Radio speaks to the “Middle Child”

Whether you read ad industry trades, online or print news, there are always articles referencing millennial influences or changes impacting boomers. However, there is very little attention paid to Generation X, which Pew Research referred to as the ‘middle child’ in a 2014 article. Sandwiched between two larger generations, Gen Xers who in 2017 are somewhere between the ages of 38-52, are a much smaller group in size and therefore are often overlooked by marketers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Generation X spends more per household annually than any other generation – approximately $67K which is almost $20K more than what millennials spend. Additionally, they have the highest household income compared to the other generations.

So how do you reach this often over-looked and valuable generation? With broadcast radio — of course.

Radio is the top reach medium among Generation X. It reaches 95% of this age group – higher than TV and even smartphones, according to The Nielsen Total Audience Report Q1 2017. When it comes to time spent listening to radio, they spend over 61 hours listening every month! Similar to radio listening of other generations, that time spent increases among Blacks and Hispanics.

Based upon BLS calculations of annual household spending, the following categories are perfect for targeting this group based upon percentage of total: housing (33%); food/groceries (7%); eating out (6%); entertainment (5%); clothing (4%).  In addition to this being the largest group of homeowners (compared to other generations), they are also a group that in many cases will have a financially dependent child and parent over the age of 65 that also need their help.   This also makes them a viable target for products and services that benefit children and baby boomers.

GenXers are technically savvy.  Since many of them were born late in the generation they have been using some form of technology throughout a majority of their life.  Why is this important?  Radio is available across devices and platforms and offers content on demand.  Regardless of the device or platform, GenXers are engaged.  So, please, don’t overlook the “middle child” – reach them with radio!


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