Know Your Audience

Generational Differences Should Change Your Marketing

Understanding the influences our audiences have in their lives and psyche are crucial to user experience. While you needn’t know every detail, you must have an understanding of generational differences, beyond the cursory understanding provided by the media. Choose your words based on your audience, and your connections will be more real.

B-Gen-header-1tradb Know Your Audience

KNOWN AS: Veterans, Silent, Moral Authority, Radio Babies, The Forgotten Generation

CHARACTERISTICS: Raised by parents that just survived the great depression. Experienced hard times while growing up which were followed by times of prosperity. They’re influenced by… WWII, Korean War, Great Depression, New Deal, Rise on Corporations, and The Space Age.

VALUES: honor, compliance, sacrifice, dedication, hard work, good attitude, attendance, practical knowledge, loyalty

Looking for recognition and respect for their experience, value placed on history/ traditions, job security and stability, reputation, defined rules and policies, with adherence to the same, integrity and a willingness to act.


  • Be discrete
  • Show respect for their age/experience (address formally)
  • Use good grammar andmanners, absolutely noprofanity, dramatically limit slang
  • Deliver your message basedon history and traditionswhenever possible
  • Present your story in a formal, logical manner
  • Don’t waste their time
  • Use inclusive language (we, us)
  • Focus-words not body language
  • Be slow to “warm up”
  • Whenever possible, use hand written notes, less email, and more personal interaction
B-Gen-header-2bb2 Know Your Audience

KNOWN AS: “Me” Generation, Moral Authority

CHARACTERISTICS: They question everything and are slow to trust. They handle crisis well. Ambitious, anti-establishment, competent, idealistic, and live to work. They dislike conflict. Often challenging the authority of Traditionalists, and are judgmental if others disagree. Highest divorce rate and 2nd marriages in history. They’re influenced by… Civil Rights, Vietnam War, Sexual Revolution, Cold War, Space Travel.

VALUES: family loyalty, involvement, personal gratification, personal growth.

Post War Babies who grew up to be radicals of the 70’s and yuppies of the 80’s, “The American Dream” was promised to them as children and they actively pursue it. As a result they are sometimes viewed as materialistic or ambitious.


  • Be diplomatic
  • Communicate in person whenever possible
  • Speak openly and directly
  • Use body language to communicate
  • Present options (this group responds to flexibility)
  • Use electronic communications as well as face to face (direct)
  • Learn what is important to them such as values, priorities, or opinions
  • Answer questions thoroughly and expect to be pressed for details
  • Avoid manipulative/controlling language
  • This group will respond to your “personal touch”
  • Get consensus. This group wants to be included, without you may cause offense
  • Establish a friendly rapport
  • OK to use first names
B-Gen-header-3genx Know Your Audience

KNOWN AS: Gen X, Xers, The Doer, Post Boomers, 13th Generation

CHARACTERISTICS: This is a group of dynamic young leaders with an appreciation for cutting edge systems/technology. They are forward thinking in company environments, and flexible in scheduling. They value input on merit, not age or seniority. They’re influenced by… Watergate, Energy Crisis, Single Parents, First Generation of Latchkey Kids, Y2K, Activism, Corporate Downsizing, End of Cold War, and Increasing Divorce Rates.

VALUES: balance, diversity, entrepreneurial spirit, fun.

They are educated and have high job expectations. Independent, informal, and lack organizational loyalty. They are pragmatists that seek life balance and self-reliance. This group is unimpressed with authority and skeptical of “institutions.”


  • Be direct
  • Be immediate
  • Use straight talk, and present facts
  • Use email as the # 1 tool
  • Learn their language and speak it
  • Use informal communication style
  • Speak in short sound-bytes
  • Share information immediately and often
  • This generation has the potential to bridge the generation gap between the youngest and oldest workers
  • Don’t micro manage them, but rather manage details on their behalf
  • Avoid buzz words and jargon
  • Tie your message to “results”
B-Gen-header-4m2-1 Know Your Audience

KNOWN AS: Generation Y, Gen Y, Generation Next, Echo Boomers, Chief Friendship Officers, 24/7s

CHARACTERISTICS: They value achievement and civic duty, and are confident, avid consumers. They are extremely competitive, and are the most educated generation. They are optimistic and value instant gratification. Eager to spend, ambitious, but not focused. Have been indulged, “me first” attitude, and politically savvy. They have a strong sense of entitlement. They’re influenced by… Their coming of age during a period of economic expansion, who were kept extremely busy as children.


  • Goal Oriented.
  • Prefer diversity, technology, informality and fun.
  • Expect to influence the terms and conditions of their workplace.
  • Have a work ethic that does not mandate 10 hour days.
  • Have high expectations of bosses and managers to be mentors.
  • Want long term work relationships, but on their own terms.

This group believes that because of technology, they can work flexibly anytime, anyplace and that they should be evaluated on work product, not how, when or where it was done.


  • Be polite
  • Use positive, respectful, motivational, electronic communication style (cell phones, email, IM, text)
  • Communicate in person if the message is very important
  • Use email and voice mail as #1 tools
  • Don’t talk down-they will resent it, and you
  • Show respect through language and they will respect you
  • Use action verbs
  • Use language to portray visual pictures
  • Be humorous – show you are human
  • Be careful about the words you use and the way you say it (they are not good at personal communication because of technical ways of communicating)
  • Be positive
  • This group prefers to learn in networks, teams using multimedia while being entertained and excited

6 Reasons to Rebrand your Business

B-rebrand-1 6 Reasons to Rebrand your Business

You Have Changed, but Your Image Hasn’t

Life happens at a fast clip, and your brand matures with every deal. If your brand promise, products or services have changed in time but your brand hasn’t kept up, it may be time.

B-rebrand-1i 6 Reasons to Rebrand your Business
B-rebrand-2 6 Reasons to Rebrand your Business
B-rebrand-2i 6 Reasons to Rebrand your Business

You Aren't Memorable

Your potential customers see you frequently, but don’t remember your brand or worse, your mission.

B-rebrand-3 6 Reasons to Rebrand your Business

You Look Dated

Your choice of date-night clothing has changed since you graduated high school. If your brand has been around a long time and never shrugged off the bellbottoms, it’s time to refresh your wardrobe.

B-rebrand-3i 6 Reasons to Rebrand your Business
B-rebrand-4 6 Reasons to Rebrand your Business
B-rebrand-4i 6 Reasons to Rebrand your Business

Brand Promise Isn't Clear

Do you have a mantra? Do you stand for something? Do you have a shared mission? That should be evident visually to those that encounter your brand.

B-rebrand-5 6 Reasons to Rebrand your Business

Poor Sentiment

Your brand has poor consumer perception and needs to reinvent.

B-rebrand-5i 6 Reasons to Rebrand your Business
B-rebrand-6 6 Reasons to Rebrand your Business
B-rebrand-6i 6 Reasons to Rebrand your Business

New Competitors

When the competitive set changes dramatically, you need to choose: stick with what has worked, change, or simply refresh. “Updating” is not the same as “Start Over.”  Act in accordance with what reality is now, not what it once was.

When was the last time you said “Desktop?”

Written by Advance 360, this content was originally published in The Retail Jeweler.

Marketers obsess over “being there” for their consumers. Whether it’s share at the store shelf or share of voice on TV, these are metrics used to judge how present a brand actually is. But what about on a mobile device, where there are billions of products researched every day? Are you devoting the same amount of resources to your mobile marketing strategy and your brand’s role of being there whenever consumer’s needs arise?

B-RJ-MobileContent-article When was the last time you said “Desktop?”

60% of the time we are online, it’s on a mobile device.

Mobile devices overtook desktop and laptop in 2013. In fact, 60% of the time we are online, it’s on a mobile device. If your digital presence isn’t optimized for a smartphone, you’re not only behind, you are actively depleting your business. 84% of the population has a second device in hand while they are watching television. 65% check their phones within 15 minutes of rising each morning, and 87% of millennials have smartphones on their person 100% of the time. 75% of Facebook users are mobile-only. If you aren’t competing for attention in the digital space or have a mobile strategy, you should be.

Preparing your content for the mobile user isn’t difficult, but it does take thought. Mobile users want to learn, do, find, or buy something right now. Whether in the form of a search, an interaction with an app or visiting your site (or all of these), your content should answer the question they are asking.

Think bite-sized. While the user should be able to click to a lengthier or downloadable version of the bite-sized content, small and easily consumed is key. Try to focus on learn, do, or find to start. In the jewelry world, this could be a single graphic on cuts of stones, or an illustration about the 4C’s of diamonds. Consider lists, such as the five things to consider before buying a diamond, or six reasons to visit a custom designer.

Tie your bite-sized pieces together with larger artifacts that tell more of the story. For instance, a five minute video on choosing a gemstone could be placed on your business’s YouTube channel. A highly edited, “snippet” version of 0:15 seconds could be placed on Instagram, and another on Facebook, both linking to your online blog. Your website contains a short narrative on the same topic, with a link to the YouTube video for the full story. You crafted a few paragraphs, and a single video, but now these pieces are interwoven and amplify one another, creating an affordable tactic without an upfront cost.

Consistency counts. The stream of consciousness is impacted by frequency of message. We’ll all recall something after having seen it several times, so the look, layout and word choice matter. But most important is the consistent delivery of content. Once you’ve created a flow of valuable information for your clientele (and those not yet in your ecosystem), you’ll be the voice they seek out for advice, understanding or clarity. 93% of marketers choose social media, and 81% choose blogs. 76% use illustrations or photos, and 67% infographics. Remember that mixing up the media is a great way to generate more impact.

But most important, the content you generate and deliver via digital environments must keep your customer’s point of view in mind. This isn’t a commercial, it’s an offer of something valuable and unexpected. “Over time, marketers have developed theories about why consumers buy. Most of these err by viewing the consumer through the lens of the product. Marketers start with the features and benefits of a product and conduct consumer research to find matching needs and motivations,” Psychology Today reported. “Consumers do not have a Pavlovian response to products and to their marketing programs. Nor do the fundamentals of consumer behavior change to accommodate the latest innovation… An understanding of consumer purchase behavior must be based on knowledge of human emotion and include the paramount influence that emotions have on decision-making.”

In retail jewelry, content is the most cost-effective tool available. Surprise and delight your audience, with relevant information that keeps their needs in mind. Generate a steady stream of this material, and reap the rewards in your revenue.

Compelling Content, Downloads Top Performing Email Marketing

Whether you market in the B2B or B2C space, you likely use email as a primary tactic for lead generation. When used properly, attribution can be tracked from the email open rate to the site visit, and eventual appearance in-store or on your client list. In fact, in 2017, 205 respondents representing Business to Business marketing professionals named email as their top lead generation tactic.

So what should your email include in order to perform better than your competition? With surveys, trivia, or games and loyalty programs at the bottom of the list, many of the ideas that once served you well are becoming obsolete.

Compelling Content for each
Stage of the Buying Process

B-B2Bemail-icon-1content Compelling Content, Downloads Top Performing Email Marketing

56% of respondents named compelling content as the number one priority of any email campaign. Your customers will grow to trust that opening your communications provide a benefit. This may take time and dedication, but loyal clients are well worth it.

Downloadable Content

B-B2Bemail-icon-2download Compelling Content, Downloads Top Performing Email Marketing

Offer the material they just read as a download. But be sure you aren’t just restating already consumed content. The download should be more illustrative, provide further insight, or some other element to surprise and delight the audience — rewarding them for their click and print.

Audience Segmentation

B-B2Bemail-icon-3audience Compelling Content, Downloads Top Performing Email Marketing

Not everyone cares about every topic, and your audience should be able to opt in or out by sharing their preferences. You don’t want to send an existing client the introductory offer, or the new client the 20% off for the item they just purchased. Know who you are messaging, and be sure the content of the email is relevant to him or her.


B-B2Bemail-icon-4automations Compelling Content, Downloads Top Performing Email Marketing

Emails should be sent to your clients based on actions they took, or “triggers.” Take the thank you email, for instance. The completion of a transaction should always trigger a message of genuine gratitude for their business, without the hope of something in return.

80% OF MARKETERS IN NORTH AMERICA NAME LEAD GENERATION AND BRAND AWARENESS AS THEIR TOP REASONS FOR CONTENT MARKETING. Begin with these tips for your email campaigns, and measure the results. You’ll find what others have found — that compelling content curated for your exact customer will build trust and the feeling of “special.”

Learn More:

Geo-Fencing Might Be a BuzzWord, but the Results Are Real

At Advance 360, we meet with a lot of people. Lately, one of the most frequently asked questions is around “geo-fencing.” This buzzword has become so popular that our clients want to learn more about it and how we can put it to use for them.

Geo-Fencing is a term that simply means targeting someone by the location of their device. For example, a shopping service can target individuals that go to a certain grocery store by locating their device inside that store and sending them marketing during and after their visit. While a pizzeria might target devices in a local stadium. Or, it can be used to target attendees at a trade show. The uses are endless.

Retailers attend an industry conference, where wholesalers are taking orders for their seasonal product lines. For the retailer, they are looking for new items to sell. For the vendors it is a heated competition in which they want their items to be top of mind. They are competing with 100 other wholesalers with similar items. Messaging the retailer attendees while they’re at the show can help them get noticed and make a connection.

Tradeshow Creative Examples:

B-geofence-recTS1 Geo-Fencing Might Be a BuzzWord, but the Results Are Real
B-geofence-recTS2 Geo-Fencing Might Be a BuzzWord, but the Results Are Real

Messaging attendees while they’re at the show can improve the top-of-mind awareness for vendors and drive incremental business. In an environment where literally every fifteen steps is a new purchase opportunity, every close counts. Get a jumpstart by messaging the very people you are selling to.

B-geofence-mapareas Geo-Fencing Might Be a BuzzWord, but the Results Are Real

Using technology to your advantage means you can now follow these devices home, serving messages after the event and growing the length of your exchange with your retailers. Get specific, at this point! There’s nothing wasted by securing one more sale after the show closes.

Post Tradeshow Creative Examples:

B-geofence-recPost1 Geo-Fencing Might Be a BuzzWord, but the Results Are Real
B-geofence-recPost2 Geo-Fencing Might Be a BuzzWord, but the Results Are Real

Once the retailer has left the show, the opportunity to meet with them face to face may have ended. But the chance to influence whether they do business with you has not! They’ve seen your name and potentially even met with you. Now you can close the deal without another meeting.

Using geographic, latitude/longitude targeting of devices makes sense for any show. Make the most of your next tradeshow experience!

Understanding Site Traffic Critical to Business Development

You have spent so much time over the years getting the right product mix in your store, setting up displays to produce an effective flow, having Sales Associates there to greet and engage your customers. Are you thinking about the same things for your website? Well, you should since three out of four shoppers who find online, local information helpful are more likely to visit stores. Once in the store, 46% are conducting research on the retailer’s site/app. *Think with Google

B-3in4 Understanding Site Traffic Critical to Business Development
B-46percent Understanding Site Traffic Critical to Business Development

Understanding the Path to Conversion

The decision to buy may be long (a home, a car, travel) or short (tonight’s dinner, a new top), but has the same steps. From awareness to advocacy, you know that your customers learn of your brand, research or engage with it, and decide to buy or not to buy through your website.

B-conversionpath Understanding Site Traffic Critical to Business Development

Employ Digital Analytics to Track, Test
& Measure a Customer’s Journey

Watch entry and exit points.

Watch what’s happening carefully. Does traffic enter your site on your home page every time? Do they all take the same path through your content to the point of purchase? If they do, you have an extremely linear experience—which is rare (if not unheard of). Sites should have enough content to educate and inform, but also a clear call to action. Where your visitors exit can also be telling. Do they “get lost” within a particular area of your site, and leave before taking action? What steps can be taken to prevent this from happening, and shorten the number of clicks from the first to the last page?

Average Page Views

If the average of pages viewed per visit is three or more, the path to conversion may be too long. For instance: if your doctor’s office site has been created to generate new patients, those brand new patients might want to explore the credentials of the staff, the treatment types they offer, and whether or not the office is accepting new patients. All of these pieces of content could be contained on the home page. A click to call feature or click to see available appointments would provide instant gratification for any new patient.

B-MendelsonKornblum-700fade Understanding Site Traffic Critical to Business Development

This orthopedic specialist has a popup click to make an appointment. It isn’t intrusive, but it allows for new patients to immediately connect.

Time on Site

If your site is intended to simplify a purchase, the faster you can close a transaction the better. Take Sheplers’ Mackinac Island Ferry, for instance. This site was built to change the Shepler’s model from a labor intensive, manual purchase through an in-person ticket window to a seamless, online experience using a mobile device. The customer should be able to complete their transaction in less than 3 minutes. Returning customers, less than 2 minutes. Rather than 20 minutes in a ticket line, a 3-minute smartphone exchange is significantly better. But knowing that optimizations can be made over time by carefully monitoring the areas of the transaction that take the most time can further decrease friction in the purchase process.

B-sheplers-700x444 Understanding Site Traffic Critical to Business Development

Top Visited Pages

Like a magician that invites you to “pick a card,” you should know what selections your viewers will choose most frequently. Pieces of content that introduce a new program or product, or offer a “featured” feel will likely draw more attention than a blog posted 10 months ago. The more prominent the placement, the more relevant it should be to the user. Think about both frequency and recency. How often does your client transact on your site? If monthly, perhaps you change content features once each month. More frequently? Match the frequency and recency of your average (not the most valuable) client, and you’ll capture their attention with the content you provide.

B-checkinmichigan-700x528 Understanding Site Traffic Critical to Business Development

The Check In Michigan home page features the nearest upcoming events, and the most recent news and industry updates. Both are dynamic, keeping up to date without manual maintenance needed.

Organic versus Paid Traffic

A certain percentage of your traffic will know and visit you because they are already aligned with your brand. While it’s important to maintain a current customer, it’s also important to foster new business. Is your search budget generating a healthy percentage of your site traffic? How about display? Measuring how your customers are reaching you, and then taking steps to amplify or modify that traffic purposefully is among the best ways to use your knowledge of site traffic to benefit your business.

Geography, Demography

Where your traffic originates as well as the age or characteristics of your traffic can tell you so much. Knowing that your average site visitor is 50 means the messages that will influence him or her should be very different. Perhaps you are looking to diversify the age ranges of the clientele your serve. Measuring the mix of these individuals will help you identify when your marketing activities are successful.

Regardless of the goal, understanding who is on your site, how they convert, and what they consume while in your digital footprint will make tomorrow’s marketing activities smarter than today’s. Consider analytics as the foundation of a marketing strategy, rather than the way to measure it, and you’ll be more successful at launch.

Your Biggest Marketing Challenges

If you are like most marketing professionals, you know that the list of challenges is long and sometimes overwhelming. As life-long practitioners of the craft, we seek ways to make things easier, better, convert more readily, generate more sales. We champion brands, strive for awareness, and pain to grow engagements. But we aren’t alone. From a North American survey of marketing pros, here is their list of challenges. Maybe it mirrors your own.

B-MarketingChallenge-graph Your Biggest Marketing Challenges

Source: Statista

Learn More:

The Path to Purchase: Manufacturing Has Changed

Since the advent of the advertising industry, marketers have fed information to customers and customers have made buying decisions based on this information. It was a linear path. Someone sees an ad, became interested in the product, goes to the store and makes a purchase. But now customers are finding information on their own. It’s the marketer’s job to pull that audience in by creating a personalized experience that resonates with the potential customer. The path to purchase is no longer linear, it is a collection of moments that influence a customer to purchase your product.

Customers are already well down the path to a decision before performing an action on a website. They are being influenced from many different touch-points, whether through your website, social media, mobile campaigns, or traditional marketing methods. That makes it important for manufacturing marketers to reach their audience through a variety of methods well before the audience reaches out to them.

B-Manu94percent The Path to Purchase: Manufacturing Has Changed

Content Marketing: Did you know?

Marketing experts saw the shift long ago. They’ve preached that “content is king” for years. But what does that really mean?

Custom content, written, produced, or designed for specific segments of your audience offers a truly personalized experience. It feels bespoke — designed just for the shape, size, or attributes of your best customer.


78% of these marketers believe that custom content is the future of marketing.

Start small. Create a single infographic and an accompanying article. Position them appropriately on your website. Then pull graphic elements from the infographic into digital ad units, targeted to the clientele most impacted by that statistic. Link back to the full article and creative, and watch what happens.


50% of budget for in-bound marketing strategies, significantly decreasing the cost per acquisition. Some report as much as 3x the leads from these activities.

Shift spending from traditional media, where limited personalization is possible, and refine your tactics to more unique messaging that will have an impact. Try this exercise: Pen a series of 2-3 paragraph organizational updates, based on the different generations of your audience. Note how the language should change as the audience’s characteristics change. Expand this thinking into web content, social media, and other promoted materials, based on the audience you’ve selected to reach.

60% of your audience will look for the product after reading about it, and 90% report finding it useful.

Does that mean you need to buy advertorials in all of your traditional print placements? No. It means you should be looking at Google reviews, sites that recommend your products, and putting testimonials on your site. It means that you need to be thinking about partners that can describe your product to their audiences, expanding your reach. Get guerilla, get grass roots. This is about uncovering opportunities, not painting marketing efforts with broad strokes.


70% of your audience says that engaging with your content makes them feel closer to your brand.

It’s proven: the more interactive the method, the more reward you’ll reap. Plan to mix your media so that you engage as many of the senses as you can. Make it visceral: audio (podcast), graphic (design/artwork). Make it surprising: get whimsical by posting the playlist for your office. Get creative by posting photos of your VP’s children trying to figure out the latest product in your line. Nothing is off the table but silence.

These tips are just the beginning. These will certainly snowball into more! Give these a try, and more will surely follow, along with new business.

Source: Statista