Marketing to Baby Boomers: Understand the Who, How, and What
In the Age of Onlinement, understanding pivotal players in the market is key to your success. When it comes to marketing to Baby Boomers, there are 74.9 million pivotal players. Yet, approximately 58 percent of this population are ignored by marketers who are lasered focused on Millennials.
Marketing to Baby Boomers is a major opportunity. The group is growing faster, living longer than younger cohorts, and they own the lion’s share of the nation’s financial assets. What’s more, they are willing to spend their money. In addition to a marketer’s general preoccupation with Millennials is the fact that few marketers understand the Baby Boomer backstory or the diversity that exists within the group.
Who Are Baby Boomers?
By and large, Baby Boomers tend to work and play hard and ascribe to a philosophy of lifelong learning. Staying abreast of the world is important to them and they expect marketers to do the same, to take the time to communicate with them in an informed way. The worst faux pas a marketer can make is to either ignore them completely or gloss over the many historical milestones they’ve lived through. This is a general description for the group, rather than the segments within the group.
What Traits Do Baby Boomers Reflect as a Group
When marketing to Baby Boomers be mindful of those characteristics they reflect as a group that will help increase your company’s sales.
As they age, Baby Boomers become more individualistic. Their desire to find people who are “like” them diminishes. They want to be more of who they are and they want to live a life that allows them to put the values they prize into practice. One of the caveats to understanding this aspect of marketing to Baby Boomers is they hold seemingly incongruent values. For example, the use of mobile coupons and discounts along with ownership of multiple residences. These values speak to their attitude toward good stewardship of their present assets and a perception about their legacy. This is why a blanket characteristic about this demographic, such as they are frugal, can be misleading. Also, a marketer’s impatience when selling to them can result in Baby Boomer’s completely losing interest in the product being sold. A Baby Boomer cannot be pressed to buy with a time sensitive sales technique because they know that everything that comes around will go around again. These are but a few examples of group traits that need to be further personalized when marketing to Baby Boomers.
How to Talk to Baby Boomers
In order to speak to Baby Boomers effectively, marketers must remember, according to Nielsen, that men and women, aged 55 and older, spend as much as the 25-54-year-olds. Their digital lives, while different from their younger cohorts, are nevertheless as active on different channels and in different ways than Millennials. One of the most actively engaged communities of Baby Boomers is on Facebook
A DMN3 study, Reaching Today’s Leading-Edge Boomers Online, outlined three insights that could be helpful in marketing to Baby Boomers.
- Most Baby Boomers use Facebook
- Early adapter-type Baby Boomers spend more than 11 hours per week on Facebook
- More than half of active Baby Boomers follow the crumbs on social sites and do their own research
When marketing to Baby Boomers, give them the facts. There may be a place for hyperbole in a comedic exchange, but not in marketing to Baby Boomers. They prefer that marketers do away with the canned speeches that miss the mark. It is enough if marketers do their homework and demonstrate their respect for their prospects. Time is of the essence, but how Baby Boomers choose to use that time is their decision.
Understanding Baby Boomers In Transition
Baby Boomers are the pivotal players in the digital generation who should be understood as both ancestors and inventors in the new era. It is as F. Heindryckx wrote in a 2014 Journal of Communication article: “They raised and educated the first generation of Digital Natives and paved the way for the development and implementation of technologies that are currently in use.”
When it comes to innovation, many would argue it is wrong to claim the status of digital natives for Baby Boomers who marketers cast as old, olden, and backward. However, marketers who understand, as F. Heindryckx ‘s research contends, that Boomers are digital progenitors who stand at the nexus of change, will do well in creating messages that resonate with the demographic. They understand that not only did Baby Boomers live during the analog age, they did everything without Facebook, the internet, or email. These experiences give Baby Boomers an edge in understanding the rapid communication changes as they iterate around us. Heindryckx goes on to say, “We do not take these changes as a given, but as an option that can be understood in perspective.”
The Opportunity in Marketing to Baby Boomers
Marketers who understand where Baby Boomers congregate online, how they are called to action and how they are influenced will create highly nuanced messages where there is no misalignment in meaning. Your ability to create messages that align with the interests of Baby Boomer will be rewarded. Because your organization’s messages will be quickly conveyed and understood. This will be reflected in your profits.
Would you like to uplevel your marketing to Baby Boomers and refine your communications for this enormous market? Let’s discuss how the P.A. Patton Group can help you grow.