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The Future Belongs to Gen X


Marketing Horizons: The Future Belongs to Gen X

As marketers, we spend a lot of time talking about Millennials. We target them as consumers, employees, and donors, to the point of obsession, as the next cohort after the Boomers. But wait! We are overlooking Generation X, not surprisingly called the “Forgotten Generation.” This is the 65 million people in their 40s and 50s sandwiched between the Boomers and the Millennials. They represent a $2.4 trillion market. Ignoring them could prove a costly mistake for both businesses and nonprofits.

In this episode, we speak with Alicia Lifrak, who is a Gen X member herself, and has spent the past 25 years leading strategy in the nonprofit and higher education worlds. She explains why marketers ignore Gen X at our own peril, and what we should be doing about it. Pop Quiz: Can you name at least 3 Gen X leaders of major transformational companies today? Listen to this episode for the answer.

Three Takeaways

  • This market segment is amazing and we need to quit ignoring it. There’s an opportunity for us to stary paying attention to them and build relationships to pull them in.
  • They have an awareness that they have been ignored, so there’s a potential appreciation for companies that do speak to them in their language through media, with messaging that resonates with it.
  • They are high potential targets for nonprofits, as they are moving into leadership positions and onto boards. There’s a huge potential for fundraising focused to causes they care about.

About our Guest

Alicia Lifrak

With more than three decades of experience in the philanthropic sector, Alicia M Lifrak is a Certified Fund-Raising Executive with demonstrated success in leadership, strategic planning, operations, budget management, board leadership, membership, program, marketing and all forms of fundraising. She is driven by a focus on developing and implementing strategic solutions that yield the best possible results in pursuit of mission achievement.

She currently serves as Executive Vice President for the Gabriel Group, an OSG Company, leading the nonprofit division in offering full-service fundraising, marketing and strategy consultation to clients. Prior to joining Gabriel Group, Alicia spent 25 years leading teams to achieve exceptional results in nonprofit and higher education.

Alicia also serves in several key leadership roles as a volunteer and active member in organizations including The Nonprofit Alliance, NonProfit Pro, Rotary International, the Meridian Society and the Washington University Women’s Society. After moving around the U.S. for most of her life, Alicia now lives in Illinois with her four kids, a cat and a dog. She travels frequently, for work and for fun, is an avid reader and loves to see live music.

To connect with her directly or learn more, contact her at

Meet the Hosts

Cyndi Greenglass

Cyndi W. Greenglass is a founding partner and president at Livingston Strategies, a data-informed, strategic consulting firm that helps clients develop, execute, and measure their customer communications with a close focus on results. Cyndi has razor-sharp strategic skills matched by impeccable on-the-ground savvy and tactical abilities. She is an Adjunct Instructor in the Data Marketing Communications online master's degree program from West Virginia University.

Greenglass has twice been named into the Top 100 Influential BTB Marketers by Crain’s BtoB Magazine and was the 2012 CADM Chicago Direct Marketer of the Year. She is a member of the Board of Advisors for BRAND United and has taught, trained and presented at over 50 conferences throughout the world.

Ruth Stevens

Ruth P. Stevens consults on customer acquisition and retention, for business-to-business clients. Ruth serves on the boards of directors of the HIMMS Media Group, and the Business Information Industry Association. She is a trustee of Princeton-In-Asia, past chair of the Business-to-Business Council of the DMA, and past president of the Direct Marketing Club of New York.

Ruth was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing by Crain’s BtoB magazine, and one of 20 Women to Watch by the Sales Lead Management Association. She serves as a mentor to fledgling companies at the ERA business accelerator in New York City.

WVU Marketing Communications Today: Horizons is presented by the West Virginia University Reed College of Media, which offers renowned online master’s degree programs in Marketing Communications. Interested in growing your career with a master's degree in Data, Digital or Integrated Marketing Communications? Request more information today!