July 6, 2022

Emma Releases New Research to Help Higher Ed Marketers Reach Key Generations

Report Reveals Generational Communication and Marketing Preferences that Show While 60% of Gen Z Likes Personalized Ads, 80% of Boomers Have Privacy Concerns

Emma, a provider of best-in-class email marketing software and services, and a CM Group brand, today announced the publication of a new report entitled, “Higher Ed Marketing Insights from Gen Z to Boomers – How to Tailor Marketing For Different Generations.” The new report provides fresh data from a recent survey from Emma’s parent company, CM Group, and F’inn, innovation and market research company, about the preferences and behaviors of baby boomers, Gen X, millennials and Gen Z. With a focus on education, work and social good, as well as differences in advertising and marketing preferences, the report provides higher ed marketers with a spectrum of actionable insights that can drive segmented marketing fit to each of these key generations.

For higher ed marketers who often communicate with a wide range of individuals, such as students, parents, alumni, donors and more, understanding these differences can help in creating audience segments and custom messages that will be more relevant and more effective. When it comes to education and career preferences, each generation is comparably different. Gen Z is not only on track to become the most educated generation the U.S. has ever seen, but also is currently the most ambitious, with 34% prioritizing a high-paying job. Additionally, Baby boomers are most likely to be interested in online learning, which offers more convenience and less travel.

With this backdrop, the report also reveals important insights about marketing, data and privacy preferences which vary widely by generation and are shaped by different experiences with technology, particularly social media. Among a variety of insights, the study finds that:

  • 49% of Gen Z gets their news and information from YouTube, their top choice, but Twitter also ranks highly (37%), and is the highest of any generation
  • At 37%, millennials are the biggest fans of getting news and information from Facebook compared to other generations, but also turn to TV news and YouTube to stay informed
  • Baby boomers are most concerned about their online privacy at 87%
  • 60% of Gen Z prefers ads that are relevant to their needs and lifestyle; even in older generations, the majority agree

“Many higher ed marketers are focusing their communication on Gen Z as their primary student population, and this group has unique preferences that require a different approach to messaging than the other generations we looked at,” said Lou Riordan, Director at F’inn. “Research and data help us better understand generational trends. This report ensures that higher ed marketers don’t fall victim to assuming that the next generation will amplify trends from the previous one, as that is not always the case.”

The report also provides higher ed marketers with best practices for creating relevant marketing communications and content for these key generations. The report serves as a useful roadmap and guide as the current school year comes to a close and higher ed marketers focus on next year’s student population. Marketers can learn valuable insights about how to lean into the right channels for each generation while creating marketing messaging that feels more like content and delivers value to the reader.

“While Gen Z is the most digitally native generation, every generation that we surveyed has expectations of relevant marketing. With so much competition for attention in the inbox, it is critical that higher ed marketers use insights to guide a tailored approach that delivers relevant and meaningful messaging,” said Sarah Thetford, Customer Success Manager and Higher Ed specialist at Emma.

Download the full report, here.

CM Group, Emma’s parent company, partnered with innovation and market research company, F’inn, to survey 1,000 U.S. adults about their preferences and behaviors across communication, education, work, and more, to bring you a clearer picture of each generation. The study looked at four generations as identified: baby boomers (born 1946–1964), Generation X (born 1965–1980), millennials (born 1981–1995) and 18+ Generation Z (born 1996–2010; 1996-2003 included in this study.)

About Emma
Emma, a CM Group company, is an email marketing platform that makes it easy for teams of all sizes to create and collaborate on beautiful campaigns. Its focus on delivering powerful personalization in an accessible way to ultimately drive more conversions and sales. Emma also allows distributed business or franchised organizations to manage professional email marketing at scale.

About F’inn
F’inn is a consulting firm that helps companies across the globe tackle all types of innovation challenges. They inspire leaders to discover and hold on to great ideas; to give them purpose and make them real. In the past seven years, they have talked to more than 1 million people in 30 countries, always putting their humanity at the center of attention. To learn more, visit www.finn-group.com.

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