Marketing to Baby Boomers: 5 Things to Know
Image by Thomas Hafeneth via Unsplash
We've previously discussed best practices for marketing to millennials and the even younger Generation Z. You didn't think we'd forget about baby boomers, did you?
Baby boomers represent a highly-lucrative segment of the population. They and members of the elder Silent Generation accounted for roughly half of all U.S. spending in the first quarter of 2017, according to USA Today.
There are currently about 81 million boomers living in the United States, according to data from Statista. The generation includes people born between 1946 and 1964. Historians credit the end of WWII and a flourishing economy for an influx of births during this timeframe.
Although younger generations are entering or well into adulthood by now, experts say boomers will remain the backbone of the American economy for years to come. So while your business is wise to connect with younger demographics, you certainly don't want to forget about the Baby Boomers.
Let's take a look at five things to keep in mind when marketing to this generation.
1. They're Wealthy
Like we said: Baby boomers are wealthy. In fact, they're the wealthiest generation of all in the United States.
USA Today attributes boomers' prosperity to good timing. Many entered the workforce during strong economies during the 1970s and 1980s. That's opposed to the millennials, many of whom entered the workforce amid the Great Recession.
Despite more young people launching their careers, they're not yet surpassing boomers economically. boomers are expected to remain the wealthiest generation until at least 2030, according to Deloitte.
2. They've Got Time on Their Hands
In addition to being wealthy, there's one more important thing about boomers to keep in mind—more and more of them are entering retirement.
The oldest of the group started turning 65 years old in 2011, according to Bloomberg, which is the unofficial retirement age.
So when marketing to baby boomers, you're often times dealing with a group of people with lots of money and plenty of time on their hands. Knowing this, it's no surprise that according to USA Today, Boomers are increasingly spending on things like travel and entertainment.
Wealth and an abundance of free time are common characteristics of boomers, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're an easy sell.
3. Baby Boomers are Smart Shoppers
They're not going to shell out their hard-earned money for whatever it is you're pedaling. boomers pride themselves on getting good deals, and the best product that's available. For big ticket items, this is probably even more so the case.
"Rather than sticking with the tried-and-true, [Baby boomers are] more likely to switch products until they find the one that meets all their needs," Rhonda L. Randall, chief medical officer for UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement, wrote for HuffPost.
That being said, copy that goes something like, "Are you satisfied with your current... ?" is likely to resonate with the group. They have the time and the interest to take a look and see if you're offering something better than what they've currently got.
Other ways to appeal to the savvy-shopping boomers:
Make use of special offers to beat your competition
Explain why your product/business is unique compared to what else is out there
Offer customizable packages as opposed to a "one-size-fits-all" approach
Appeal to the "thrill of the hunt," and you'll have boomers shopping with your business.
4. They Lead Active Lifestyles
They may be retired, but you're not likely to catch many boomers slowing down their life's pace.
Karina Tama-Rutigliano, senior digital marketing manager for an in-home care provider, told Forbes that boomers differ from their parents in that they're less interested in kicking back and relaxing during retirement. They want to get out and experience all the world has to offer.
Tama-Rutigliano credits boomers' health-conscious lifestyles, as well as modern medicine that allows them to remain healthier for longer, for this trend. They're simply able to get out and do what their elders couldn't.
What does this mean for your business? If you're marketing sportswear or an exotic getaway—you better not ignore the boomers.
And if you're marketing exclusively to boomers, copy and imagery that play up the "active lifestyle" theme are sure to be a hit.
5. They're on Social Media
What kind of person comes to mind when you think about social media?
Most of us probably think of someone in their teens, 20s or even 30s. And while it's true that young people love social media, baby boomers are increasingly jumping on board.
In fact, according to Forbes, a whopping 82 percent of baby boomers have at least one social media account. Boomers and other seniors even spend more time online than they do watching TV, Forbes says.
So, believe it or not, you don't want to overlook digital marketing efforts such as retargeting, paid social and email campaigns when you're trying to reach boomers.