There are 78 million Baby Boomers in the US today but they’re largely ignored when it comes to marketing. Why? Conventional wisdom says that these consumers, born between 1946-1964, already have brand loyalty and no interest in technology or trying new “trendy” products.
According to a report by The Nielsen Company, conventional thinking is all wrong.
“Boomers are an affluent group who adopt technology with enthusiasm (think about the number of parents or grandparents who regularly send e-mails or upload photos to Facebook and other sites). They have also shown a willingness to try new brands and products.”
The report goes on to say that Boomers spend 38.5% of the money spent on consumer packaged goods but less than 5% of ad dollars are being spent to market to this group.
Much of the problem comes from the fact that our advertising models are based on demographics that simply aren’t the norm anymore. Doug Anderson, Nielsen’s senior VP-research and thought leadership was quoted as saying:
“There will be a huge number of people over the age of 65, 75, and 85 over the coming decade. We’ve never had a population this big this old before. This is not something that demographers and anthropologists have tons of models sitting around that they can talk about. We as a species have never had this many older people before. It’s new ground.”
This needed shift in ad dollars isn’t just about print and TV, online marketing needs to catch up, too. The Nielsen report says that Baby Boomers watch the most video (9:34 hours per day), they make up 1/3 of all online users, social media users and Twitter users and they’re more likely to have broadband access than their younger counterparts.
It’s even more interesting to note that Boomers visit the same websites as the coveted 18-34’s, with only a slight shift in ranking when it comes to Facebook and YouTube.
What this all means is that you, as a marketer, need to start including Baby Boomers in your campaigns. They’ll buy a new Blu-ray player if you pitch it right. They’ll subscribe to your online photo sharing service and they’ll drop $200 on Twilight merchandise for the grandkids this holiday season. It appears that the only thing Baby Boomers won’t spend their money on is a savings account for their own retirement.