Communication Patterns: Baby Boomers Gen Xers and Millennials

Different generational groups may communicate differently based upon the cultural shared practices that are most salient during their birth cohort. In order to better equip you with these differences when developing your B2B marketing tactics, I have compiled this document of how Baby Boomers (1946-1960), Generation Xers (1960-1980) and Millennials (1980-1994) differ in their communication preferences.

baby boomers, gen xers and millenials

Baby Boomers (1946-1960)

  • Are familiar and accustomed with email and the internet
  • Prefer face-to-face or a phone call, and after business hours they prefer email unless it’s urgent in which case they prefer telephone

Gen Xers (1960-1980)

  • Are familiar and accustomed with email and the internet
  • Believe they must be connected to peers at all times via cell phone, instant messaging, and other forms of contact, even at work.
  • Do not like meetings
  • May avoid meetings and phone calls, (i.e. leave a message) because they are busy and don’’t see the potential gain. Baby Boomers often see this as not team-oriented.

Millennials (1980-1994)

  • Are familiar and accustomed with social media and text messaging. These are their main forms of communication.
  • Believe they must be connected to peers at all times via cell phone, instant messaging and other forms of contact,– even at work.
  • Prefer to accomplish work in groups. They use meetings with the goal to exchange ideas and divide up the work

This synopsis was developed using the scientific studies found in The Handbook of Intergroup Communication, edited by Howard Giles.


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