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Gen Xers Are Online Media Kings

Demo uses more TV, online video and visits more ecommerce sites

August 23, 2011

Generation X—the first generation to grow up with PCs—are plugged in and media-savvy. For marketers, that means that while these 34- to 45-year-old consumers are heavy users of digital tools, they also watch more TV than any other age segment.

A new eMarketer report, “Gen X: Demographic Profile and Marketing Approaches” indicates that this group is as comfortable with digital as with traditional media. “To effectively engage with Gen X, brands need a strategy that incorporates multiple channels—including mobile, social and online video—with authentic, relevant messaging,” the report notes.

So, while no brand should leave TV out of the media mix when targeting these consumers, who are in the prime of their earning and spending potential, a brand would also be wise to include online video.

Gen X constitutes the largest online video audience. eMarketer forecasts that 74.2.% of Gen X internet users will watch online video at least monthly in 2011, and that percentage is expected to grow to 80% by 2015.

US Gen X Online Video Viewers and Penetration, 2011 & 2015 (millions and % of Gen X internet users)

Most Gen Xers are online. eMarketer estimates that 88% of the segment are web users in 2011, and that number is expected to increase to 90.9% by 2015. They are slightly more likely than the general population to visit online retail sites and significantly more likely to visit mobile retail sites, according to comScore.

Top product categories purchased online by Gen Xers in fall 2010 included apparel, airline tickets, books and hotel reservations, concluded a survey by GfK MRI.

Top 10 Product Categories Purchased Online by US Gen X Consumers, Fall 2010 (% of respondents and index*)


The full report, “Gen X: Demographic Profile and Marketing Approaches” also answers these key questions:

  • What are the demographic characteristics of Generation X?
  • How do Gen Xers use different media channels?
  • How can marketers reach Gen X consumers?

To purchase the report, click here. Total Access clients, log in and view the report now.


Check out today’s other article, “Room for Improvement in Social Network Ad Engagement.”

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