Baby Boomers are often portrayed as technology averse curmudgeons who are poised to retire en masse and bankrupt us all. Turns out their actual lifestyles paint a much more complex (and intriguing) view of who Boomers are, how they operate, and what they want.
Here are 5 lifestyle trends of Baby Boomers that may just surprise you:
1: Boomers Are Tech Savvy
AARP points out that Boomers (those born between 1946-1964) “were in the workforce during the evolution of computers, email, and the internet, and were the first to understand the value of technology.” They never had the chance to tweet photos of their drunk college buddies, but they did embrace technology. According to AARP:
Digital marketing applies to Boomers as much as to any other demographic. Make it a serious component of your integrated marketing strategy that focuses on where Boomers spend their time.
2: Boomers Got Snail Mail
Baby Boomers are often viewed as clueless when it comes to the online world, content to correspond via fax machines and the postal service. A ThirdAge/JWT Boom study reports that while the majority of Boomers have an aversion to blogging and some social networking sites such as Twitter, they do use the internet to shop a lot:
Boomers are online, they’re just not using Instagram to show you what they’re eating for lunch. Virtually all of them use email and most of them are open to email marketing. Get in their inboxes! Craft drip campaigns that will keep you front of mind, as well as allow them to buy.
3: Show Me The Money!
With all the talk of Social Security’s imminent collapse, you might think Baby Boomers are strapped for cash and banking on the warm embrace of the government-funded safety net. In truth, Boomers are the most financially successful age demographic, with a significant segment that is extremely successful. According to Federal Agency Forum, Marketing Charts, and Mediamark Research:
Baby Boomers are doing well financially and they’ve got money to spend. According to Mediamark Research states that Boomers are 18% more likely to play the lottery than the general adult population, and 21% more likely to remodel their homes. Take the time to find out what they really need and want. It is a key element in market share domination.
4: Let Them Eat Cake
Boomers are often associated with coupons and viewed as on the hunt for the cheapest deal out there. While Boomers are deal savvy, this belief that they only care about saving money is completely wrong. Baby Boomers are the demographic most loyal to brands in the grocery store. According to Marketing Charts, only 36% of Boomers are willing to buy more store brands to save money.
This doesn’t mean Boomers are set in their ways and unwilling to change. As AARP reports, Boomers are “just as likely as younger cohorts to experiment with new products. They are actually paying attention to advertising for new products.” More than half of all Boomers believe blind loyalty to one brand is never the way to go.
Boomers are loyal to products and services they value and they’re willing to pay a premium for it. Marketers should work to incentivize such loyalty. Create a holistic approach with other departments that ensures your brand provides the highest quality products and services, as well as the highest quality ROI on your customer relationships.
5: Society Does Not Treat Boomers As Experts (But We Should)
While Boomers are brand loyal to products they view as high-quality, according to the Boston Consulting Group, Boomers are less likely than younger demographics to personally identify with brands and act as advocates for them. Yet, only about 33% of boomers report being asked for their advice on brands, while more than half of millennials do so. What a missed opportunity to build brand advocacy!
The social operating belief is clear: If you information on a product, ask a young person. But what if marketers took the time to ask Boomers? Since Boomers do not believe in loyalty for loyalty’s sake, then they are ripe for being engaged with around your brand. They might even appreciate the engagement. This could lead to converting brand advocates within the demographic that many tend to ignore.
So, try listening to your Boomer customers. Reach out to them (you know they check their email). Make them feel heard and appreciated. Then update them about changes you’ve initiated due to their valuable feedback. You will be glad you did.
The narrative of Baby Boomers as technology-phobic, financial-burdens on society is simply bad fiction. Baby Boomers are a digitally savvy demographic with money to burn. They experienced the blissful dawn of the Internet from the frontlines of the workforce. They dig it. They use it. Embrace and engage this demographic of spenders.