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When developing a direct mail campaign, we often take into consideration a person’s age when developing targeted copy. But there are different ways to use that information. Let’s look at three ways that offer benefits for different audiences and different types of products.

1. Product Selection

The first and most common way to use someone’s age in targeted marketing is to inform the selection of products you offer. If you’re a retailer, you’re more likely to entice younger buyers with Bluetooth headphones or virtual reality headsets, for example, while for older, more established buyers, you might offer FitBits or devices for a Smart Home.

Even for products that cross generational lines, there are differences in how people make decisions based on their age demographic. When it comes to athletic shoes, younger buyers may focus on aesthetics and the level of a brand’s social responsibility, while older buyers may focus on quality of the materials and overall comfort and performance.

2. Life-stage Marketing

The second way to take someone’s age into consideration is by marketing to their life stage. Consumers 18–24 years old are likely to still be single. They are more open to products that involve travel and experiences than, say, those who are 25–34 years old and are starting families and raising young children. Likewise, a family with children going off to college will have very different needs from empty nesters (those with no children living at home) or those planning for retirement.

3. Generational Targeting
The third way to use age demographics is in how you craft the message to reflect their values. For example, Millennials tend to value experiences and social responsibility, so craft messaging that reflects those priorities. Meanwhile, Boomers are more likely to respond to messaging that reflects the values of respect, morals, and a strong work ethic. The Silent Generation tends to respond to language that reflects honesty, work ethic, and morals, as well, especially when communicated through more traditional media (print, television, radio).

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