Marketing to Baby Boomers
Millennials. Research, blogs, and articles are never ending about this age group. I don’t think I can go 1 day without seeing or hearing the word Millennial. They’re on the forefront of almost all marketers minds. Yes, this is a large segment we want to capture and engage, but I think some companies are missing the boat. A large boat with over 75 million customers.
There are over 75 million people between 51 and 69, known as the Baby Boomers, in the US. The positive- they make up about 70% of the nation’s disposable income. The negative-most companies are failing to reach them. In a recent survey from Influent50, half of Baby Boomers said that companies are using inaccurate stereotypes in advertising about people their age and a whopping 83 percent of them said that brands are making some kind of mistake when trying to appeal to their age group. Ouch! As marketers, this is a huge red flag.
Baby Boomers are now redefining and reinventing life after 50. I hate to admit it, but yes, I am a millennial and my parents are part of the Baby Boomer category. I swear they have more active and social lives than I do! They’re also the ones I reach out to when I need a down payment for a house or get in immediate financial trouble. (Thanks for the “loans”, dad.) However, it’s not just my parents. Over half of Boomers support their adult children financially at some point in their lives. They have the discretionary incomes to be able to do this, in addition, they’re also set to inherit 15 trillion dollars.
Baby Boomers are spending money on product and services that are helping them build a meaningful and enjoyable life. They’re not sitting on their porch in the rocking chair. Remember the movie The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman? This is how Baby Boomers are choosing to live the second part of their life and as marketers, we need to change our stereotypes surrounding this generation. Many are switching professions to consulting and teaching where they can use their experiences to help others or becoming entrepreneurs. They don’t want to be reminded of their age, but their accomplishments and their future.
It’s vital to know what’s important to this group, as well as how to reach them. The Baby Boomer generation are used to having one-on-one interaction. 79% of them consider customer service and not just price when making a purchase decision. Integrating a live chat feature on your website and encouraging them to ask questions through Facebook is important to gain their attention and keep their dollars coming back. No longer are the days where they don’t know how to use computers or technology. More than 75 percent of those ages 51-69 are on social media and 50 percent are online at least 15 hours a week. They’re active on Facebook, Pinterest, as well as LinkedIn. We also know that about 6 in 10 read blogs and articles and close to 7 in 10 watch online videos. Each of these need to be an important part of your integrated marketing campaign to reach this generation.
Baby Boomers are a force in spending in the US and they shouldn’t be ignored. If you haven’t considered them as part of your target market, you’re missing a huge opportunity for the success of your business. How is your company reaching this generation?
By Brittani Vanderweerd | Public Relations Specialist