10 Things You Need to Know About Marketing to Baby Boomers

Date: May 13, 2015

In today's marketing sphere, we hear a lot of chatter about Snapchat and Instagram and how to reach Millennials. But what we don’t hear a lot about is how to market to their parents: Americans older than 50. Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, make up about 44 percent of the U.S. adult population and control about 70 percent of the country’s disposable income. They’re a real force and a critical component in the U.S. economy – and they shouldn’t be ignored in your business’s marketing strategy for these ten reasons:

1. They’re spending money.
When Boomers enter their retirement years, they go through a unique life transition from making money to spending money. No longer bound by a strict family budget and a 9 to 5 job, they have more money and time to invest in their hobbies and interests, such as shopping, traveling, entertaining, and socializing. 

2. They’re driving technology growth.
Yes, younger generations are typically the first to embrace new technologies but once these technologies go mainstream, Boomers are the ones who drive the growth. They’re using technology in a different way than their counterparts, too. Baby Boomers adopt technology as a way to stay socially and intellectually connected to the contemporary world, as well as maintain their physical youth and appearance. Leveraging this demographic in your marketing strategy is important for the sustainability and longevity of your business model.

3. They’re online.
Each month, 45 to 64 year olds spend an average of 29 hours each month using the Internet on a computer. This makes them the second heaviest users of the web. The bottom line? Baby Boomers are online. They’re searching for products and services online with the intention to buy – are you being found?

4. They’re mobile.
If you think mobile advertising is limited to Millennials and Generation X, think again. In fact, about 89 percent of Boomers have a cellphone – many of whom have completely ditched their landline. Limiting your mobile strategy to younger demographics will exclude an increasingly mobile market.

5. They’re social.
About one-third of all online and social media users are Boomers. They’re a major contributor to the growth of social networking. In fact, from 2011 to 2012, their usage of the social networks nearly doubled to 42 percent. They are just as active in the primary social networks, Facebook and Twitter, and even more active on business-related social networks, such as LinkedIn, compared to the average consumer.

6.They’re watching less video online.
Know your audience. While Boomers spend a large portion of their time online, they spend less of this time watching online video than Millennials and Generation X. When marketing to Boomers, adjust your video marketing budget and reallocate to channels where you’ll capture the right audience. Note: magazine and newspaper consumption, both online and digital, skew older. 

7. They’re living longer.
Many brands put an expiration date on the consumer. But the truth is, most Boomers are not diminished or disabled by age and are still buying and consuming as much as ever. If you sell a generic product, like tissues or toothpaste, there is no reason for you to target younger generations over the older. 

8. They’re brand loyal… sort of.
Here’s what we know about Boomers and their brand loyalty: it’s the same as other age groups. Don’t assume that just because a Boomer’s mother used your brand, he or she will, too. Boomers are generally open-minded and eager to try new things. Assuming Boomer loyalty to your brand is just as risky as assuming they are too stuck in their ways to give it a try.

9. They’re happier.
You might think the older generation lives like their best years are behind them, but studies show people get happier as they age. Marketers must view this demographic as optimistic and spirited consumers who are just as likely, if not more, to actively explore and engage in new activities as newer generations. 

10. They’re often forgotten.
Despite what we know, the value of marketing to Baby Boomers is often overlooked. The AARP reports Baby Boomers alone account for approximately half of all consumer spending, but only 10 percent of marketing dollars are aimed their way. If you’ve not considered this niche group in your marketing strategy, you’re missing a huge opportunity to connect and build revenue.

Baby Boomers are actively purchasing and consuming, but it’s your job to meet them where they are. When determining how to market to this important demographic, consider this: compared to the average adult, Baby Boomers in the Des Moines DMA are 33 percent more likely to read a Sunday print edition and 39 percent more likely to read a daily print edition.** 

Register Media is your one-stop marketing solutions organization with the tools and resources to engage the right audience – from young professionals to Baby Boomers and beyond. Tailor your consumer reach by contacting us online today to learn more.

Nielsen BoomAgers
**Scarborough R2 2014 Report in the Des Moines DMA

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