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The Surprising Marketing Channel That Gen Xers Value

By: Elaine Fogel



We hear so much about Millennials these days, that we almost forget Gen Xers as a market force. Well, a recent MarketingCharts study and Yahoo report give us some insight into this unsung generation.

“Generation X, comprised of 81 million adults, has the highest spending power today, controlling 29% of estimated net worth dollars and 31% of total income dollars in the US.”
Gen X: America’s Most Influential Generation, Yahoo study, 2016

Here are a few interesting facts about Gen Xers*:


These 35-54 year-olds have a relatively high median income. The 35-44 group earns $66.7K annually, while 44-54s earn $70.8K. (This makes them a great segment for marketing appropriate products and services!)


  • 46% worry that their kids are spoiled (vs. 33% for Boomers and 41% for Millennials)
  • 82% think it is important to instill some sort of financial understanding into their kid(s) (vs. 77% for Millennials and 80% for Boomers)


  • 31% consider themselves ‘entrepreneurial’ (33% for younger Gen X 35-44 vs. 28% for older Gen X 45-54)
  • Over 1 in 4 have already started their own business/have taken active steps towards starting one (29% for Men Gen X vs. 23% for Women Gen X)


  • Over half fantasize about just having a day/evening to just do nothing
  • Nearly half have a positive self-body image
  • 1 in 4 have taken up regular exercise in the past three years
  • 36% say they are obsessed with preventing ill health in the future

Technology & Purchasing:

  • Adults 35-54 consume nearly seven content topics each month on average (see graph below for topics)

High Contentment Engagement

  • 79% are smartphone users (vs. 84% of Millennials)
  • Nearly 80 million visited a social media site last month (Nov. 2015)
  • Nearly 1 in 3 consume content posted by brands or companies
  • Nearly 8 in 10 researched products online in the past month (Nov.2015)
  • Gen X is receptive and open to advertising
  • 54% of Gen X parents noticed online ads that targeted them specifically as parents

*Yahoo study results / For marketing advice to this generation, read page 36 of the Yahoo study.

Which surprising marketing channel should you explore to reach Gen Xers?

According to MarketingCharts:

“The results indicate that of the major adult generations, Gen Xers (35-49) are the most likely to say that they’re exposed to multiple ads on the radio in a typical day. These ads seem to be breaking through the clutter, as Gen Xers were also the most apt to say that they’ve noticed a specific advertiser in the previous week when listening to the radio.”

…Radio advertising has overtaken print – both magazine and newspaper – ads in stated purchase influence for this demographic group. In fact, radio is the only traditional advertising medium measured in both 2014 and 2016 to see an increase in ascribed purchase influence among Gen Xers.”

Purchase Influencers Among Gen Xers


Published: September 12, 2016

Source: Elaine Fogel

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Elaine Fogel

Elaine Fogel is a marketing, branding, and customer experience evangelist, professional speaker, and author of Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most For Small Business Success. People in 100+ countries regularly read her blog, Totally Uncorked on Marketing and her articles have appeared in many publications.

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