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Marketing to baby boomers is important because they make up about 1 / 5th of America’s population and hold a substantial share of this country’s wealth. Advertisers and marketers need to understand the generation as a whole and market products and services to them effectively.

To market a product or service to the baby boomer generation, make sure you use social media and mobile platforms effectively, increase accessibility and usability by providing phone numbers and simple design , and use precise language and tone.

People-focused marketing is an essential strategy that marketers cannot do without. This character is no different. Marketing for this generation requires a well thought out approach to maximize reach and impact.

Let’s learn more about who Baby Boomers are, why you should market to them, and discuss best practices and approaches.

Defining the Baby Boomer Generation

The term “baby boomers” describes people born immediately after World War II, between 1946 and 1964. Today, baby boomers are between 56 and 74 years old.

That said, people born into the baby boomer generation have retired or are about to retire soon. Funding retirement can be a challenge for some members of the generation, but in general, this generation is wealthy and economically influential.

HubSpot

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Why Marketing to Baby Boomers?

Baby Boomers Make Up About 21% of America’s Population [Statista]. However, around 53% of the country’s wealth is owned by baby boomers – compared to just 5% by Millennials. [CNBC].

This indicates that while there aren’t as many baby boomers when you consider the total US population, this group is economically powerful and has access to most of the country’s purchasing power.

Therefore, it is necessary for companies to market to members of this generation in a deliberate, effective and regular manner. Even though members of the younger generations collectively make up a larger percentage of the American population, they don’t have as much money available to spend on non-essential products and services.

Simply put, by capturing the baby boomer generation, businesses can ensure their economic success.

Tips for Marketing to Baby Boomers

I hope I have now established how important it is to market to baby boomers – even if a product or service was not originally intended for them. Just because a product or service is aimed at a younger generation doesn’t mean baby boomers wouldn’t be interested in buying it for family members as a gift.

Use of social media

It would be a mistake to assume that members of the older generations are technologically illiterate. On the contrary, baby boomers, just like other generations, use the Internet, smartphones, computers, social networks for professional or personal purposes.

Even though this generation didn’t grow up with these technologies or even made them available as young adults, they have learned to use them well.

There is something to be said that not all social media platforms are equally relevant or important to this generation, but major platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are great platforms for reaching this target audience.

In fact, the most used platform for baby boomers is Facebook [statista]. It would make sense to focus primarily on Facebook to reach this audience. It’s about finding the most influence in marketing, wherever you can.

However, when it comes to messaging in social media ads, marketers should keep a few things in mind when trying to woo this generation:

  • Don’t use contemporary slang that this generation may not know or like
  • Don’t necessarily exaggerate the content just because it’s live
  • Create and use messages related to them (eg, “we know how hard you have worked to build a life…”)

DO NOT use language like « old » or « old people » – ever!

Age is relative – just as a 6 year old might think a 15 year old is ‘old’. But, it is important to emphasize the obvious here and to stress that being called “old” is never pleasant.

Young marketers may not realize how critical or negative these terms can sound. If rule number one of marketing is the golden rule, then rule number two should be « you will not offend your target audience! »

I would go so far as to say that baby boomers are probably quite sensitive to this. These terms and concepts imply weakness or irrelevance and should definitely be avoided in all contexts. Being cute with phrases like “ok, boomer” can be offensive. Don’t confuse humor with insults.

The baby boomer generation is already likely to feel slightly alienated or behind when it comes to the internet, smartphones, social media and other “young” technologies, as they did not have such luxuries when they were. younger.

Smart marketers would find ways to reassure this generation that their perceived lack of « expertise » with new technologies does not indicate their capabilities or importance.

Increase accessibility and usability for effective marketing to baby boomers

Baby boomers may prefer face-to-face contact or talking on the phone rather than email or chat, just as a millennial might prefer the exact opposite. As a last-gen Xer, I prefer face-to-face meetings for the important things, and emails and the phone for less important things. We are all different and products of our experiences.

If you as a marketer have created a fantastic website that only allows chat communication, you have some work to do! Increasing accessibility is all about giving your prospects opportunities to interact with you, wherever they feel comfortable.

With that said, let’s talk about the design, layouts, and usability of the website.

Anyone in their 40s and beyond would tell you that their aging eyes prefer larger text sizes. Don’t create an online presence with small, hard-to-read fonts. Sure, it might sound cool and unique, but that’s not for us marketers to say! Everything we do is for our target audience.

Create simple layouts with adequate text size and a clean interface design to ensure that anyone can access your information without being confused or lost.

Use humor, but the right kind

Humor is an advertising work. Advertisers are much more likely to get their point across if they can make their target audience laugh and remember. Don’t be afraid to use humor in your marketing materials aimed at baby boomers, but pay attention to the right kind of humor.

If rule number one of marketing is the golden rule, then rule number two should be « you will not offend your target audience! »

Love this example: ETrade (Super Bowl 2018 ad) is clearly targeting the older generation in this ad, but uses humor and relevant language (« don’t get mad, get ETRADE, kid ») to explain why they should be careful.

Remember, while baby boomers are using social media and technology, they may not be familiar with some recent trends, language, or vernacular. Keep your humor simple, fun and clean!

Don’t use (a lot) of slang

On a related note, try not to use slang in your marketing materials aimed at baby boomers. Slang terms change and evolve (very) quickly, so it’s best not to use contemporary slang that would alienate your audience.

Instead, it’s best to stick with clear terminology and a clear message to get your message across effectively.

At the end of the day, remember that baby boomers are an important target audience for your product or service, so don’t underestimate, ignore, or offend them. Keep these tips in mind and you will be able to effectively market your products and services to this economically influential generation.

Affiliate Link Disclosure: NeatCue receives compensation at no additional cost to you, if you use the referral link (s) on this page to make a purchase.

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