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A lot has been said of marketing toward particular segments of the population and that includes the differences between the generational segments. For instance, if you are marketing products and services toward Baby Boomers, then you would position your brand differently than if you were marketing toward Millennials (younger people between 18 and 34).

But is there any validity to this marketing argument?

I think it depends on the product and service. Obviously, some products appeal to older populations that younger people aren’t going to be interested in. An AARP membership, for instance.

But what about generic products or products that cross generational lines in terms of interest and usability?

I think the key is to outline the benefits of your product for the consumer. Maybe older people are looking for a different benefit than younger people when it comes to your product. Maybe not. The key to any marketing – even online marketing – is to sell the benefits of the product or service. The question is, How?

If you have different market segments that seek different benefits for the same product, then it might be prudent to target them separately the same way that marketers in the TV and print advertising age have done. In that case, you might build two separate websites and focus optimizing them for the right keywords for each market. Then use the right social media sites to drive traffic and make connections based on the market.

Market segmentation is nothing new. Online, however, it might take on a different flavor. Think about it in terms of benefit for each segment and you can’t go wrong.

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