Firm News

The Why & How of Marketing to Baby Boomers

June 15, 2017

While brands are obsessed with cracking the code to successfully market to millennials, we are turning our attention to Baby Boomers.

The Boomers are booming, y’all! According to Baby Boomer Magazine, roughly 40 percent of all consumers are Boomers and they spend $3.2 trillion (yes, trillion, with a “t”) every year. So why are brands and marketers giving Boomers the cold shoulder in their generational marketing?

Anyone born between 1946 and 1964 is classified as a Boomer, specifically when there was a temporary spike in birth rate following World War II (that’s ages 53 to 71, for those of you who are not “math people”). Important characteristics of this cohort include strong work ethic, self-assurance, competitiveness, goal-centric, resourcefulness, and strong sense of community.

This affluent demographic makes up 70 percent of the nation’s disposable income, according to a Nielsen report. Why are they labeled “affluent?” Well, Boomers are expected to inherit $8.4 trillion by 2030, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. This will greatly increase their spending power. Additionally, Boomers comprise 41 percent of the adult Mass Affluent population based on Nielsen Financial Track 2014. Mass Afluent population is defined as households with liquid assets between $250k and $1m excluding real estate.

Beyond being affluent, Boomers are also super easy to reach! They are avid readers of newspapers and print publications. They also watch television more often than any other group of consumers. Thanks to Facebook’s platform to easily share photos of grandkids and connect with long-lost high school friends, Boomers are becoming increasingly more internet savvy and active on social media.

Here are some tips on how to effectively market to Boomers:

Do’s

  • Do incorporate more text-heavy ads. As hobbyists, reading is a hobby that many Boomers enjoy. Straightforward messages that answer questions and list benefits are much appreciated.
  • Do take the time to build trust with Boomers. Ensure that your product or service follows through on any promise of high quality or resolution to an issue. Get these brand loyalists on your side!
  • Do focus on customer service. This is a huge make or break moment to convert and win over Boomers with your brand. Give them the one-on-one interaction that they love, whether it takes place over the phone, through live chats online, or in-store. Boomers seek convenience, personable salespeople and simplicity during the purchasing decision process.
  • Do create email campaigns. Checking email is the #1 activity Boomers use their smartphones for the most. Take advantage of this marketing tactic and capture their attention with a catchy subject line and solutions-based email.
  • Do include pets and interactions with grandchildren in your advertisements. Boomers account for 45 percent of all pet spending in the U.S. They often like to visualize themselves with their families, pets included, using the product or service in the ad.

Don’ts

  • Don’t include acronyms. They will frustrate Boomers and detract from your message.
  • Don’t avoid social media. Boomers are 19 percent more likely to share content compared to any other generation, according to a study by Fractl.
  • Don’t refer to Boomers as “old” or “senior.” With the goal to remain young-spirited and maintain an active lifestyle, AARP estimates Boomers spend more than $120 billion annually on leisure travel. While they also shell out a lot of dollars on healthcare, Boomers do not want to be treated differently on the account of their age. They are more active and healthier than generations of the past, thus don’t view themselves as they did their parents and grandparents at similar ages.

Bottom line stop ignoring the Boomers! This summer we challenge you to forge new friendships and create brand loyalty with the most affluent demographic in the nation.

Kelsey Hyde is a Senior Account Executive at Bond Moroch.