Essential Strategies for Marketing to Baby Boomers

Any marketing endeavor would be remiss if it were to overlook the Baby Boomer Generation which, after Millennials, represents the second largest population in the United States. Generational marketing should be a prime aspect of your advertising strategies, and this affluent group can help to provide substantial revenue growth to your brand if your message is relevant to their unique demands.

You are most likely already familiar with this generation, but to effectively reach this market segment, you must first understand key population and market data.

Demographic data

So, who is this generation? Who we are talking about, and why they should be considered important as a target audience?

  • The US Census Bureau defines the Baby Boomer generation as those born in the post-war era between 1946 and 1964.
  • There are 74.9 million Boomers in the United States as of a 2016 Pew Research Study.
  • Data modeling shows that it will be another decade and a half before the Boomer population dips below 60 million.
  • Nielsen reports 50% of the US population is now over 50 years of age.

Such a large audience could potentially have a positive impact on your customer acquisition costs with the sheer volume of potential new clients. By simply looking at the numbers, you might gather that if you neglect this market segment, you may risk possible opportunity for revenue. Not only do Boomers represent the second largest generation in the US, but they also represent the greatest proportion of dollars in the market.

Market data

Where are Baby Boomers spending their money? When do they spend money and what portion of the total market do they represent?

Buckle up. These are some powerful numbers.

A US News Report found that Boomers control 70% of all disposable income in the United States. You read that right: 70%. In fact, consumer spending is now over $3 trillion for the over-50 market segment, and according to Venture Capital Review, that number is expected to increase by 58% to $4.74 trillion over the next 20 years.

If we look into a few specific sectors, we again see the dominance of the Baby Boomer demographic. Each number below represents the portion of dollars spent by Boomers in each area (rounded):

  • Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) – 49%
  • Apparel – 45%
  • Entertainment – 45%
  • Transportation – 44%
  • Food – 43%
  • Healthcare – 43%
  • Personal Care – 43%
  • Housing – 42%

(Source: Venture Capital Review)

It’s apparent by now that this demographic holds extraordinary opportunities and advantages for nearly any brand. When you consider the potential reach of your campaign audience, coupled with the staggering market data for an audience of this size, you should be just about ready to jump out of your seat to call your next marketing meeting. However, having the right strategy and message is essential to connecting with these savvy buyers – and ensuring your marketing dollars are not wasted.

Technology and the Boomer

For years there has been a misconception that traditional channels, such as print-based direct marketing, were the best and only way to reach this prime audience. And although these methods are still highly effective, you will be missing out on some of your best opportunities if you focus on traditional methods alone. The times have changed, and Millennials aren’t the only tech savvy folks out there. Baby Boomers are now some of the most frequent consumers of online content.

A recent study found fascinating data about Baby Boomer behavior online. You may be surprised to learn that 96% of Boomers use search engines. As for email, 95% of Boomers regularly engage with this type of content, and 92% shop for products or services online.

Boomers use social media.

Boomers watch online videos.

Boomers read and contribute to blogs.

Needless to say, rethinking your strategy to target your Baby Boomer audience online can drive revenue, especially when combined with traditional tactics like direct mail and print marketing.

Putting it all together

Of course, it will still be essential to segment your audience to serve your own specific goals, but what’s clear is that your options for marketing to the Baby Boomer audience are far more diverse than were previously assumed. What it comes down to is whether you are reaching Boomers effectively with a message that encourages them to interact with your brand. Is your product going to be of interest to a Boomer? Would Baby Boomers want to learn more about the service you can provide them? Don’t stop short with direct marketing channels alone – digital marketing can have a tremendous impact on your reach.

The sheer size of the demographic should be enough to convince even the staunchest naysayer to rethink their positions. The Baby Boomer generation represents the second largest population in the US and will continue to dominate that position for decades to come.

Online content has become one of the greatest ways to reach this coveted audience. Millennials aren’t the only ones engaging online. With hours upon hours consuming online content, the Boomer demographic has proven that digital marketing is no stranger to them. Marketing through social media, search or online videos can all be used to bolster a well-rounded content strategy and tap into the growing numbers of Baby Boomers shopping online.

Not only do they have the numbers, but Baby Boomers have the market power as well. Their dominance in numerous sectors only touches the surface of the untapped potential for your marketing ROI.