Baby Boomers are one of the wealthiest generations to date, holding $2.6 trillion in spending power. That’s a lot of money brands can earn when they work to understand Boomers and craft marketing campaigns that really reach them. Where many fail is in assuming that this older generation can’t—or won’t—use technology.
Here are some important statistics to keep in mind before you assume Baby Boomers want direct mail, paper coupons, and catalogs.
- 67% of Baby Boomers own a smartphone
- 27% have ordered groceries online
- 46% look forward to Cyber Monday for their holiday shopping
- 41% use digital coupons while in physical stores
Those numbers are all probably higher than you expected. The inescapable truth is that Baby Boomers currently account for 59% of digital purchases. If you’re not marketing with these digital Boomers in mind, then you’re missing out on a big chunk of potential revenue.
Before planning your campaigns, it’s important to understand how these digital Boomers use technology when shopping.
According to this research, Boomers use mobile apps for research and even for shopping—at 46% and 39% respectively—but only 12% say they’ve used their smartphone for payments. Knowing how Boomers use desktops and mobile devices for their shopping needs is just the first step.
Next, you have to figure out how to create marketing material that reaches them where they are online while continuing to build trust. Here’s what you should focus on.
Consistency Is Key
In order to enhance the trust you’ve built with your Boomer buyers, you must remain consistent across all channels—in your physical stores, in print advertisements, in social media marketing, and on the apps where this generation may complete their purchases.
How quickly might that trust evaporate if a buyer conducts a Google search, sees an ad for your products, clicks through to make a purchase, but the product in the ad is either no longer available or doesn’t reflect the price they found during their search? The same attack on their trust could occur if they have a digital coupon for a particular product but they’re unable to use that coupon on the apps or ecommerce pages where your products are sold.
Work with Age Appropriate Influencers
Eighty-two percent of Boomers who are online have social media accounts, meaning around 4.6 million Baby Boomers actively scroll Facebook and Instagram. Believe it or not, influencers do have the ability to sway Baby Boomers—but you must be sure those influencers provide value if you want them to make a difference in your marketing.
Some of the well-established Baby Boomer influencers have tens or even hundreds of thousands of followers on their respective accounts. A large following doesn’t necessarily translate to higher engagement, as we’ve previously pointed out. However, those numbers do indicate that there is a market for Boomer influencers, especially in the industries of fashion, fitness, and food.
Several brands have discovered the power of Boomer influencers, too, including Williams Sonoma, JCPenney, Zara, Nike, and Lululemon.
A recent survey discovered that humor and education both increase as women age. This information suggests that influencers who have similar life experiences as well as a sense of humor are more likely to reach buyers of a certain age. Combining that humor with useful information—all while doing things that real people actually do—can be a powerful tool for reaching Boomer buyers.
Make the Experience Personal
When it comes to marketing to Baby Boomers, a personal experience tops just about everything, yet less than 25% of shoppers feel they’re getting that customized touch.
To be clear, simply adding their first name to the subject line or greeting of an email isn’t enough. Use the data you have to ensure the information this generation receives fits their needs and wants. Relevance is crucial—and if you can reach them at the right time with the right content, you’ll make the sale.
Engagement is key, too. When these buyers reach out on social channels, be there to respond. You may be answering a question or simply providing a laugh that will help them remember you later. Even better, they just might share your content with others.
Go Where They Are
We now know that 82% of Boomers online have social media accounts. Discover which of those social platforms your buyers use most so that you’re reaching them every time you post.
Nearly 75% of Boomers have Facebook accounts, and 35% use LinkedIn. While Instagram may not seem like the right place to find the 55+ crowd, keep in mind that your specific audience just might be there, particularly if you’re marketing food, fashion, or fitness.
When you post, consider video. Research shows that 54% of Baby Boomers spend their time online watching videos. And, again, they’re 19% more likely to share your content than any other generation.
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