Marketers must begin to pay more digital attention to Baby Boomers, who spend an astounding amount of time with digital media monthly, yet feel increasingly neglected by marketers in these channels.
It’s no secret that the Baby Boomer demographic is one of, if not the, most important for any brand within nearly any product category. What apparently is a secret is that this demographic craves digital content, and marketers are simply not taking advantage of this fact.
Quick breakdown of this demo:
- The age range is 47-65, with the median age being 55
- Controls $2 TRILLION in annual spending
- 78.2% online – a number that represents 60 million individuals
- 86.9 % have mobile phone, with 17 million accessing Web through mobile browser or app
- That number is expected to reach 25.4 million by 2015, which will be 40% of Boomers with mobile phones
- Young Boomers (aged 47-55) averaged 39.3 hours/month in 2010
- Older Boomers were only slightly below that, at 36.5 hours/month
- Boomers spent an average of $650 online over a 3-month span in 2010; for a basis of comparison, GenX (aged 35-46) averaged $581 and Millenials (18-34) averaged $429 over the same 3-month span
As you can see, Baby Boomers are an extremely powerful and profitable group. As I’ve written before, the power and profitability of this demographic is far too often overlooked by marketers today. Boomers grew up being courted, to the extent of worship by some brands.
It is in this vein that they now feel extremely underrepresented in the digital realm. Marketers simply aren’t using digital media to reach Boomers, regardless of research showing the prominence of digital usage in this demographic.
Here are 3 tips to help your brand be smart and successful in reaching Boomers digitally:
- Broaden your message: Allow your digital messaging to transcend demographic categories. Nobody wants to be told they’re old or less self-reliant, so why would doing so in a marketing communication be effective? If you can create a message that resonates with at least 1 other age group (GenX or Millenial), then you will have a much more meaningful return.
- Don’t be afraid to take a risk: One of the great things about digital media (especially in the social media realm) is the relative inexpensiveness. With that in mind, if you have an idea to reach Boomers and have done some initial research that suggests it may be effective, do it. More than likely you will get a decently good return, and you will not fall victim to paralysis of analysis.
- Don’t ever forget them: Boomers are the most powerful demographic in terms of population and in terms of purchasing power. They have the most discretionary income of any demographic and are willing to spend it on your brand. You must not ever forget that, as this group can be your biggest ally, or your worst enemy. Any communications that could potentially ostracise them (especially those with a digital/viral delivery system) must be double, triple and quadruple-checked.
These can easily be applied to a considered-purchase brand’s digital messaging. Think about a health insurance company that is trying to target Boomers. A great way to do so would be to create an email campaign (complete with personalized landing page), perhaps featuring a YouTube video, stressing the “ease” or “peace of mind” a great health care plan can give them, allowing more time to spend with family/friends, vacationing, etc. This covers all 3 tips, and does so in a way that is uniquely digital, without the risk of alienating them.
How is your brand using digital media in its efforts to reach Baby Boomers? Any unique insights?
This post was informed by an eMarketer article titled “Are Digital Marketers Ignoring Baby Boomers?”