Understanding Audience with Four Generations

Understanding your Audience with Four Generations

When we talk with CEO’s these days, we get the strong feeling that digital is high up the agenda everywhere: companies are on social media (and even have a policy), websites are becoming mobile, everyone wants their own apps, there is attention to the user experience, development is “agile” and some even have successful webshops. You’d almost get the feeling that things are under control. Unfortunately, this is usually not the case.


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The gap in behavior between generations is growing

One of these many complex challenges organizations have to find an answer to today is the growing gap in preferences and behavior between different generations. Both young and old used to buy the newspaper, watched the same TV-programs, booked travels through the same agencies, in the same hotels and got food at the same places.

Through digitizations we see this relatively simple market situation being disrupted. New players are launching alternative answers to our basic needs that are positioning themselves next to the traditional offering. This choice allows us as customers to get personalized solutions. A direct result of this evolution is a large fragmentation of providers.

The simplicity of days past is replaced by a complex landscape of alternative solutions.  

We must break out with the traditional way of looking at generations

A traditional way to bring order in chaos is to segment the complex outside world, based on gender, age, education, family situation,…

To include the trends in our society, we conveniently add a stereotype approach which groups people based on when they were born: from Baby Boomers, to Generation X, Y and Z.

This approach of generations allows us to cluster large groups of people based on strong generalized characteristics, but they tell us too little about digital preferences.

The generations are insufficient to gauge the digital preferences of our customer and whether we’re addressing them correctly and entirely.

Even though we can assume that someone from Generation Z may be more digitally active than a Baby Boomer, this is not unwavering. If we look at Wikipedia we see that Millennials are born between 1980 and 2000, but the difference between how someone from 1982 handles digital compared to someone from 1997 can already be very large. On the other hand, there are digital applications used by both Baby Boomers and Millennials.

Audience four Generations

Introducing a new model to look at your audience

To ensure we take all the necessary steps as a company, we must introduce an additional digital model, which we can put on top of the existing generations and segments. Instead of basing this model on the actual age, it evaluates mental age in the adoption of digital models.

Our approach contains 4 types of audience: The Classics, The Converted, The Digitals and The Natives.

To find out more on the characteristics of each type of audience, don’t hesitate to watch the video of Maelle, consultant in our MENA Office.

About Duval Union Consulting

We are new-style management consultants focusing on transforming and growing organizations in a digital-first world with offices in Europe and the Middle East. New-style? Co-created business strategy, custom-made transformation trajectories and actual experienced business advisors are only some of our differentiators and why clients love to work with us. We design the future of your business together.

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