By the end of 2015, Americans 50 and older will represent 45% of the population and control approximately 70% of the wealth. But only 10% of marketing and 5% of advertising dollars are aimed at this sector. As marketers, we are missing out on a vital, untapped marketing that has the time, interest, and money to really make an impact on a company’s bottom line. But there are common myths that still persist about these elusive baby boomer creatures, which keep marketers away. We’ve identified the top four most common myths, debunked them for you, and provided you with tips to successfully market to baby boomers.
Myth #1: Boomers are all the same.
Just because they’re all in the same age range and have mostly gone through the same milestones, doesn’t mean they all have the same wants and needs. While many baby boomers worry about money & health, others are excited about their newfound freedom, encore careers, and having grandchildren.
Marketing Tip: Understand that not all boomers are alike. Target those most likely to purchase your product or service and identify which communication channels will most effectively reach them.
Myth #2: Boomers are technologically challenged.
Truth is, boomers are the fastest growing technology sector! 89% of baby boomers have cell phone, 70% of boomers are on Facebook, 66% buy from online retailers, and 31% are on Twitter. We may make a lot of jokes about helping our parents or grandparents with new technological crazes like SnapChat and Instagram , but baby boomers are a lot more adept with technology and social media than we give them credit for. This gives marketers many digital channels to connect with boomers.
Marketing Tip: Create holistic strategies with SEO, social media, mobile, engagement, and powerful images of baby boomers. Make your online sales process easier and more secure. Make it easy for boomers to find what they need on your site and purchase it with just a few clicks, while letting them know that their credit card and personal information is safe and secure.
Not sure if marketing to baby boomers are social media is smart? Read our blog all about why you should be marketing to boomers on social media!
Myth #3: Boomers are brand loyal.
It is true that baby boomers stick with what is tried and true, which is what most of us do once we find a product or service proven to produce results. But boomers are willing to jump ship if something better comes along, but convincing them to make the leap is harder than younger generations. New product adoption typically only comes with hard facts, data, testimonials, and referrals. They have questions about new products and services that they want answered directly. If a product or service catches their eye, they are willing to do thorough research before the purchase but they are also willing to spend their money in new places.
Marketing Tip: Skip the hard sell. Boomers don’t want to feel like they’re being sold, they like to do their research before making an informed decision. They also want to ask questions and get answers, so make it clear you are available to answer any questions they have. Lastly, build a referral program. Boomers are much more likely to come from a referral. Do a great job for your customers and ask them to spread the word through their personal networks. Make it easy to share your product or service via email and through social media. You can also consider rewarding customers for referrals.
Myth #4: Boomers are captured with mainstream advertising.
Data actually shows that 66% of baby boomers believe that ads have gotten cruder in recent years. Another 67% report being less likely to purchase a product if the advertising is perceived as offensive. Using the same marketing gimmicks or strategies for boomers as you do millennials just won’t cut it.
Marketing Tip: Boomers are smart, know what they want, and are willing to pay for it. Focus on the benefits of your product or services, not just the features or specs. Focus your messaging on how what you’re offering solves a problem. Tell the story of how your product or service makes life easier, better or more enjoyable.