1. Your data.
When your enrollment data demonstrates that registrations are coming from two or more generations, that is the initial indication you should consider two separate brochures.
If 20% or more of your registrations come from two or more generations, you have a significant investment in more than one generation. It’s time to take a look at generational brochures.
If registrations from one of those generations have declined in either percentage terms or absolute numbers recently, that is a big warning sign that you should investigate a separate brochure for that
2. Your market goals.
If you want to serve more than one generation, then consider a separate brochure for that generation.
For example, if you want to serve Baby Boomers as they grow older and become the ‘young seniors,’ you will almost certainly have to develop a separate brochure distinct from your Senior brochure for your Baby Boomers.
3. New markets.
If you want to enter a new generational market, you will have better initial success targeting just that one generation with a separate brochure.
For example, if you are establishing or growing a program of activities for middle and/or high school students, a separate brochure will resonate with them and be better received than your adult brochure.
4. Quantify ROI.
Estimate the growth in registrations you can achieve if you move to a separate brochure. Another approach is to estimate the growth in registrations you Need in order to justify financially a second brochure.
Income is always more important than cost. Promotion cost is always less than income. If you can generate reasonable numbers showing that your Return on Investment (ROI) is likely to occur if you create a second brochure, then do it.
Losing market share is a less profitable and certainly undesirable alternative to a second brochure.
If you are not giving up on one brochure
Over the long run, you will have to produce several brochures, each targeted to a different generation.
But if your organization absolutely cannot undertake a separate brochure over the next 1-3 years, here are some alternatives others are using. Keep in mind that none of the alternatives are as effective as a separate brochure for reaching more people.
Several programs have tried different covers, with the inside of the brochure remaining the same. Each cover appeals to a different generation.
Try designing different sections of your brochure for different audiences. The courses or activities are most appropriate for that generation. The marketing language reflects the words, values and motivations of that generation. And the graphic design and visuals can, or should, be tailored for that generation.
“See pages X-Z for courses relevant to you.” This is one approach several programs have used, putting stickers on the cover or back cover of the brochure pointing out the section that will most appeal to the given customer.
If your only option is picking one graphic for the cover, it should be of nature. It is the most intergenerational image that resonates with the most people in different generations.
However, the traditional flowers-inspring, sun-in-summer, leaves-in-fall, and snowflakes-in-winter pattern of images is the least effective. It does not evoke a feeling or positive emotion.
Try a scenic view, people in nature, thing in nature (canoe or bridge, for example) or other unusual photo that people normally do not see.