The baby boomer demographic doesn’t get the headlines of Gen Z and millennials in reference to advertising. Local businesses are eager to attract younger generations to their companies, often overlooking baby boomers.
However, with this segment working and living longer, your advertisers should reconsider their targeting approach. There are both key data points and misnomers to clear up to unlock opportunities for your clients to grow this part of their customer base.
Baby Boomers: What Drives Spending
Baby boomers are the wealthiest subgroup of American consumers, according to data from Visa. They are also still active spenders, with 25% prioritizing new purchases, 17% wanting to learn new skills and 15% striving to keep up with technology, according to market reports from Mintel.
Life changes are also driving purchasing behaviors, including divorces (which increased for those 55 and older), relocating, downsizing or making bucket-list plans. Another component of buying decisions is that Gen Z has a major influence over the demographic, who are usually their grandparents. These close bonds have created a growing trend of baby boomers joining TikTok and becoming top content creators.
These data points demonstrate the facts about how this group spends money and lead to the conversation of misconceptions.
Misconceptions Advertisers Have About Baby Boomers
Your advertisers may have misunderstandings about baby boomers, keeping them from seeing how viable the demographic is. So, let’s clear those up.
Baby Boomers Are Too Brand Loyal
Many businesses think it’s not worth targeting baby boomers because they’re unlikely to change brands. That’s not true! Data on the subject found that 36% of baby boomers aren’t loyal to any brand, higher than any other demographic. Further, only 47% said they would pay more to stay with one brand, the lowest of any generation.
Thus, your advertisers can increase market share and acquire new customers in this age bracket. To do this, you’ll want to suggest these tactics:
- Targeted display with geofencing: Fence competitor spaces with digital ads that offer a promo for new customers, with messaging on senior benefits if applicable.
- Social media ads: Reaching baby boomers on social media can drive results when the content represents them and offers value. They are willing to discover new brands on these sites. Facebook is the most popular with this group, but others like Pinterest and TikTok are good choices.
Baby Boomers Are Technology Laggers
Yes, there are plenty of jokes and memes about this generation’s adoption and use of technology. However, those are stereotypes that don’t reflect the actual relationship. In fact, baby boomers are technologically adept and increased their usage of it during the pandemic. Further, 90% shopped online in 2021, and Mintel’s market research found that 43% say they are more comfortable with tech than society gives them credit.
So, it’s time to erase this picture of seniors and instead lean into their use of technology. Digital advertising can reach them effectively, from traditional display ads to OTT spots in streaming. Another key point is that baby boomers are video consumers and use YouTube and social media to research future purchases. As a result, these are great tactics to reach them.
Baby Boomers Aren’t Spenders
As noted, baby boomers are the biggest spenders. They also have the most disposable income. Big and small purchases are the norm for them. Your advertisers can engage with these consumers at every point in the sales funnel: awareness, consideration and decision. Full-funnel advertising campaigns targeting baby boomers can guide them through the process, so the local business is the final decision. Some things to consider for this involve:
- Being price transparent: They appreciate comparing costs from the start.
- Creating explainer videos: Baby boomers want to know how something works and will gladly watch videos to learn.
- Getting the copy right: Advertisers don’t want to paint these consumers as elderly or in their golden years. Avoiding slang is also a good practice. Be concise, and use active verbs.
- Developing lifestyle-focused ad content: Paint a picture of how the company’s services or products support them and make their life easier.
Targeting Baby Boomers: Get Advertisers Rethinking This Customer Group
Baby boomers are an attractive and lucrative consumer segment. Most local businesses can benefit from targeting them more. With these strategies and insights, you can come to them with new angles and approaches to drive positive results.
For more specifics on tactics, read our post on reaching 55+ with Facebook ads and radio.