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The Cohort Report
An overview of generational differences in consumer buying and behavioral trends
For the rest of the February 2016 issue of CRM magazine please click here

CRM strategists tend to focus on customer behaviors and attitudes, but it doesn't mean that demographic data should be kicked to the curb. Actually, quite the opposite is true.

Studying demographic data could reveal some important trends. For example, the majority of U.S. Millennials have entered the workforce. And because this generation represents more than 70 million U.S. citizens (the youngest of which are turning 22 this year), it bodes well for the U.S. economy that most members of this cohort are collecting a regular paycheck. Additionally, because it's such a large and powerful cohort, it will likely influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Therefore, it makes sense for this year's presidential candidates, and marketers, to understand and address the concerns of this influential generation.

But in doing so, they shouldn't neglect other generations. While Gen Xers represent less than 50 million U.S. citizens, they are entering their peak earning years. And though the oldest Boomers have already started to retire and live on fixed incomes, ignoring this active and more financially secure generation would be a considerable mistake.

For the purposes of this report, as with our previous generational reports, we followed the U.S. Census Bureau's guidelines, which defines each generation by annual population swells above and below 4 million. From 1946 to 1964, the U.S. experienced a baby boom, as it saw the population grow by more than 4 million for each of these years. This period represents the Baby Boomer generation. The population rate fell below 4 million each year from 1965 to 1976, which represents the birth years of Generation X. From 1977 to 1994, the years serving as bookends for Generation Y, the population again grew by more than 4 million each year.

Naturally, demographic data alone isn’t enough for savvy CRM strategists. However, when it is matched with behavioral and attitudinal customer and prospect data, it can give CRM professionals the most complete picture of their customers. —The CRM magazine staff

Click here for our report on Generation Y.

Click here for our report on Generation X.

Click here for our report on Baby Boomers.

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To contact the editors, please email editor@destinationCRM.com
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