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Traffic arbitrage

What is generational theory, and how do marketers profit from it

In traffic arbitrage, as in any other marketing industry, segmentation plays a significant role. Various criteria and metrics are used for this purpose. When it comes to competing for customer attention, it is more important than ever to promote a product to the audience group that is genuinely interested in it. In addition to product interest and other common attributes, there is one that not everyone gives great importance to - age.
Agreeably, one doesn't often contemplate how consumers behave based on their generation. Of course, internal age tests may suggest otherwise, but nonetheless, people born in the same era exhibit distinctive patterns when it comes to product choices. Many marketers have long embraced generational theory as a tool for analyzing customer preferences and actions. Let's delve into this approach to targeting and working with different age demographics.

The fundamentals of generational theory

This theory describes generational cycles that succeed one another approximately every 15-25 years. The theory is commonly attributed to historian William Strauss and writer Neil Howe. The essence of the theory is that people born during a specific period are influenced by socio-cultural factors, significant global events, and the particular stage of technological and economic development at that time. This shapes similar values, principles, behavior, and even mindset.
From a marketing perspective, generational theory can explain how customer values are shaped and the consumer behavior models to which they are inclined. This helps brands segment their audience and select the right marketing strategy for their target demographic.

With which generations can one work

The generational scale is typically delineated from the mid-19th century to the present day. We will only be discussing those who are currently a financially viable target audience: these are Generations X, Y, and Z.

X — X 's

"Generation X" refers to people born between 1963 and 1984. They are pragmatic and value their time. Unlike their parents, members of Generation X are less optimistic about a happy future and are concerned about the present. They lived through the peak of product shortages on store shelves, so material values are important to them. They appreciate comfort and are willing to pay for luxuries. They often take loans to avoid waiting for their salary and get what they want here and now.

The key values of Generation X

Professionalism, independence, freedom of choice, responsibility, personal communication, equality, and frugality.

Y - Millennials

Generation Y, also known as Millennials, encompasses individuals born between 1985 and 2002. They constitute the most active and financially capable demographic today. They prioritize experiences over income, are willing to take risks, and readily engage in entrepreneurial activities. Additionally, they place a strong emphasis on self-care and environmental concerns. Millennials are highly tech-savvy, with smartphones as constant companions. They are the first generation deeply immersed in social media, yet their childhood was spent outdoors during a time when home internet access was rare.

The key values of Generation Y (Millennials)

Healthy lifestyle, environmental care, societal improvement, a sense of usefulness, public success, partnership, and positivity.

Z - Zoomers

Generation Z is the youngest generation, which has recently gained the status of a financially capable population. These are individuals born from 2003 onwards, and they continue to be born to this day. Despite their very young age, they are the primary focus of marketers because this generation sets key trends. The main characteristic of Zoomers is their complete immersion in the online world. They live with a smartphone in hand, are tech-savvy like no other, and feel at home on the internet. Their appearance is important to Zoomers because they are constantly vying for ultra-popular values and the attention of others. Additionally, they are influenced by fashion bloggers, influencers, and youth authorities. They are passionate about popular science movements, art, and creativity.

The key values of Generation Z

Money and wealth, freedom, comfort and safety, science and art, home and family, friends, gender equality, caring for nature and animals, private life, freedom of self-expression.

Generational attitudes toward shopping and spending money

In this section, we will explore the differences in purchasing habits among three generations and examine interesting features regarding their personal finances. The traits we have identified based on years of marketing research will assist you in targeting the right user demographic.

X — X 's

  • They remember the times of crisis well, so they are frugal and inclined to save money, often stashing it away for a rainy day.
  • They choose places where they can buy everything at once, saving time.
  • They are open to trying new things, chase status, and are ready for spontaneous purchases.
  • They make purchase decisions relatively quickly but pay attention to details. They want to know what they are buying, so they carefully examine the contents.
  • They are susceptible to nostalgia and the imposed need for comfort.
  • These shoppers are loyal to their favorite brands, so if you can gain their trust, they will come back again and again.
  • They are genuinely attracted to the opportunity to choose. X's grew up in times when everyone wore the same clothes, so now they want to stand out and be unique.
  • They buy medicines to support their bodies and alleviate symptoms, making them more receptive to nutra offers.
  • They are most receptive to advertising. They willingly try new products and trust brands.

How to capture the attention of Generation X?

  1. Uniqueness of the product or service
  2. Quality and reliability
  3. Freedom of choice
  4. Convenience

Y - Millennials

  • They are not particularly interested in the brand's history. They rely on the experiences of those who have already used the product, rather than the promises of manufacturers.
  • They suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) - the fear of missing out on opportunities. Marketers can leverage this in slogans and campaigns like 'Don't miss the last day of the sale!'
  • They take their time, research reviews and photos, check the store's reputation, compare prices, and keep an eye on discounts.
  • At the same time, they make purchases on the go: on their way to work, to meetings, or at home.
  • They have a clear idea of how much a particular item should cost.
  • This is why it's important for brands to adhere to a reasonable pricing strategy and provide additional services that Generation Y values (loyalty programs or personalized offers).

How to capture the attention of Millennials?

  1. By building trust and community involvement
  2. With memorable experiences
  3. Through emotional, concise messages
  4. Through product innovation and new perspectives
  5. By offering unique solutions to their problems
  6. With genuine reviews from satisfied customers
  7. Through coupons, discounts, loyalty programs, and social media giveaways
  8. Use images of ordinary people in your advertising

Z - Zoomers

  • Much of this generation is under 18, but they already account for 40% of all purchases.
  • They influence the spending of their families and older generations.
  • Money is opportunities, the realization of ideas, and the key to freedom for them.
  • They want to be stylish, cool, and modern.They value products and services not for their brand or quality but for the opportunities they offer to consumers.
They purchase a product in three cases:
  • If their friends like it.
  • If they frequently see advertisements for that product.
  • If it's made specifically for them.
  • They think less about health than other generations and are prone to unhealthy habits. They also enjoy spending money on entertainment, gadgets, clothing, and footwear. Therefore, they are the primary target audience for product and iGaming offers.

How to capture the attention of Zoomers?

  1. By conducting regular surveys to improve service quality
  2. Through collaborations with bloggers and reputable influencers
  3. Demonstrating social responsibility
  4. With a creative approach
  5. Using visual content
  6. With original solutions

In summary

It's important to differentiate target audience segments in order to build effective communications and allocate budgets wisely. Generational theory is an excellent way to do this, as it explains the nuances of how people of different ages relate to money and purchases. This knowledge can assist you in various parts of the marketing funnel, from selecting the right promotion channel to incorporating unique elements into your creatives. Analyzing the target audience provides businesses with an understanding of what consumers want from a product and what problems they consider important to solve. It's this advantage that can help surpass competitors and attract more traffic to your offers.