Tips for Marketing to Baby Boomers
By Alysha Coleman
As you plan your marketing strategy, you may realize that Baby Boomers fall into your target audience. Born between 1946 and 1964, men and women in this generation have control of 70 percent of the disposable income going into the market and 40 percent of the market share, meaning marketers should take extra care to ensure members of this generation become loyal customers.
Don’t market to “old people.” Baby Boomers don’t see themselves as old and don’t want others to see them as old, either. People in this age group are healthy and active and engaged with their communities, and many of them are working into their 60’s and 70’s. Avoid condescending marketing strategies that assume they are out of touch with today’s world or incapable of making their own choices. For example, when marketing a service that will benefit Baby Boomers, speak directly to the intended recipients, not to their families or caretakers.
Retirement does not equal inactivity. Just because Baby Boomers are retirement age doesn’t mean that they’re ready to settle down. They are using retirement as an opportunity for personal growth and to have new experiences such as entertainment and travel. In fact, adults over the age of 50 make up for more than 80 percent of luxury travel spending. Baby Boomers are definitely not settling down any time soon!
The number of Baby Boomers shopping online is growing. This age group is turning to the web more and more for their purchases and other consumer habits, even making more online purchases than millenials (at a 2:1 ratio)! On top of that, they are spending more per transaction than younger generations, also at a 2:1 ratio.
Optimize the user experience. Many users over 50 give feedback praising websites and products that make use of larger, clearer fonts. Consider Baby Boomers when designing web pages, not only regarding font size and style, but in phrasing and white space. Most users in this age range prefer PC desktops to laptops and mobile devices when shopping for products. Your website should be easy to navigate and have all of the information they need.
Spell it out. This particular group is ready to sit down and do the digging before they spend money. Be clear about what your company or product will do for what price. Baby Boomers have an affinity for reading, so don’t shy away from a thorough breakdown of what they are buying. As a note, refrain from jargon, acronyms and technical terms when possible. The key is striking a balance between explaining things well and talking over the heads of your target audience.
Keep your promises. Baby Boomers are discerning customers and expect companies to do what they say they’ll do. While they do require guarantees, the guarantees you advertise should be clear and free of confusing fine print. This older generation does thorough research (using search engines far more heavily than social media) to find out what company or product best fits their needs, and the promises a company advertises for products, services and even company practices in general will help Boomers make their choices.