We’ve all heard about Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers – the generational mainstays that comprise the bulk of the American people. But when it comes to the Silent Generation (consisting of those born between 1928 and 1945), the discourse among the general public has been, well, largely silent.
And sure, it probably makes sense to leave Silents out of many of your marketing initiatives. (Certainly the 75+ crowd isn’t going to be your go-to demographic for prospective student advertisements, for instance.) But if you’re looking to raise funds for your educational institution, don’t make the mistake of approaching Silents with radio silence! Silents are, in fact, one of the wealthiest generations – and their potential to have a significant impact on your institution’s bottom line absolutely makes them deserving of your attention.
So what can you do as an education marketer to ensure effective and efficient communications with this generation? Just follow our tips:
Familiarize yourself with Silents’ values.
The Silent Generation was shaped by both World War II and the Great Depression, so it’s no wonder they tend to be a disciplined, loyal and hard-working group. Keep these values in mind, and try to appeal to them in your marketing messages.
Think through your imagery.
When marketing to most generations, the rule of thumb is to use images that mirror your target audience (so showcasing Millennials when marketing to Millennials, Gen Xers when marketing to Gen Xers, etc.). But for the Silent Generation, you may fare better with your marketing efforts when you take a slightly different approach. Because this is a generation that places a high value on family, consider using images that portray a feeling of community or familial connectedness instead of simply opting for clichéd images of elderly individuals (frazierheiby.com).
Prioritize direct mail over digital marketing.
Digital marketing may be gaining momentum (especially when targeting the younger generations), but traditional media channels are still your best bet when advertising to Silents. You’d be wise to share messages with this group primarily via letters, postcards, newspaper ads and the like.
Be thoughtful about layouts and font sizes.
A complex design and small text run the risk of frustrating Silents and making your marketing pieces difficult to read. Prevent this scenario from occurring by using large font sizes, concise wording, a simple design and a clear, easy-to-comprehend layout. (Your readers shouldn’t find themselves having to squint or scratch their heads when reviewing your promotional pieces!)
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