How to Improve Marketing to Baby Boomers
How to Improve Marketing to Baby Boomers
There is no shortage of blogs, guides, how-to articles and ebooks about how to target content and marketing strategies to millennials, but what about marketing to baby boomers? Even though millennials (defined as people who in the mid 2010s were between the ages of 20 and 36) are now the largest generation in the U.S. at over 75 million members, the baby boomer generation is still a considerable force at over 76 million strong.
What are Baby Boomers?
The term “baby boomer” refers to a person born in the years just following the second World War, when there was a temporary spike in birth rates. Currently, boomers make up nearly 20% of the American public and a substantial amount of the entire global population.
Baby Boomers Age Group
The baby boomer age group is defined by people born between between 1946 and 1964. This would put the baby boomer age range now between 56 and 74.
Where do Baby Boomers Spend Their Money?
Baby boomers are a large and diverse group with individual needs, and they’re also spending more money than the younger groups that many companies are scrambling to target with their advertising. In fact, many are using the internet more than ever to make purchases, making them a prime target for online marketing campaigns.
Because of the size of the generation and the amount of buying power they have, it’s crucial that companies find a way to reach this group and target content and marketing to baby boomers in a way that’s authentic.
How to Market to Baby Boomers
Here are some insights into what the baby boomer generation wants and you can speak to them through your content.
1. Understand Their Needs Financial Concerns
The first way to reach this target market is by understanding baby boomer needs and concerns. Though the baby boomer label covers a wide range of ages and lifestyle, many of the people in this group are retired or are approaching retirement age. Other statistics show that baby boomers are more frugal when it comes to entertainment, though more of them may be supporting an adult child than previous generations.
According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, baby boomer spending on food, clothing and furnishings fell by large amounts from 1990 to 2010. Spending on food and restaurants saw the smallest decline with an 18 percent and 20 percent drop for 45-54-year olds and 55-64-year olds, respectively. The largest decrease in spending was seen for clothing purchases by 55-64-year-olds. This group’s clothing spending decreased by 70 percent.
But none of this means that baby boomers don’t want to spend money or can’t spend money. As mentioned above, they have more disposable income than any other demographic group. Still, with retirement saving and adult children to think about, they may need to be more selective how they spend their money, which means your content marketing has to work twice as hard to convince them that what you’re selling is worth it. Market to baby boomers by focusing on how your product or service offering can make their lives better, more fulfilling or easier, and highlight the value that they receive when they choose to spend their hard-earned and hard-saved money with your company.
2. Don’t Be Patronizing
People in their 50s and 60s have a lot of living under their belts, but they are by no means done learning new things, having new experiences and finding more ways to enrich their life. Don’t talk down to this group or diminish them by thinking of them as old and obsolete. Though this group is starting to age physically, many of them are still interested in finding ways to continue the things they enjoy and learn how to embrace their later years gracefully and safely. Even with the less glamorous parts of aging, look for ways to present your products in an attractive way.
As people near retirement, they may also be more interested in services and products that make life more convenient, such as home delivery of products, easy-to-use tools, or all-expense-paid trips. Create content that shows how the added convenience of something is worth the extra money.
People in the baby boomer age group are vibrant members of society, and your content and marketing should reflect that you understand that by showing them how your products and services can help them keep living their own individual lives and achieving their goals.
3. Reach Them Through the Internet
While baby boomers might not be as likely to use social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Reddit as younger groups, they still use digital media. According to the Pew Center, 83 percent of younger baby boomers and 76 percent of older baby boomers are also internet users. This isn’t as high as millennials, (97 percent) but it’s still a large majority. In addition, the internet is the most common way baby boomers research information on a topic, meaning you need to be ready with outstanding content to inform them about your company.
Like most groups, baby boomers like to be entertained online. They use social media and conduct research on the internet. Remember this as you create engaging content and marketing for baby boomers.
4. Don’t Forget About Traditional Marketing Tactics
While baby boomers are quite digitally savvy, more old-fashioned tactics like direct mail still work on them. Consider as an example, the popularity of the AARP Magazine, which had over 23 million subscribers as of a couple years ago. Just make sure that the materials you send are targeted at their interests and needs. There aren’t many people in any age group that actually like receiving junk mail.
5. Don’t Make Them Work Too Hard
For baby boomers (and really for people of all ages) you need to create content that’s easy to access and engage with and then provides a simple way to take further action like purchasing from your company. People have packed schedules these days, and if you make them jump through too many hoops in terms of poor website speed or user experience, they might find that it’s not worth the effort and leave your brand for another competitor.
While boomers are active internet users, they might not have as much patience with confusing or hard-to-use websites. Ensure your content is easy to find and easy to consume on all devices, from laptops to smartphones to tablets. This means making fonts a comfortable size for reading and making CTAs or buying opportunities clear and easy to follow after readers consume your content.
6. Remember Baby Boomers are a Diverse Group
Are you exactly like everyone else in your age group? Probably not. With any content you create, it’s important to keep in mind that baby boomers aren’t a homogenous group. They have different wants, needs and concerns, and what works on one group of baby boomers might not work on another. If you really want to understand and market to baby boomers, survey them. Everyone likes to be appreciated, and a survey on baby boomer preferences is a way to show that you’re interested in really understanding their wants and needs so you can provide content and services tailored to them.
Marketing to Baby Boomers Can Be Done!
Baby boomers aren’t simply another faceless consumer group. They’re a mix of working professionals, retirees, athletes, artists, grandmothers, couples, and other individuals who all want to be able to enjoy their lives. Spend as much time and thought creating content for this group as you would for any other demographic, and you’ll see the rewards when baby boomers start responding to your content, identifying with your brand and buying your products and services.