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10 Strategies for Marketing to Boomers

There are nearly 100,000 monthly searches on Google for “baby boomers” or boomers. Websites and articles discuss ways to live, spend, save, vacation, exercise, eat and more, when you turn 50.

After all, there is a lot to examine with a $76.4 million demographic in the U.S. alone that enjoys $3 trillion in disposable income.

So why does research show that boomers’ feel neglected and dismissed by companies, advertisers and brands?

To begin with, only 10 percent of marketing and 5 percent of advertising dollars are aimed at this sector and common baby boomer myths still persist.

As marketers, we are missing out on a vital, untapped market that has the time, interest and money to really make an impact on a company’s bottom-line.
The third Quarterly Boomer Report from AARP Services and Focalyst, "How Well Do You Know Boomers” identified the Top Ten Baby Boomer Myths and Realities:

Myth #1: Boomers Are All the Same
Truth: All have experienced young adulthood, job changes, parenting, marriage and other major life stages. While many worry about money and health, others are excited about their freedom, encore careers and grandchildren.
Marketing Goal: Be more stage-of-life focused.

Myth #2: Boomers are the “Me” Generation
Truth: Many care for their children and parents so the focus has changed to helping others, giving back and making the world a better place.
Marketing Goal: Be more philanthropic and community-driven.

Myth #3: Boomers are technologically challenged
Truth: Boomers are the fastest growing technology sector. Most are not using Snapchat, but 70% have Facebook accounts, 31% are on Twitter, 43% use YouTube, 66% buy from online retailers and 89% have a cellphone (Social Time, 2014). Many enjoy high-end gadgets.
Marketing Goal: Create holistic strategies with SEO, social media, mobile, engagement and powerful images of boomers.

Myth #4: Boomers are winding down
Truth: Boomers want to be physically active to ward off chronic diseases, reduce stress and improve mental health. Many are looking to find new experiences for personal growth such as traveling and taking classes (USAToday, 2015).
Marketing Goal: Focus on health, well-being and a live-forever spirit.

Myth #5: Boomers are wealthy
Truth: As a group, boomers are the wealthiest generation in history, but only 9% are affluent and one-quarter have no savings or investments.
Marketing Goal: Give back and hire older workers. Offer reverse mentoring programs.

Myth #6: Boomers are brand loyal
Truth: Boomers may stick to a favorite brand but are inherently skeptical and ad-averse. New product adoption typically only comes with hard facts, data, testimonials and relatable photos.
Marketing Goal: Be authentic by segmenting audiences.

Myth #7: Boomers are captured with mainstream advertising
Truth: Data shows 66% believe that ads have gotten cruder in recent years. Another 67% report being less likely to purchase a product if the advertising is perceived as offensive. Many see less product differentiation.
Marketing Goal:Focus on altruistic instead of materialistic goals.

Myth #8: Boomers are Married Empty Nesters
Truth: One in four boomers fit the profile of married with adult children who have left home. 37% still have children under 18 in the home. One-third of boomers are single — the largest online dating demographic.
Marketing Goal:Differentiate men and women, parents, married and single in storytelling.

Myth #9: Boomers are Downsizing their Homes
Truth: In fact, 76% plan to live in either the same-sized home (same house) or a new home of the same size. Only 7% plan to downsize. Many want to pay-off mortgages, modernize and stay out of retirement homes.
Marketing Goal: Create age-friendly products and services that are easy to find locally.

Myth #10: Boomers are Retiring Early
Truth: Of the boomers turning 62 in 2015, only 11% are planning to stop working while more than 72% plan to work part-time or full-time.

Marketing Goal: Segment your audience, be authentic, gain trust, empower people and gain strong brand advocates.

From an article by Wendi Glavin for Linked in.

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