Radio Is Back-to-School Medium For Affluent Gen X Families.


Mastercard SpendingPulse has forecasted a 5.5% YOY increase for the 2021 back-to-school shopping season and a 6.7% increase from 2019. Gen X (41–56 years of age) households weathered the pandemic better than most other age groups and those with incomes of $75,000+ are a prime target for radio advertisers.


According to The Media Audit, 45.5% of Gen Xers have children at home of any age and their average household income during 2020 was $90,964, which was more than $18,000 more than Baby Boomers and more than $20,000 more than Millennials.


Data in the following table from selected Spring 2021 consumer/market surveys conducted by The Media Audit shows at least 75% of affluent Gen X parents with children at home of any age listen to radio daily.


“As the economy continues to rebound, the back-to-school season will be the first significant test for the retail sector and consumer spending,” said Nick Miller, Vice President, The Media Audit. “Many affluent Gen X parents will be returning to their workplaces and listening to radio during the daily commute as they did before the pandemic. Many others will continue to work from home where radio was a constant companion during 2020 and is likely to remain so during 2021.”


Mastercard is also forecasting apparel to be the No.1 back-to-school category, with retail sales increasing 78% YOY. Many children, including the millions in Gen X households, want a major upgrade to their wardrobes.


A similar data comparison of the same five featured Spring 2021 consumer/market surveys from The Media Audit reveals even larger percentages of affluent Gen Xers who purchased children’s clothing at a local area store during the past four weeks listen to radio daily.


With most school districts and colleges welcoming students to full-time, in-school classes at the start of the 2021–2022 school year, millions of those students are undoubtedly clamoring for new clothing and shoes as well as backpacks, electronics and furniture for college dorms and more. Radio is where to engage with affluent Gen Xers who will be responding to their children’s back-to-school needs and have the disposable income to spend.

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