The Facts About the Generation
According to the US
Census, 77 million people were born in the Baby Boomer era. This
fascinating group of Americans make up the largest group in our nation.
In fact, an American turns 50 years old every 7 seconds, more than
12,500 people every day! This generation has experienced every
historical, cultural and marketing trend and phenomenon of the past
half century (think Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" lyrics).
This unique group of individuals have specific habits that define their
generation. Let's take a closer look.
For starters, Baby Boomers
are wealthy. According to the U.S. Census and Federal Reserve, 78
million Americans who were 50 or older as of 2001 controlled 67% of the
country's wealth, which equals to about $28 trillion dollars. Baby
boomers were taught to save and spend money carefully, which they
exercise to this day due to the economy. Finding great deals in the
paper, cutting coupons, and not touching their savings is a
characteristic that they learned in their youth as a result from
inheriting their parents' values from the Great Depression. Although
they do have this amount of wealth and understand the value of the
dollar, Baby Boomers spend their money wisely.
Baby Boomers have
$2.3 trillion in disposable income, the largest amount for any
generation. While they do know how to save their money, they know how
to spend it as well. Retirement is a goal for all Baby Boomers, and
once they hit retirement, statistics show they go on a large spending
spree. Half of Baby Boomers plan to buy a new home after retirement,
and are the most likely generation to make a home repair every six
months or so. Baby Boomers have the money to spend, but they do so
wisely. Where they do spend the money is where they know they will
attain happiness, whether that be a new house, gadget, travel, car, or
something to better the lives of them themselves and those around them.How to Take Action
what does this mean to you? Baby Boomers are looking to spend, but
wisely. They use social media sparingly, but are getting more and more
involved as it becomes popular. With time and money on their hands for
retirement, Baby Boomers like to try new things and explore new
options. They value the ease of direct mailers and coupons they find in
print media. They watch the news on TV, and a few prime time programs
on the major networks. Finally, two-thirds of Americans age 50-64 use
the Internet and visit specific websites of interest to their age
category. Here are a few examples of marketing strategies to reach Baby
Boomers that you can afford.
- Create a Facebook Fan page for your business that is simple for
users to understand and utilize. Link any viral videos on YouTube that
your business may have, or for information in general. Simplicity is
- Tweet deals from your business' Twitter account, but make it obvious that you are offering a deal or coupon. Use http://bit.ly/
to shorten links to your website where you can find the deal and to
make it clearer to your followers that you have a deal. Ex: "Save 20%
TODAY with our new online offer! Print & bring in store. (link)"
- Ever notice how around the Price is Right, soap operas, or any
daytime show on a major network you will hear multiple commercials for
insurance? The insurance companies place their insurance advertisements
for Baby Boomers during a time they know this generation will be tuned
into the TV. Follow this strategy when you are marketing to Baby
Boomers via the mass media: pick a medium and location you can
guarantee they will see your advertisement.
- Radio advertisements are a great alternative to an expensive TV
commercial for marketing. Engage with listeners by being informative,
yet catchy to remember the phone number. Relate to listeners, and tug
on their emotions to encourage them to act immediately.
- Baby Boomers have time and money, and try new things to fulfil
their life dreams. Some travel, some go back to school, some start
their own business, and some pick up new hobbies. Whichever option Baby
Boomers choose, they value the feeling of youth and living life to the
fullest. Try incorporating some of the Baby Boomers' classic songs in
your advertising to grab their attention, and tie into the feeling of
the "good old days" and how you can bring them back to that happy
feeling. Nostalgia, nostalgia, nostalgia!
- Ever wonder why stores ask for your phone number and/or email
address upon purchasing? They are getting your information to send you
coupons, deals, and direct mailers to use at their place of business.
Send these deals out to your address book on a schedule; every two to
four weeks is appropriate.
- The Baby Boomers on the internet go to specific websites rather
than surf the web. Banner ads are another great means in which to
market to this generation. Start with creating ads that are based in
emotion rather than facts. This generates more results, as does
marketing to a "life stage" rather than the actual age. Don't forget to
keep your message positive instead of threatening. Bold colors work
while pastels should be avoided. Definitely don't do flashing or
obtrusive as Boomers get annoyed and move away from those quickly. Some
of the best places for those banners are on sites that revolve around
retirement, travel, insurance and sweepstakes.
Think about this: By 2010, adults 45-years-old
and older will out-spend younger adults by $1 trillion annually. Baby
Boomers have the money and are willing to spend it wisely. How is your
business going to stand out to Baby Boomers? Act wisely.
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