Only a few years ago, brand managers looking to reach a mass audience were faced with the challenge of creating almost bifurcated campaigns, leveraging social/mobile to engage millennials and generation Z, and then a separate media strategy combining television and other legacy platforms with online banners and search to reach pre-millennials, those born in the 1950s, '60s, and '70s. Recently, however, that divide has almost disappeared, as the 40- to 60-year-old age group has adopted digital and especially social channels in a big way.

Not only is nearly everyone in this cohort internet-connected, but a recent report from Pew Research found that just shy of two-thirds (64 percent) of those between the ages of 50 and 64 use social media; 65 percent are active on Facebook.

Older consumers may not be swiping on their smartphones 24/7 like their younger counterparts, but Derek White, president and CEO of New York-based targeted marketing company Refuel Agency, says their adoption of social is giving brand managers a lot more options for engagement. "Older generations tend to pay attention to what younger folks are doing and we're seeing the same thing now happening in advertising," he says. "A lot of advertisers are taking the approaches for millennials and younger people and using those tactics to reach older segments."