What defines a Baby Boomer?

Representing approximately 20% of the world's global population Baby Boomers represent a hugely important demographic for marketers. Born between 1946 and 1964, Boomers are named after a huge swell in the number of births being recorded in the aftermath of the Second World War.

Today they are between 55-75 years old and are either in the latter stages of their career or entering retirement. Attributed to possessing high levels of disposable income and being more technologically savvy than many give them credit for.

They were born into a society with more affluence and consumerism than their parents, The Silent Generation, were accustomed to. Consequently, they have accumulated their own set of distinctive spending habits. Being such an affluent and prominent generation, understanding how to resonate with Boomers could be vital for your business.

Read on to find out how.

It's ignorant to label them as old

Vitally, you should not be treating Baby Boomers as if they're an ancient, decrepit group of people crawling into their death bed. Not only is this disrespectful but it's also simply untrue, representing a Baby Boomer's biggest pet peeve.

Baby Boomers don't feel old and with the average life expectancy increasing drastically in recent years, why should they?

With an extended life expectancy in mind and being in significantly better health than preceding generations were at their age, many Boomers are planning adventures to occupy the second half of their lives. Travel and seeing the world are a major occupant of their time.

Refusing to label Baby Boomers as being 'senior' can also have extended benefits for your business whereby campaigns omitting this terminology can also resonate with other generations and possibly drive further revenue.

They have more money to spend than you think

Boomers have a significant amount of money to spend, more than you may think. Boomers have always had a strong reputation for being diligent, hard workers, who have saved and spent wisely. In their retirement, they're enjoying the rewards of that work ethic.

Highlighting Boomers' wealth of disposable income, their presence in the United States command 70% of the nation's disposable income. Furthermore, they're also willing to invest that wealth.

Boomers are more susceptible to purchasing gadgets and technology than you would imagine, particularly when there are health and fitness benefits for the user. They're also the biggest spenders in the travel and tourism sector, spending more per trip than any other generation, prone to indulging in upgraded tour and activity packages.

Strike the right tone

As a general rule, the use of generation-specific slang can alienate users while making the business in question appear as insincere. Furthermore, when a business adopts the use of slang within its communications it results in a lack of clarity over the actual message as well as general miscommunication. This rings particularly true when marketing to Baby Boomers.

This makes writing content for Boomers somewhat of a challenge, particularly if you're adopting a multi-generational strategy. As a general rule, use bulleted points to break down large chunks of information.

  • Slow down and take the time to craft content without acronyms that only younger generations will be able to grasp.
  • You should be keeping your content clear and concise
  • Focus on creating value within your messages
  • Writing content that is simple to understand, whilst not losing sight of Baby Boomers' underlying motivations, is the key to communicating effectively to them.

Don't ignore social

You won't find Baby Boomers in their troves on platforms that are popular with younger generations, such as Instagram and Snapchat. However, you will find them on Facebook. Boomers use Facebook as their primary means of keeping in touch with friends, family and loved ones. With this in mind, pushing out content aimed squarely at Boomers on Facebook should be a priority, especially with the platform experiencing a downturn in usage amongst younger generations.

Furthermore, with organic reach on Facebook being relatively low you should be focusing on pushing out your content via Facebook ads. Facebook ads offer a host of benefits when looking to reach Baby Boomers with its advanced targeting options. Segmentation extends out to the user's age, gender, location and device amongst several other factors. Facebook then, is a ripe platform for marketers honing in on the Boomer generation.

Traditional methods are still appealing and are there to be re-used

Baby Boomers fondly remember the days of traditional media advertising. From newspaper print and television ads to physical brochures and radio jingles. Baby Boomers grew up amid very different methods of marketing than we typically use today in the digital world.

This doesn't mean to say however that we cannot adapt traditional methods for the digital age. Digital brochures and customer testimonials in a Youtube video format are just two examples of how we can do this in a way that still reachers the Baby Boomer generation.

Furthermore, adapting old advertising techniques and presenting them to Baby Boomers in a modernised format may elicit a sense of nostalgia. Taking Boomers back to all the memories they may have of growing up that they associate with those traditional methods is the perfect way to resonate with them in today's market.

In conclusion

Baby Boomers are a vital market segment that you cannot afford to ignore. Representing a major chunk of the global population, Baby Boomers are an affluent generation wielding considerable spending power with time to kill when it comes to using it.

  • Always bear in mind the language and tone you are using when writing up content as what may work for younger generations may simply not resonate with Boomers.
  • Never imply that they are "old", they're not. Adapt the language you use in your content accordingly.
  • Don't assume that baby Boomers are technologically inept. Research from DMN3 finds search engines to be the best online marketing channel when looking to reach the Baby Boomers.
  • Social is still important. You're indeed unlikely to find Boomers hitting up the gram with selfies and inspirational pics. Neither will you find them spamming a Snapchat story with videos of their days out or beauty tutorials. However, you will find them on Facebook and with younger generations spending less and less time on the platform, Facebook's powerful ad builder presents a vital way of marketing to the Boomer generation.
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