Generation X versus Millennials communication behaviour on social media when purchasing food versus tourist services

Dabija, Dan-Cristian; Bejan, Brîndușa Mariana and Tipi, Nicoleta (2018). Generation X versus Millennials communication behaviour on social media when purchasing food versus tourist services. E+M Ekonomie a Management, 21(1) pp. 191–205.



Knowledge and proper understanding of the needs, expectations, desires, demands, values or preferences of Generation X and Millennials is an essential goal of any company. The mission of marketers is increasingly difficult because they have to develop a marketing mix able to target efficiently all customers, invoking satisfaction and loyal behavior. Communication strategy therefore has a special role to play. While Millennials are easier to target, persuade even influence through social media, Gen Xers are more conservative, preferring to look for additional information about products and companies themselves, which makes the marketer’s job even more difficult. Nowadays, social media plays an increasingly important part in influencing consumers and their consumption behavior. Being able to expand beyond geographical borders, social media creates strong links between consumers in different states and social environments. Research conducted among Gen Xers and Millennials shows that whenever they choose food products and tourist services based on recommendations and the information available on social media, their purchasing behavior depends on their own personal desire to become informed, and the characteristics they expect from a piece of information and from the Internet as a general source of information. Given this, companies changed and adapted their communication strategies in order to be more present online. In addition, for those interested, companies create official pages that can represent a strong support for those interested in acquiring information. Quite often, consumers have the possibility to compare goods and services before buying, minimizing the risks attached to these acquisitions. The results reveal that Millennials have stronger affinity with, and place greater reliance upon online information than Gen Xers. From a managerial perspective, this paper provides retailers with the opportunity to better understand the behaviour of customers of different ages, making their targeting more successful.

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