So, you want to market your products and services to the Baby Boomer demographic? A lot of marketing teams will ignore this market. And for that reason, a lot of marketing teams miss a trick. It’s true that mastering marketing strategies aimed at this audience can be challenging, but the rewards are simply phenomenal.
While consumers of the younger generations will tell you that it’s impossible to change a Boomer’s mind, it isn’t. They might be stubborn at times, but the Baby Boomer demographic are also less likely to construct unnecessary obstacles between themselves and a purchase. With the right strategy at your disposal, then, you can achieve great success from targeting this audience. Now is the time to respect your elders…
Who are the Baby Boomers?
If you’re from a younger generation, you already have a rough idea of the answer to this one. After all, you spend more than enough time responding “OK boomer” to their social media arguments.
Baby Boomers account for 76 million, meaning they remain a significant part of the population.
The Baby Boomer generation is ultimately defined as the people that were born during the post-WW2 population explosion. However, it also incorporates a second cohort of individuals who came of age during the Vietnam war. In layman’s terms: Baby Boomers were born between 1944 and 1964, making them between 55 and 75 years old.
Baby Boomers account for 76 million, meaning they remain a significant part of the population. This is especially true for marketers because this demographic is more than happy to spend money on life’s comforts as they approach old age. They aren’t as tech-savvy as Millennials and Gen Z, but they are far more competent than the Silent Generation before them – which is shown by the fact 90% of Baby Boomers are active on Facebook.
How do Baby Boomers think?
The mind of a Baby Boomer is perhaps more complex than the mindset of any other generation. As you’ll probably be aware from interactions with elderly family members, it’s very difficult to prove them wrong about their ideals or beliefs. They are willing to develop new ideas and outlooks, but only through self-discovery rather than being told by someone younger. However, despite growing up at a time where it was necessary to appreciate the value of money, Baby Boomers do actually spend more than their Millennial counterparts.
Meanwhile, a large percentage of Boomers are focused on enjoying today rather than thinking about tomorrow. Crucially, they are concerned with travel, home improvements, and spending time with loved ones rather than finding the latest iPhone or broadband package. While they are likely to take the ‘stiff upper lip’ mentality regarding themselves, they openly support loved ones – with gifts and purchases as well as emotional help.
How to Grab the Attention of Baby Boomers
At a glance, the prospect of grabbing the attention of an audience that’s already set in its ways may leave you feeling that you’ll need to unleash your inner Ethan Hunt. However, the fact that only an estimated 10% of marketing budgets are dedicated to this demographic means there is a lot less competition. Naturally, then, forcing your way to the top of the class should be a lot simpler.
…traditional media should form a significant part of your marketing to Baby Boomers strategy…
Unlike the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers do use some of the modern technology and media facilities championed by the younger generations. However, due to the sense of familiarity, traditional media should form a significant part of your marketing to Baby Boomers strategy. Here are some of the key ingredients in the recipe for success…
Focus on Facebook
…Baby Boomers spend about a day on Facebook a month…
As mentioned, the intergenerational arguments that inevitably result in the words “OK boomer” being used as an insult can be found across multiple social media channels. However, the 90%+ activeness levels on Facebook are far greater than other platforms. In fact, less than 1% of the time spent on Snapchat comes from the over 55s.
Conversely, Baby Boomers spend an average of 539 minutes on Facebook per month. Stats also show that the desktop versus mobile ratio for this demographic is (in contrast to the figures for younger generations) in favor of desktop.
This is also important because Boomers are more likely to convert on desktop than mobile – and, in all honesty, that’s an issue that’s less likely to change than their opinions on whether the Beatles were better than Drake.
Baby Boomers won’t necessarily engage with content through likes and comments. Instead, they’ll simply digest the info (content or post) before making a decision. So, avoid the communal approach and make it seem as though you’re talking directly to them.
Baby Boomers largely think of themselves as intellectual people. They have decades of experience behind them, and feel as though they know how the world works. It’s a little crazy when you consider how many changes they’ve witnessed in their lives, but marketing is a strange concept in which logic is often thrown out of the window.
Baby Boomers tend to think they aren’t as easily swayed by marketing campaigns as their younger counterparts. But they are…
Telling Baby Boomers why they should choose your products or services won’t work. Allowing them to discover those things for themselves is far more rewarding. Think infomercials rather than straight out commercials.
When using digital technology, you can bridge the gap by using customer testimonial videos and online PDF brochure downloads. This allows them to embrace the new technologies while still retaining a sense of familiarity. In turn, they can discover new products and services, along with their key features in an autonomous fashion.
Baby Boomers tend to think they aren’t as easily swayed by marketing campaigns as their younger counterparts. But they are, as long as you massage their egos – just don’t tell them we told you!
Focus on the Short-Term Too!
Do Baby Boomers make purchases that are designed with long-term benefits in mind? Absolutely. Nonetheless, you’d be more than a little naïve to think they don’t focus on enjoying today. The younger generation may suggest that Baby Boomers are already past their best, but they still have plenty of enjoyment left. Crucially, at least from a marketing perspective, they won’t delay the pursuit of products and services that make them smile.
You don’t need to pander. And you certainly don’t need to include younger relatives and caregivers in email, mail, or other direct marketing campaigns.
Baby Boomers boast 39% of total income dollars, which means they have the money to spend. It should be remembered that this is the demographic that moved away from the inner cities in pursuit of better lifestyles. If you can promote products and services that support this concept, you will grab their attention.
Members of this target market want a better life, and they want it now. They’ve gone through the challenges of trying to save for a hose and feeling trapped in their jobs. Now that they are in a place where they can start enjoying life to the full, your job is to show that you can provide it.
Baby Boomers do have money to spend, but they won’t waste it. Many of them still have memories of rationing and hardships. Therefore, they are focused on function and substance rather than gimmicks. Moreover, they want to buy from companies that can be trusted. All marketing endeavors should focus on this.
The Baby Boomer audience is known to form long-term loyal bonds…
Customer reviews and other tools used to build your reputation with younger audiences are still valid. However, Baby Boomers also very likely to pick up on grammatical errors and inconsistencies. Even if it’s a simple promise such as releasing a new YouTube video on a Monday, you best do it.
Once trust has been lost, it is almost impossible to rebuild the bridges. As you probably know from personal experiences, this demographic is very hesitant to forgive and forget.
Conversely, though, when you establish a strong level of trust, the Baby Boomer audience is known to form long-term loyal bonds. This can result in very pleasing customer lifetime values.
Use Traditional Media
Whether you’re a marketing expert or a business owner, every ounce of your being tells you to embrace the latest tech. However, if the Baby Boomers still love traditional media, you should too.
Television is still the #1 choice for this demographic while magazines and radio content are still vital. Better yet, thanks to decrease viewerships/readerships/listenership among younger audiences, you can seek greater value for money through these methods than ever before. Likewise, they are technologies that actively encourage the direct interactions that this audience responds well too.
Traditional media has worked on this generation for 50+ years, making it a tried and tested route guaranteed to bring great results. Then again, if you ignore it for the next 12 months, you can probably ignore it forever… because you won’t have a business left. Combine campaigns across all of those traditional forms, and you should see even greater outcomes.
Finally – and it will seem mad given that you reject calls from unrecognized numbers before Googling the number – telephone is their preference. So, try to capture their telephone data where possible.
So there you have it – those are, of course, just a few pointers for you guys. And of course if you require some support with implementing your strategies, contact Easthall Design today!