Generational CRM During a Time of Economic Crisis

I wrote this blog yesterday while at 35,000 feet on my way to our corporate offices in Cupertino for our San Francisco Acceleration event on Tuesday. During the flight I had a chance to catch up on the latest issue of CRM magazine, which is a repeat special issue of an issue I worked on over two years ago when I was an editor there.

The concept of tailoring a business’ sales and marketing initiatives around generational trends is similar to the concept of incorporating attitudinal trends into a company’s CRM initiatives; a topic I blogged about over a week ago. Given the current state of the U.S. economy and hit that U.S. consumers are taking in their wallets, such generational spending patterns and preferences have been undermined in recent months.

Just last week, reports were issued detailing a drop in U.S. consumer spending. Combined with a jump in unemployment rates, organizations are finding it increasingly difficult to acquire and retain cash-strapped customers. To stay competitive, organizations need to cater to consumer’s changing needs and attitudes.

Baby boomers are a perfect example. Though they’re now entering their 40s, 50, and 60s, they buck purchasing trends at every turn. They’re spenders, not savers; they’re working longer than any previous generation before them, and subsequently, have an estimated $1 trillion in annual spending power, tops of any generation. And contrary to popular believe, they’re not brand shoppers (i.e. once a Colgate buyer, always a Colgate buyer). That’s an important and underrated point, because most marketers stop marketing to consumers over the age of 40 for just this reason.

Factors such as these will become ever more important in the year(s) to come as consumers continue to minimize spending and make every penny count.