Jeanniey Mullen, Global EVP & CMO of Zinio, along with Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, teamed up for a webinar covering Social Media 2013: What Sites Are Most Important to Marketers This Year. The webinar was jam-packed with valuable insight and tactics, so much so that we can’t squeeze it all into one post. Here’s Part 1, and we’ll follow up with Part 2 next.

Know your audience: the John Stamos experiment

When creating a marketing campaign, regardless of channel: web, social, mobile or event, the message for the campaign should resonate with the specific audience you want to target. Here’s how target groups break down by generation:

  • Silent generation (65+) – Their lifestyle isn’t driven by cost or product, but by physical and mental wellness. They want to know how their wellbeing will be affected by what you’re offering.
  • Baby boomers (46-64) – Interested and engaged in social media, with a lot more discretionary income than any other generation. They manage their lives through digital and mobile initiatives, so convenience is important.
  • Generation X (30-45) – This generation is in the market for purchasing items and retro is key to their purchase patterns. They like to be brought back to the “good ol’ days” and email is secondary as far as messaging channels, right after video.
  • Millennials (18-29) – This generation cannot function without coffee, doesn’t use landline phones and receives 20+ emails an hour – most emails are from Generation X.
  • Generation Swipe (17 and under) – They are controlled by their involvement with electronics and are often given an iPhone/iPad at a very young age to entertain themselves. They’ve learned to swipe across devices (hence the name) and are private due to their dependence on electronics.

All of this information is inoperable without the CMO’s secret weapon: Digital. Digital enables businesses to connect with customers and prospects in ways and channels never before possible, but now mandatory. Understanding which social networks to use as a marketer is as important as honing company messaging.

Jeanniey uses an image of John Stamos to make a relevant point about understanding your target demographic. Depending on the age group you fall into, you may recognize him as being famous for one of the various reasons:


1. I have no idea- but he looks young – Silent Generation

2. He was Blackie on General Hospital (1982-1984) – Baby Boomer/Generation X

3. He was Uncle Jessie on Full House (1987-1995) – Generation X

4. He was the drummer for the Beach Boys (1995-2000) – Baby Boomer

5. He was Dr. Tony on ER (2005-2009)—Millennial

6. He was Dr. Carl Howl on Glee (2010-2013) – Generation Swipe

Chances are you’ll recognize John Stamos based on the year you were born and the generation you were born into. Every generation lives life from a different base perspective – how we talk to people through social media has to reflect that. Everybody communicates with a contextual relevance defined by the generation they were born into. The key to social success is making sure to build programs with that insight in mind.

The webinar included an interesting and in-depth evaluation of The Ellen Show and how Ellen has managed to create a series of engagement entry points, all driven by age/channel-appropriate content. To watch the full webinar, click here.

Stay tuned! More to come about which social sites marketers should consider.