Marketers continue to prioritize youth despite Baby Boomers having a median income that’s more than twice as high as Millennials, a median net worth that’s more than 15 times higher, and an average monthly spend per household that’s more than 50% higher. What’s wrong with this picture?
People over 50 are responsible for over 50% of consumer spending in the US. If Americans over 50 were their own country, they’d be the 3rd largest economy in the world — bigger than Japan, Germany or India. They are the target for 10% of US advertising.
Baby boomers make up one of the largest sectors of consumers, so every marketer should be paying attention to effective marketing strategies for baby boomers. Generational studies show that about 70 million people fall into the category of baby boomers. The baby Boomer generation is the largest segment of consumers, comprising about 40% of the market share.
[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Studies show that the baby boomer generation controls about 70% of all disposable income in the U.S.[/inlinetweet] The baby boomers are also nicely situated to gain even more wealth. As their parents pass on, studies predict that baby boomers will inherit about $13 trillion to enjoy during their retirement or pass on to their own children.
Baby boomers remember the introduction of the first black-and-white and color televisions. It’s important for marketers targeting this generation to remember that baby boomers have grown up with technology over recent decades. They’re more accustomed to technology than you might think, and they use it in different ways than Millennials. Some marketers make the mistake of assuming Baby Boomers aren’t online. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Boomers actually represent one third of the 195.3 million Internet users in the U.S. and represent the Web’s largest constituency.[/inlinetweet]
[pullquote]It might surprise you to learn that 96% of baby boomers use search engines, 95% use email, and 92% shop for products and services online rather than shopping in stores and shopping malls.[/pullquote]
About 60% of baby boomers spend time reading blogs and online articles as a source of information and intrigue, and about 70% enjoy watching videos about products and services. If you’re looking to market via social media platforms, you’ll find an active audience of baby boomers on Facebook, where they’re happy to post news and photos of their grandchildren and latest vacations.
Many companies see millennials as the future. Catch them early enough and you may have a lifelong customer. But that’s not necessarily the case, experts say. Tastes and passions change frequently for younger people. But boomers, once they have connected with a brand, can stay loyal for years, said Scott Gulbransen, director of communications for AARP Nevada.
Most ad agencies employ people in their 20s and 30s who don’t understand the Boomer market,” says Brian Conroy, principal and Founder of My Generation Adver- tising, which is run by Boomers for Boomers. “They think they are set in their ways, not interested in new products and not spending time on social media – none of which are true,” he says. “The fact is, many Baby Boomers are still working, so they have a high disposable income. They don’t have kids in private school, spend more on groceries than younger people and buy new cars.
94% of Boomers are unhappy with the way they are stereotyped by marketers
[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]While people over 50 comprise 42% of adults in the US, they comprise only 6% of agency employees[/inlinetweet] . This is even more pronounced in[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””] creative departments where people over 50 make up about 0% of the population.[/inlinetweet] People over 50 aren’t creative enough to write a banner ad, but they are creative enough to dominate in Nobels, Pulitzers, Oscars, and Emmys. I guarantee you, not one of these brilliantly talented people could get a job in an ad agency today. Not one