Time flies, seasons fade, fashions change, and so do your customers. You might know what the weather's like tomorrow and what you’re wearing next week, but do you know what your future customers look like?

In the busy world of SMS marketing, it’s easy to concentrate on today and leave tomorrow for next week. But your future customers aren’t standing still. Instead, they’re growing up, buying phones and deciding their own communication preferences. And knowing what these preferences are (or will be) is essential for:

- Building customer loyalty now;

- Sustaining customer loyalty in the long term; and

- Building and sustaining completely new audiences. 

Who are your future customers?

So, enough of the secrecy - who are these future customers, and what do they look like?

Baby boomers

Ok, so baby boomers definitely aren’t new, and you’re probably questioning the age of this blog. But, hold on for one second. The youngest baby boomer is 55 years old, which means that a significant proportion will be your future customers. So what will they look like?

Spending habits

As baby boomers enter into retirement, they’ll be spending less money, making them a little harder to market to. Traditionally, they value price over quality, and this isn’t likely to change. What is changing is where they like to shop, with 66% now regularly buying online. 

Brand loyalty

Retaining baby boomers as your customers of the future requires a focus on value, as 62% consider price the key factor for remaining remain loyal to a brand. 

Communication preferences

This generation is still a fan of direct mail and emails, but that’s not to say text messages aren’t important. With 93% owning a mobile phone, SMS will be an easy way to continue communicating with this audience. 

Generation X

Being born between the mid-‘60s and early ‘80s, Generation X has the reputation of “having it easy”. They likely represent the largest proportion of your customers today, and they’ll definitely be a customer of your future. So let’s take a look. 

Spending habits

As Gen Xers become largely mortgage-free and career-established, they’ll have more financial power than ever before. But despite this, their primary spending motivator will remain a really good discount (or two). 

Brand loyalty

Accordingly, 55% will stay loyal to brands that offer them value. But we’re not talking cheap here. Quality is nearly equally as important to Generation X, so to keep these customers on your side, you must offer value for money. 

Communication preferences

92% of Gen Xers own a mobile phone, and, being the heaviest users of social media, they’re on it a lot. Accordingly, SMS communication will remain important for attracting these customers in their downtime, while email will target them during the 9-5. 

Millennials

Born between the early ‘80s and mid-‘90s, Millennials have the reputation of being avocado-eating, smartphone obsessed, flat renters. Is this fair? Well, who doesn’t love smashed avo on toast - but millennials are far more profound than the media would have you think.

Spending habits

Millennials have struggled to get onto the housing ladder, therefore they much prefer experiences over material things - i.e. they’d rather spend money on a two-week holiday away from their childhood bedroom, than on a dining room table that they have no house to place. 

These habits will likely continue into the future, even after they’ve bought somewhere - making customer experience a key to your future marketing. 

Brand loyalty

And, if a millennial has had a good experience with a brand, they’ll remain loyal. So to keep these customers, give them an experience worth coming back for, including loyalty rewards and, of course, personalised SMS

Communication preferences

Millennials find email and mobile communications equally as important - making them both an essential part of your marketing strategy going forward. 

Further reading: SMS vs email: the ultimate showdown.   

Generation Z

Now we’re really talking future. Generation Z were born between the mid-’90s to the early ‘10s,  meaning that they’re just about entering the world of work and financial independence.

Spending habits

From what we know so far, Gen Zs love quality. More than 50% based their last purchase decision on product quality, and this isn’t expected to change. It’s also becoming apparent that Generation Z is hugely influenced by equality, fairness and honesty, in the products they buy and the services they receive. Including these motivators in your future marketing campaigns will be essential.

Brand loyalty

Like millennials, Generation Z is highly driven by quality - making customer experience also important for brand loyalty. They’re also attracted to brands which mimic their own values - making your values important for future communications and branding. 

Communication preferences

Generation Z value emails least out of all generations, and much prefer mobile communications. This will require a shift in your marketing focus to SMS and online messengers, such as WhatsApp. 

Generation Alpha

And the most future of your future customers is Generation Alpha. These babies are those born between the mid-’10s to the mid-’20s, so we don’t know a lot about them yet. 

But what we do know is that you’ll need to tailor your communication channels, content and strategies to them. 

Key takeaway

The key message we want to get across in this blog is that your future customer isn’t one generation that’s in love with text messaging. Your future customer crosses several generations, with different likes, motivators and preferences. But one thing is for sure, they all own mobile phones. 

Sources:

PewInternet  SalesFloor  YesMarketing