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Franchises: Don’t Underestimate the Digital Prowess of Generation X


When you think of consumers who are addicted to their smartphones, active on social media, and ready to voice their opinions online, you probably think of tech-savvy teens and millennials in their 20s and early 30s. But not so fast! Gen Xers (people ages 35-54) are pretty active in these digital scenes as well, according to a study by Yahoo!

The report, “Gen X: America’s most influential generation,” talks about how this group has become the forgotten middle child of the marketing world, caught between Millennials and Baby Boomers, who tend to get all the attention. It also talks about the reasons this group shouldn’t be overlooked in digital marketing efforts.

Has your franchise marketing team been giving Gen Xers enough attention? If not, you could be missing out on some great opportunities to reach an important part of your customer base.

Here are some of the findings from the Yahoo! study:

  • There are more than 81 million Gen Xers in the U.S.
  • Gen X is the generation with the greatest spending power, as they have highest median income levels. Also, this group earns 31% of all income dollars in the U.S., and it controls 29% of estimated net worth dollars.
  • 79% of Gen Xers use smartphones, which is not too far behind Millennials at 84%.
  • 84% of Gen Xers are on 2 or more devices during primetime hours, with an average of 9.2 device switches per hour. (They switch devices more than Millennials during primetime hours, though they are less engaged with that they’re viewing.)
  • Nearly 80 million Gen Xers went on a social media site in the previous month, and nearly a third consume social media content posted by companies or brands.
  • 13.5 million Gen Xers have posted online ratings and reviews, and 21.8 million have paid attention to these type of postings.
  • 25% of Gen Xers and 30% of Gen X parents feel their generation is often ignored by advertisers.
  • 30% of Gen Xers and 38% of Gen X parents are more likely to click on an ad if it is geared to their generation.

Incorporating a Gen X Strategy into Your Franchise Marketing Plan

Each franchise and business model is different, so Gen Xers may or may not be part of the customer base that your franchise is targeting. However, considering how many parents, homeowners, career professionals, and business owners make up this group, the odds are that they are included. And if they are, you may want to consider how you are reaching this demographic through various digital marketing channels, including your website, paid search ads, blog posts, social media content, mobile-focused campaigns, and more. Think about what types of topics, content, messaging, images, and videos would best engage this audience.

Yahoo! characterizes Gen Xers as being consumers who are highly information-driven and practical, as well as individuals who are looking for inspiration and ways they can personally connect with a brand. Keep that in mind the next time your create franchise marketing campaigns geared toward Gen Xers!

Want to know more about how you can effectively market your franchise online? Download Scorpion’s free social media guide.