March 22nd, 2017

How to Market to Baby Boomers

by Kathryn Collins

It seems like every other post you scroll through on your social media newsfeed is related to the infamous “Millennials.” Whether it’s “How to work with Millennials” or “How to date a Millennial,” our culture seems to be fascinated with this technologically-savvy, civic-oriented, and nomadic generation. For instance, there are plenty of guides out there about marketing to millennials in a digital age, but we tend to skip over strategies for touching base with the other generations. Take Baby Boomers, for example. Here we have a generation of hard-working, independent, and resourceful consumers who need to know which brands they will remain loyal to. We are here to fill you in on the most effective ways to reach Baby Boomers in a Millennial-driven society.

Know your audience.

The first rule to powerful marketing is to know the people you are trying to reach. What are their characteristics? What are their likes and dislikes? What are their buying tendencies? How can you relate to them and how will you add value to their lives? According to Hubspot, there are 74.9 million Baby Boomers (ages 51-69) in the world, and 50% of the U.S. population is in this generation. That’s a lot of your consumers! Not only that, but these consumers have 70% of U.S. disposable income and are only targeted by just 5-10% of marketing. These statistics are staggering!

Because these boomers are likely to provide the most bang for your buck, then let’s get to know them a little bit! There is no doubt that they are the hardest working generation, never afraid to give 100% to their professional careers and achievements. Due to that, they are incredibly independent, self-assured, and competitive in order to fulfill their responsibilities. They are focused problem-solvers with their eyes on the prize, remaining disciplined in achieving their goals. Not only are they independent, but they are also very team-oriented, thriving in team and community-centered environments. It’s important to understand the habits of your customers.

Copy is key.

In an extremely visual age right now, marketing tends to fall towards bold images or entertaining videos with very little text involved. In fact, content is often reduced to a tiny caption of 140 characters or less. We want to know the point and we want to know it now. Along with our busy schedules, marketing has become fast-paced – often only having a few seconds to reach the desired audience and they scroll through their iPhones.

However, baby boomers are not afraid of copy! In fact, many prefer to see the message spelled out, giving a clearer understanding of how the product or service will add true value to their lives. It does not necessarily need to be catchy or witty copy, but it does need to be correct and highly informative. When marketing to baby boomers, don’t be scared to say too much. In fact, lean towards the side of over-explaining rather than minimizing, adhering to this risk-free generation.

Be sincere.

Many Baby Boomers are entering into the life season of retirement. That being said, they are suddenly experiencing more free time than they’ve ever had before, which allows brands to develop sincere and authentic relationships with this specific consumer. Share your story and mission with them, what sets you apart, and the positive purpose of your product or service. Connect with the consumer, and appeal to their wants and needs through a relationship. Develop trust and in return you will receive commitment from the most loyal generation. And remember to be prepared to put in the time it takes to effectively build that trust.

Take advantage of technology.

Did you know that baby boomers spend more time online that millennials? Believe it or not, 82% of baby boomers belong to a social media platform, and 51% of baby boomers spend 15 hours online each week. That’s right… mom and dad (maybe even grandma and grandpa) are down with technology! Not only that, but they also spend the most money through online purchases.

When it comes to this generation, you do not need to steer clear from technology and social media. Instead, you need to hone in on it and utilize all that it can do for marketing your brand and products. Which platform should you focus on? Facebook. The majority of baby boomers are members of Facebook, and tend to choose it over Instagram or Twitter. Therefore, create targeted ads with relevant content to catch their attention while they are “Liking” statuses on their newsfeed.

In order to cast the widest net, you need to make sure that you are reeling in all types of fish. Practice segmentation and tailor your marketing campaigns to individual age demographics. Through a better understanding of the characteristics and tendencies of each generation, your marketing efforts will not only build relationship, but also result in success!

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