Advertising by Generation: Baby Boomers

January 19, 2018

Baby boomers are a hot consumer market. First, it’s a massive pool of potential customers: More than 75 million people fall into the “Baby Boomer” category (those born between 1945 and the mid-60s). Baby boomers are also a captive audience for television and radio ads, as most of this generation has already retired or is nearing retirement age. If you’re looking to market your product or service to the Baby Boomer generation, here are a few things you should know first.

Don’t believe the stereotypes

If you’re imagining the average Baby Boomer as the old guy next door who watches Lassie reruns, reads the Sunday paper for news and screams “get off my lawn!” to neighborhood kids, you’re off-base. Or, at least, you’re selling this generation short. According to a recent study of older adults, more than a quarter of all Boomers spend 19 or more hours per week watching television, with more than 35% of respondents spending the same amount of time on the Internet. Many Boomers choose to keep working after the standard retirement age. Others are helping to raise their grandchildren, and thus keep up on the latest trends and technological advances.

Boomers are tech savvy

Boomers may not be rushing out to purchase the latest tech gadget or standing in line for the new iPhone iteration, but they are using technology as much or more as their younger cohorts. In the DMN3 study, 92% of Boomers reported using the Internet to shop for products and services. That amounts to around 25 million Americans that your company may be neglecting when you fail to cater advertising to the Boomer generation.

Boomers have money to spend

Americans 55 and over have more than ¾ of the country’s wealth, and earn more yearly than the generations that came before or after them. They’re also expected to inherit even more in the coming years – a whopping 14-20 trillion dollars over the next two decades. Of course, that doesn’t mean these Baby Boomers will spend their pennies on your service or product. To capture their attention and win their business, advertisers need to market directly to Baby Boomers. Which brings us to our next tip…

Advertise with “Big Picture” messages

Baby Boomers are likely facing huge transitions as they enter their 50s and 60s. They may become empty nesters as the kids move away, or have the added responsibility of caring for elderly parents. Marketing messages for the Baby Boomer generation should emphasize how your product or service could make things easier or improve the quality of their life. Understanding the generation’s needs is also crucial. Messages that prove “we understand you and your needs” will come across as genuine and helpful to Boomers.

Develop a relationship

Retirement isn’t just about having more time; it also increases a person’s available bandwidth. When the day-to-day becomes less hectic and there’s no more shuttling kids to activities or socializing with friends every day, Boomers have more free time to develop new relationships. This includes a connection with a company or service. Spend extra time developing and cultivating a personal relationship with Boomer customers and you will gain their loyalty. Share personal stories. Communicate sincerely and regularly. Avoid overly modern abbreviations and jargon in your communications. Tailor your message to appeal to Boomers. Listen to the consumer and find out what he/she needs. Each of these actions will help your consumer develop trust in your brand.

Old-school marketing often abandoned consumers as they turned 50 or 55, believing that these consumers spent less and were less likely to invest in new products or technologies. In reality, Boomers are a massive spending power that’s been largely ignored and untapped. How are you catering to Boomers in your advertising campaigns? Share your stories below. If you need help tailoring your messages to Boomers, or developing this underserved market, contact Commit Agency today.