Right about now, Baby Boomers either are in or entering retirement. What does that mean to you as a business owner trying to attract their attention? Get ready to shed some common misconceptions about this powerful demographic group: it turns out that the Boomers can’t retire the way their parents did. Everything you thought you knew about marketing to seniors doesn’t fit anymore.
Factor #1: Economic Insecurity
While a Boomer may have seen their parents enjoy golden years funded by a private pension plan, the same is not true for them. All kinds of nefarious hijinks – the banking crisis, volatility in the stock market, employers chronically underfunding retirement accounts – have left Baby Boomers with retirement funds that aren’t necessarily where the Boomers in question would like them to be.
Couple this with the controversy surrounding the Affordable Care Act’s implementation and a rising awareness that people are living longer and requiring far more hands-on health care than previous generations, and you get a situation where Boomers, once notoriously free spenders, are now more cautious with their purchases. Boomers are buying, but they’re doing so only after they’re sure they’ve made a good decision.
Factor #2: Hello, Internet & Social Media
Baby Boomers use the internet to research purchases online. There’s an inverse relationship between familiarity with the item being considered and the amount of time spent researching; Prosper Insights tells us half of all Boomers research electronics purchases before making a decision. The number drops to 20% when it’s apparel and home appliances being purchased.
Social media, so influential among younger shoppers, has not proven to have as large an impact on the Baby Boomer buyer. But that dynamic is steadily changing, as the growth of tablet usage among seniors creeps steadily upward. The Pew Research Group currently puts the percentage of Boomers using social media at 27%.
What This Means for You
If Baby Boomers make up a significant portion of your customer base, this is good news for you. Your customers are hungry for information before making their purchases, and they’re very well acclimated to searching for this information online. Think about the questions your Boomer customers ask your team; use those questions as a framework for both website and social media copy.
Economic insecurity has made Boomers very aware of value. This doesn’t mean they’ll be seeking out the lowest prices; instead, the focus is on ensuring that money spent is money well-spent. Your messaging must speak to the value you offer, both in terms of unique benefits and in comparison with the rest of the marketplace.
The Boomers aren’t going anywhere just yet. This powerful demographic group will continue to shape the way we market our products and services for years to come. In fact, in some industries, including travel and restaurant fields, are heavily dependent on Boomer business. If you’re struggling to use your digital marketing tools in a way that resonates with this audience, give us a call. We’re here to help!