Marketing for Boomers

Even in a youth-obsessed culture, your business needs to market to boomers. While the younger generation may steal the spotlight in terms of social media visibility, business owners ignore boomer marketing and the purchasing power of America’s 76 million boomers at their own peril. And if you’re a B2B, you should know that close to a quarter of entrepreneurs in 2014 were aged 55 and up.

According to the U.S. census, Americans past the half-century mark demonstrate higher rates of spending on consumer products then their younger counterparts. While only representing 45% of all adults, those over 50 are responsible for more than half of all consumer spending and shell out more than millennials and Gen Xers.

While it might be tempting to presume that boomers only spend more on age-related products like healthcare, the fact is they actually drive purchases across a number of marketing segments — including new vehicles, personal care, furnishings and entertainment — thanks to their greater net worth. The median net worth of those over 50 is approximately $300K vs. about $175K for those aged 18 to 49. And if you think this generation is only going to brick-and-mortar stores for their purchases, you’re flat-out wrong. Shopping is the number one online activity among those over 50 — other than checking email.


Do’s and Don’ts of Boomer Marketing


DO provide relevant, useful information that always adds value. This generation is less likely to care what other people think and is not necessarily looking to impress their boss or the Joneses. They want good information that helps them and engaging content that entertains them.

DON’T dumb-down your content or patronize. While they may have been around the block a few times, boomers are a very savvy group, so don’t talk down or assume they’ll fall for typical click-bait tactics. That being said, you may not want to be too heavy–handed with the latest pop–culture references either. They either might not be aware of them or, more likely, might not care as much as their younger counterparts.

DON’T ignore your mobile interface. Teeny-tiny text is a no-no when marketing to this segment. Make sure your website is well optimized for all mobile visitors. Use sufficient contrast between text and background to make reading easier and ensure that your navigation is clear and straightforward to operate.

DO pick your social platforms carefully. Going by the numbers, you’re more likely to reach a larger boomer audience with Facebook and YouTube than Instagram and Twitter. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t find a boomer customer on Instagram either. It depends on your industry and niche, so always test.

DON’T skimp on long-form content. As a whole, this is a group that doesn’t mind putting in a little work reading a piece from start to finish or watching a longer video — as long as it’s interesting. As always, you want to check your metrics to see how your content resonates with your audience, but at least test out its appetite for longer-form pieces.

The boomer population continues to grow as does its importance in consumer spending. Invest in boomer marketing — get to know these buyers, listen to them and respond to their needs. Doing so can put your business on a more positive trajectory for the future.