Generation what?

According to an article on Mashable, 25% of all startups fail within the first year; of those remaining, 36% will fail in the second year. Of those remaining, 44% will fail in the third year and of those remaining 50% will fail in the forth year. Why is this? Because business owners are so excited about what they have to offer that they don’t take the time to look objectively at the marketing side of the business.

You are probably familiar with the statement, ‘We are shaped by the events around us as we grow up.’ There are political, economic, and societal events that happen on a national scale which ultimately shape our perceptions throughout our lifespan.

This is the first time in our history that 3 generations are working side by side in the workplace -Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. Each generation has their own personas, beliefs and work styles and we need to learn how to accept what each generation brings to the (conference) table.

Let’s take a quick look at the different generations:

Baby Boomers (born: 1946 – 1964)

Life-shaping events: Man on the Moon, Civil Rights, Vietnam War, Woodstock, the pill

Characteristics: idealistic, time-focused, politically correct, consensus-driven

Generation X (born: 1965 – 1980)

Life-shaping events: Challenger Explosion, Watergate, high divorce rates, women in the workforce, DotCom boom/bust

Characteristics: pragmatic, self-sufficient, Devil’s Advocate, “Me” Generation

Generation Y or Millennials (born: 1981 – 2001)

Life-shaping events: 9/11, AIDS, Internet, Safety Laws, Social media

Characteristics: well-educated, community-focused, tech savvy, global citizens

Because of this, the marketing game has changed. There is no longer one generic 18 – 65 year old consumer. We as marketers need to rethink the way we craft our messages and understand the nuances and details of each generation in order to effectively connect on a meaningful level with customers and grow profits and sales.

Last year, Anne Loehr and I formed a partnership and today, we are very excited to announce the launch of Engage Every Age ( Our vision is to create a world where purposeful and meaningful marketing connects to right people at the right time. Refining your skills and improving your communication with each generation can greatly benefit your business and relationships.

What do you think about the three different generations working side by side in the workplace? How have you used generational marketing practices in your business? Share your tips in the comments below!