SMC Edition – 20200517

Everyone can use a little help from a designated professional
Everyone can use a little help from a designated professional

Sunday Morning Coffee

I was reading a post by Shirley Atkinson yesterday titled Which Generation Group Are Your Customers in?.’  Her article focused on how to know which demographic group you wish to target your services and products at.  One measure and option she discussed was the age group one belonged to.  Obviously, age is something we can not change.  She explained how the baby boomers and Gen X and Gen Y are terms frequently thrown around.  Terms used to support the idea that we can target a social media platform for baby boomers for example. 

Not knowing which group I belonged to, I followed Shirley’s research.  To my surprise, I’m in the Baby Boomers group having been born in 1959.  The boomers generation started in 1946 and ended in 1964.  Yes, a large number of years to cover.  A group that was born after the war had  ended.  Really, did I belong in this group?  Being barely three when the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 kicked off  With the cold at half time in 1964 (having been named by George Orwell back in 1945), the boomers age was coming to an end and Generation X age beginning in 64.  I feel more generation X, all of my schooling took place during this time,

This led me to think how much I have in common with the early boomers?  My first thought was not much.  How can I be of interest to people selling services to the boomers via social media platforms?  I had only joined the ‘boomers’ group with five years to go before the Gen ‘X’s’ kicked off.  Did I have more in common with the Punk Rockers of 79 or more with a young Frank Sinatra? My music taste does vary, I have sung along to both music genres and I did it my way. Some of the early boomers are reaching their middle seventies.  As being sixty is now the young fifties, how can I be bracketed in the same boat as the oldest of the boomers?  

Boomers exist globally.  To compare me to say a boomer from Connecticut in America, would not give you a customer base with similar buying habits of say a boomer in the UK.  Socially we are an ocean apart.  Economically even further.  

This reminded me of a senior work colleague from the States, he proudly told me of his ‘boomer’ status on one occasion over dinner. He was close to retirement and he had bought his first boat.  My thoughts drifted off to the local boating pond, before focusing on his new boat.  He was struggling with his annual mooring fees that were due.  I was wondering how much the next round of beers would cost me, and could I reasonably expense them.  See how different we were.  He was a funny and generous man (he bought the next round).  His story ended with him having enjoyed a trip out of the bay.  On returning from sea into his haven, he had previously declined some local navigation help. After all he had passed all of the required test to sail on his own.  Pride also took place over what was sensible to do first right-time.  Yes, he has a scrape on entering the harbour and mooring bays!  He laughed before going slightly red.   

In summary we are all different and the same,whether you are a Baby Boomers; GenerationX; Millennials  Tags and labels can provide directions however, knowing your customer target base is essential.  No programme will lead you to Utopia. Good communications will.  It means doing what is reasonably practicable, to ensure you and your customer understand each other.  Finding your target customer base is like finding a good I.T. Consultant, it is a task in it’s own.

I thoroughly recommend you read Shirley’s article at:

Shirley Atkinson has Over 20 years experience in system, software and website testing.

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