-trusting of influencers, either. Instead, they prefer to hear positive reviews from others who have used your products. 

Showcase testimonials on your website for increased credibility. Also, make them a part of your social media and email marketing strategies. 

Collaborate with micro-influencers who are trusted by the Gen X audience. Although they may have a smaller following than major influencers, their followers are more likely to trust their recommendations. Look for influencers in the same age range as Gen Xers. 

Charlie D’Amelio or James Charles couldn’t sell makeup products to your 45-year-old audience. Instead, collaborate with influencers who have a lifestyle and age group similar to your target audience. 

Make Personal Connections 

Gen X feels more connected to ads that show real-world scenarios and everyday events. A little nostalgia can make your marketing tactics more relatable for Gen Xers. 

For instance, take inspiration from major events during their youth and incorporate them into your campaigns. You can also work with celebrities Gen X watched growing up rather than the current famous stars. The same applies to music and fashion exposure, too. 

Don’t Sleep On Traditional Marketing Strategies 

Gen Xers are present on digital platforms. So, you must meet them there. 

But that doesn’t mean you forget about digital platforms. Gen Xers still respond well to traditional marketing strategies like TV commercials and billboards. 

Statista data shows that 57.8 Gen Xers watch TV. Similarly, Google data found that 35% of Gen Xers watch TV with both cable and streaming, more than any other generation. 

If your product is Gen X-focused, make sure your TV ads target them. Similarly, you can incorporate magazine and radio commercials into your marketing strategies

Offer Loyalty Programs 

In the wake of the current inflation crisis, 94% of brands are focusing on customer loyalty. Similarly, 79% of brands plan to revamp their loyalty programs to adjust to the current market in the next three years. 

Gen X are huge fans of loyalty programs and are likely to stick with a brand that offers one. They value consistency and familiarity, so offering rewards for their continued support can keep them returning. Incorporate loyalty programs into your marketing strategies by providing exclusive discounts and freebies for Gen X customers. 

Case Studies of Gen X Marketing 

Let’s look at a few companies that have mastered advertising and marketing to Gen X. 

IKEA Print Catalog 

In the age of digital media, where you can get everything from weather forecasts to the trim levels of a new car through your phone, IKEA’s print catalog still thrives. Why? Because Gen X is used to flipping through something, be it a catalog or a magazine. 

Geico Radio Ads 

The insurance brand Geico is known for its quirky and humorous ads. However, their radio commercials are targeted at Gen Xers. Since these ads are relatable for Gen Xers and also make them laugh in the process, they tend to stick in their minds. 


Targeting Gen Xers in your marketing strategy can be tricky since the generation is exposed to traditional and modern advertising and marketing tactics. Finding the blend between the two is the way to reach this audience. 

Need extra help? At PixelFish, we assist businesses in their digital marketing strategies, especially in content creation and video production. Contact us to learn how we can help you target Gen Xers.