Knowing Your Niche: Reaching the Baby Boomers

There are currently more than seventy-five million Americans who are categorized as Baby Boomers.  They were born between the years of 1946 and 1964 and have lived full lives.  Most are nearing the end of their careers, either already enjoying the beauty of retirement, or eagerly looking forward to those days of freedom ahead.  Having already earned their livings, many have reached the top of their pay scale potential.  A large percentage have paid off their homes, have seen their children through college or out into the real world.  That means that many – though not all, of course – are now empty-nesters with large disposable incomes and an abundance of free time.

For many companies and organizations, these characteristics make the Baby Boomers the most desirable niche.  Particularly those between the ages of 55 and 64 years of age, who are either still working or just entering the retirement phase of life, there is a widely shared interest in many different industries, including travel, food, drink, and education.  Surveys repeatedly show that baby boomers are looking to enjoy the fruits of their labor.  They want to see the world (or at least new areas of the country that they call home), they want to take in shows, taste fine wines and local brews, and they want to learn new skills.

There is a misconception about the baby boomers.  Do not make the mistake, as a marketer, of believing this generation devoid of technology appreciation.  87% of baby boomers admit that they are regularly buying goods and booking trips online.  Though admittedly not as widely reaching on social media, the boomers aren’t naïve to it either. More than 8 in 10 are active users of at least one social platform.  Furthermore, those who are on social media tend to use it a lot.  The average boomer spends approximately 27 hours per week surfing through the social feeds.  Facebook is the strongly preferred platform for this generation.

Reaching the boomers doesn’t have to be as much of a challenge as many marketers make it out to be.  They are more technologically savvy than many give them credit for.  Furthermore, they are willing to consider the advertisements, reviews, and brand content that they see on Facebook.  Better yet, this is a highly untapped market online.  Only 10% of the money spent on social media advertising is aimed at the baby boomers.  The key is to appeal to their desire to expand horizons, while at the same time avoiding the trends set by younger generations.  The boomers show very little appreciation for hashtags and abbreviated language (i.e. LOL, TBT, etc.).  What they do appreciate is the personalized message.  This generation has also demonstrated a greater sense of loyalty to brands that treat them well the first time around.

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