Image from: GenX / Shutterstock

As announced in my last two posts on Millennials and Baby Boomers, a few weeks ago we launched our newest research “Getting Audiences Right: Marketing to the Right Generation on the Right Screen” in which we analyze how Millennials, Generation Xers, and Baby Boomers use digital devices differently to consume content and shop for products online. In the last of my three-part series, I’ll review some key takeaways for GenX (those born between 1965 and 1980).

When it comes to screen usage, Millennials and Boomers are interesting to compare to each other. Of all three generations we studied, Millennials have the highest smartphone usage and lowest TV and laptop usage, while Boomers have the lowest smartphone usage and the highest TV and laptop usage. Meanwhile, GenX is a digitally transitional generation, falling squarely between Millennials and Boomers. It’s interesting to note that tablets are the exception – GenX slightly leads the pack in tablet usage.


But GenXers’ screen preferences are interesting in their own right too. While GenXers use multiple screens, their screen preference depends on the complexity of the task at hand. For high-attention/high-complexity tasks like reading the news or researching information on health concerns, Gen Xers prefer laptops. However, they will default to smartphones for light-touch/high frequency activities, like checking the weather. Additionally, they prefer laptops to shop for products/services in all industries that we studied, although smartphones are gaining traction in some categories, like CPG and Consumer Electronics.

It should be clear from this blog series that each generation has its own screen preferences for all digital activities. It’s not enough to know that GenX uses TVs, laptops, and smartphones, marketers need to understand how and why they use those screens in order to allocate resources efficiently across the path-to-purchase to reach that audience at the right time with the right message.

Learn more about how to target the right generation on the right screen by downloading the full study here.