The generation ignored by brands and the advertising industry

Brands are missing out on the largest untapped target audience on social, Gen X, according to a newly released report by Wavemaker.

In its report titled, Gen X Factor, Wavemaker found that a large percentage (92 per cent) of Gen X, people born between 1965 and 1980, spend time daily on social, accounting for 28 per cent of users on TikTok.

The generation is responsible for 27 per cent of global spending with the potential to contribute more given their rising earnings and savings.  

They are also more brand loyal than younger generations.

Gen Z vs. Gen X 

The research also drew comparisons between Generation X and the younger generations’ behaviour on social media platforms. 

While most generations use social media due to their desire for connection, the key lies with who the generations are connecting with. 

Gen X prefer to stick to their close circle on social, but younger generations are more interested in interacting with people unknown to them. 

According to the report, 92 per cent of Gen X spend their time on social media every day. 

However, the way they spend time on social media is different than younger generations. The time they spend on social media is less about boredom relief and more scheduled and deliberate time for themselves.

To compare, scrolling through social media is more comparable to rituals like reading the newspaper or watching late-night TV when it comes to Gen X.

Though, Gen X tends to scroll away faster than younger users.

They prefer longer, in-depth and informative posts. Most Gen X creators make posts, on average, 75 per cent longer than posts from younger Gen creators.

The language used in these posts also differs. Younger generations use more direct and salesy tones while Gen X veer towards softer, self-improvement  focused language.

Gen X’s lack of trust on social media

Gen X considers trust to be more important to buying decisions, compared to younger generations.

However, Wavemaker finds that there is distrust among Gen X towards social media. Therefore, the generation also considers brands on the medium to be untrustworthy until proven otherwise.

While well-known brands would benefit from this fact, new brands would need to earn the generation’s trust.

Gen X is also very selective when it comes to making purchases.

They consider 27 per cent fewer brands than younger audiences and their purchases tend to be more driven by need as compared to Gen Z and Millennials.

While the generation is pickier than other generations when it comes to brands, they are more committed and loyal customers once converted.

Read the full report and findings here.