Why Advertisers Love Baby Boomers
Baby Boomers are hot! While Millennials and Gen Z continue to capture love from marketers, brands are also reaching out to the Boomer audience. This post will take a closer look at why:
Baby Boomers Defined
Baby Boomers are the generation sandwiched between the so-called Silent Generation and Generation X. Roughly defined as the cohort born from 1946 to 1964 during the post-World War II baby boom, Boomers were shaped by post-WW II optimism, the cold war, and the seismic changes wrought by 1960s counterculture.
Boomers make up a large segment of the U.S. population. In fact, they are right behind Millennials in terms of size; according to 2019 stats published by Statista Research Department early this year, just under 70 million Baby Boomers live in the United States, compared to about 72 million Millennials. Furthermore, as Forbes points out, the Baby Boomer generation, at 40 percent market share, make up the largest piece of the consumer pie.
And they’ve got money to spend.
Why Boomers Matter to Brands
Craig Millon, the chief client officer of IPG’s Jack Morton Worldwide, reminds brands that while younger generations are a worthy target audience, the importance of Boomers should not be underestimated.
“A lot of people spent an insane amount of time focused on Millennials,” Millon says. “Boomers are an incredibly good, loyal, and wealthy segment of our population that probably do not get as much attention as they used to.”
And yet the Baby Boomer generation continues to manifest the values that have characterized them all along: this cohort is defined by a tendency to be hard workers who have spent wisely and saved. Many are still working full- or part-time, which means that their choices continue to have a powerful impact on the economy. In fact, Boomers “make up the only population group experiencing growth in the workforce.” As a relatively health-conscious generation, Baby Boomers are also poised to take advantage of advanced medical technology to live healthier and longer. As Forbes has noted, “Unlike their parents, who desired to relax during retirement, the baby boomer generation wants to get out and do all the things they’ve always dreamed of doing.”
How does this manifest in a world moving beyond pandemic-era lockdowns? The headline is this: Boomers are motivated to spend. Business Insider describes a generation that’s been vaccinated, is resuming travel, and with no young children at home, is eager to spend the money they saved during the past year. Research from ad EGC Group shows that Boomers are increasing their spend levels by 10-to-15 percent in 2021. And brands from Mercedes-Benz to candles maker Glasshouse Fragrances are taking note, increasing their outreach to this group by 30 to 40 percent.
Of course some advertisers might still be reluctant to divert precious resources to the Boomer cohort. Their logic — that resources need to go to reaching younger generations — is not uncommon. And yet marketing to Boomers can be a win/win. Baby Boomers not only have the spending power, they also stand to share their brand experiences with children and grandchildren.
“Give the boomer a reason to love your brand,” Steven Seghers, CEO of Hooray Agency, says. “The boomer generation brings other generations with them.”
Tips for Marketing to Baby Boomers
How does a brand connect with the Baby Boomer audience? Some recommendations:
- Remember that age is not the only factor that defines this group. And when addressing age, steer clear of words like “aging,” “old,” or “elderly,” which in American culture tend to have negative associations (by contrast, the descriptors “seniors” and “senior citizens” seem to be received more favorably).
- Meet Boomers where they are at; in many cases, that’s on Facebook. Baby Boomers rely on Facebook to keep in touch and informed—more than on any other social media platform. Savvy brands understand this.
- While Boomers are more tech-savvy than they are sometimes given credit for, make sure that your digital outreach addresses Boomer needs. Many Boomers wear glasses and have a harder time reading small text, for example. On your website, pay attention to font size, visual contrast, and button sizes, all of which an inform the usability of your site.
- Finally, don’t jettison phone support options. Live chat is a popular support tool for Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z , but many Boomers still prefer interactions where they can express themselves verbally — and go hear another human voice. Prominently displaying a phone number on your site (and including a link that can easily work on mobile so that users can make their call with one click) speaks volumes about your dedication to an easy, reliable consumer experience.
Contact True Interactive
Interested in making inroads with the powerful Boomer demographic? Contact us. We can help.