Marketing to Baby Boomers

baby-boomers2Lots of marketing attention has gone toward the mysterious Millennial generation, but let’s not forget Baby Boomers – they’re still a huge economic force in the United States! More than 76 million people were born into this generation between 1946-1964. Although about 11 million had already passed on by 2012, their number was replaced by arriving immigrants.

Today, Baby Boomers range in age from 52 to 70. They are close to a quarter of the U.S. population, representing a tremendous amount of buying power – and discretionary spending among Boomers is generally trending upward. People aged 50 and over are estimated to spend over $3.2 trillion annually, more than the GDP of the United Kingdom.

Here’s how to market to them:

Speak Directly to Them, Not Caregivers

At a certain point in life, almost everyone will start “outsourcing” decisions and relying on help from others. For most people, though, 52 is a long way from doing so, and 60 is early. Seniors are remaining engaged in day-to-day buying decisions longer than ever, so target campaigns directly to them. Elders still respond to direct mail campaigns and “old-fashioned” videos with text overlays.

Use Literal Terminology and Robust Text

Young people have a tendency to skim, especially online. However, Baby Boomers are more likely to embrace text-heavy materials. Avoid acronyms and jargon – these can turn older consumers off. In collateral aimed at seniors, you have the freedom to use as much text as you want to address all the objections you can think of. Older people find it easier to trust companies that do this.

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Maintain a Long-Term Relationship

In many industries, the buying cycle seems to be getting longer each year. Don’t expect relief from the Baby Boomers – as people age, they tend to take each decision more seriously. This is especially true for those who must fit each purchase into a limited, fixed income. Luckily, companies that are already using inbound marketing have an advantage: Adapt your follow-up methods to older clientele and dig in for the long haul.

Personalize the Experience

Salespeople who make calls to elders need to be able to address their concerns at length and talk about topics they’re interested in. Unlike millennials, Baby Boomers have more time and attention to invest in a phone conversation. They are more likely to take a genuine interest, and won’t push to get done in a hurry. However, it’s up to the caller to guide the conversation and gently close the sale.

Baby Boomers shouldn’t be overlooked: They have many years to go as a powerful consumer base. By adapting your current marketing and advertising methods to their needs, you can ensure your company is engaging with them when others don’t.

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