Generation X, also known as the “sandwich generation,” are consumers born from 1965 to 1980. As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, Gen Xers, although often forgotten by marketers, will play an important role on the road to recovery for travel, food and beverages industries.
It is no secret the Covid-19 pandemic has taken a financial toll on all generations, inspiring some individuals to retire, leave the workplace and pursue entrepreneurial ventures. According to E-Marketers, Gen Xer’s “household incomes—averaging $106,173 pretax in 2019, according to the latest available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)—have been well above the US average.”
Despite this fact, Generation Xers are frugal spenders, often looking for deals and special promotions due to the economic downturn either through layoffs or reduced hours brought on by the pandemic. Allen Marketing Communications, a boutique New York City travel and lifestyle public relations, encourages savvy marketers to keep Gen Xers as part of their marketing priorities since there is considerable spending power to help with the road to recovery for the travel, food and beverage and hospitality industries.
Although this generation is doing double duty raising their kids while caring for aging parents, here are key insights for targeting this generation during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Search Engine Optimization
It is really important for savvy marketers to invest in SEO keywords and really optimize an eye catching, easy to navigate website for online searches. Gen Xers will search the internet for deals, as well as conduct cost comparisons for consumer products prior to making purchases either in person or online.
Research shows “Gen Xers spend at least three hours a day on their mobiles and it is important to optimize your website for mobile usage – website loads quickly on mobile applications, links work and text is easy to read on screen.”
Post COVID-19 Travel
The Covid-19 pandemic has sparked a trend – Flexication – families travel off peak, stay longer in a destination, parents work remotely and children participate in remote learning. Gen Xers who embraced Flexication during the pandemic are likely to embrace this new family travel trend as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.
In fact, “67 percent of families who embarked on a Flexication would embark on a similar trip” according to Expedia Group. The Covid-19 vaccines and boosters shots have made it safe for families to travel for some quality time together.
Once again, if the price is right, then this generation will buy. Special promotions such as “book three nights and get the fourth one free” are very appealing for Gen Xers. Rewards programs are also important with this group building loyal consumers and it will inspire them to redeem their points for their next vacation.
“From chalets in the mountains to cottages on the beach, vacation rentals have been a go-to for travelers over the last couple of years because of the space and privacy they provide. And both seasoned renters and newbies to renting are expected to return to these kinds of accommodations in 2022,” according to Family Vacationist.
Other amenities such as complimentary Wi-Fi will also inspire Gen Xers to book a stay, as well as help them uncover all the interesting things to do nearby.
Post COVID-19 Food and Beverage Industries
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated interest among Gen Xers in plant-based food, as well as functional food and beverages to boost one’s immunity naturally.
“In Innova’s 2020 consumer survey, consumers cited choosing foods that are naturally high in nutrients as one of the top means of achieving immune health, behind getting enough sleep and being physically healthy. Overall, nearly 60 percent of global consumers said they were looking for food and beverages to help them in this regard,” according to Food Business News.
Gen Xers have been advocates for sustainable foods often purchasing organic dairy products and vegetables at local farmers markets. Organic food consumption will continue in a post COVID-19 world.
“Functional foods are ingredients that offer health benefits that extend beyond their nutritional value. Some types contain supplements or other additional ingredients designed to improve health,” according to Healthline.
“Some examples include foods fortified with vitamins, minerals, probiotics, or fiber. Nutrient-rich ingredients like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains are often considered functional foods as well,” reports Healthline.
Research shows that”50 percent of Gen Xers are really not influenced by social media.” Despite this fact, Facebook is the social media of choice to reach this demographic group and it is important to have a presence on this platform.
Generation Xers are also active on LinkedIn and Twitter. It is important to include social media ads on these platforms to reach Gen Xers.
Our travel and lifestyle public relations professionals are here to help savvy marketers reach this influential yet often overlooked demographic group.
By Joanna Allen, chief executive officer, Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.