Marketers are often very concerned with how to reach young adults, and with good reason, since young adults will become the core customers of the future. However, marketers can’t let their dedication to the future cause them to neglect the present. While young adults are the future of business, the present very much so belongs to the baby boomer generation. Boomers have an effect on the economy in way that greatly exceeds their relative percentage of the population. This article will share eight statistics that show how and why marketers should target baby boomers.
Though not as universal as it is among young adults, boomers are are more likely to have a smartphone than to not have one. According to a recent study from Nielsen, 51% of US mobile owners over the age of 55 own smartphones, up 10% from Q1 2013. With such phenomenal growth, marketers can expect all boomers to have smartphones in just a few years.
A study released by Pew Research Center in April proves that boomers use their mobile devices the same way as younger adults, though at lower rates. Pew reported that 51 percent of American adults ages 50-64 use their cellphone to get online. Though not as impressive as the 85 percent of young adults who use their cellphone this way, it still shows that retailers marketing to boomers need to have a mobile strategy.
Boomers and millennials both account for about 24 percent of the U.S. population, but boomers are far more important to the economy. According to Nielsen, baby boomers control 70 percent of disposable income in the US. This is why baby boomers account for 80 percent of US leisure travel spending.
Besides travel spending, boomers outspend other generations by an estimated $400 billion each year on consumer goods and services, according to the U.S. Government Consumer Expenditure Survey.
When it comes to their choice of medium, baby boomers often choose the same forms of media that are popular with young adults. Harris Interactive released a report that found 24 percent for boomers use eReaders and that one out of six intends to buy an eReader or tablet in the next six months. The study also found that boomers had similar desires for internet-capable TVs, in-car connectivity, and the use of apps.
Boomers are good target audiences for content marketing on a website or blog. According to another poll from Harris Interactive, 27 percent of boomers prefer to get their news online and another 5 percent prefer to get their news via mobile devices.
According to data attributed to Forrester Research, boomers outspend younger adults online 2:1 on a per-capita basis. And 72 percent of adults aged 55-63 and 47 percent of those aged 73 and older shop online.
While it’s important to gain customers from young adults, it’s important to remember that boomers will have considerable income for a long time to come. According to US News Report, in the next 20 years, the over-50 generation will inherit nearly 12 trillion dollars.
The youth of America may be the future, but for business owners trying to make the most they can today need to target baby boomers. Baby boomers have enough disposable income to buy the luxury (or at least unnecessary) items that most retailers are trying to sell. Contrary to the stereotype of the miserly old person that hates technology, baby boomers are quickly adapting to new technology and are a huge engine for commerce in almost every industry. Business owners and marketers should use internet tools like blogs, social media, and display ads to target this key demographics. For more tips on marketing to seniors (and soon-to-be seniors), read this article on our site on digital marketing and the greatest generation.