Baby Boomers are a diverse group. Many of them are grandparents. Some are supporting a kid or two in college. Boomers read newspapers and surf the web. They’re mobile. They’re social. They’re informed. They have the most expendable income of any other demographic. A 2012 Nielsen report declared that Boomers will control 70% of disposable U.S. income over the next 5 years.
To really reach seniors and boomers, you must first understand what matters to them. Here’s a guide to help you improve your boomer marketing efforts.
Create Boomer Personas
Imagine a friend emailing you a gift card to your favorite Italian restaurant at the exact moment you were craving Italian dish. That’s what it feels like when personas are targeted correctly. Personas are profiles—based on real people and data—that give you a vivid picture of your audience. If you want to reach boomers, you have to start by getting to know them. Build personas based on who they are, what they do for fun and work, as well as what they really care about. As you create your personas, think of the problems you can solve for your future prospects. These blog posts will give you more insight into the Boomer persona:
- How to Target Your Boomer Personas
- Age Demographics and Online Activities: Implications for Advertising
Boomer marketing is complex. If you’re lumping all seniors and Boomers into one category, you’re not likely to see any concrete results. The key to a winning plan is segmentation. Use data profiling and modeling to segment boomers. Keep in mind that age isn’t the only component of segmentation. You can tailor your marketing based on life stages, health attitudes and psychographic data.
Use Online Marketing
Online marketing isn’t just for Millennials anymore. Boomers are a growing force on the web and you should always include them in your digital strategy. Boomers and seniors spend about 20 hours per week online, according to a 2013 Google and Ipsos study. They depend on the web more than TV (15 hours), radio (4 hours) and print media (2 hours). Boomers constitute about 35% of tablet users and are active smartphone users. They use the Internet as a major source of news.
Use Social Media
Yes, you can reach Boomers through social media. Facebook in particular is a great platform to reach older Americans. Here’s a stat that will make you rethink social media marketing: iStrategy Labs found that teens (13-17) on Facebook have declined -25% over the last 3 years. In contrast, Facebook users aged 55+ have grown 80.4% in the same span. For many reasons, teens are less active on Facebook, while their parents and grandparents are steadily adopting the platform.
- Should You Use Social Media to Market to Boomers and Seniors?
- Social Media Marketing: Do You Know How
The Bottom Line
The Baby Boomer market is an extremely valuable audience because of size and spending power. Marketers need a thorough understanding of this audience in order to deliver valuable, useful marketing specific to their needs.
While age is an important component of segmentation, it doesn’t offer the complete picture. Use a combination of data modeling and real customer profiles to identify key groups in your audience. Guide your efforts with a multi-channel marketing approach that includes web and social media. Effective marketing uses a mix of traditional and digital strategies to reach a powerful audience.