America tends to be a youth culture, so it probably comes as no surprise that a lot of online marketers spend a great deal of their time trying to market to younger people, the so-called Millennials (also known as Generation Y) and the latest group to come of age, Generation Z. But the truth is that for most businesses, baby boomers will be the ideal target market.
There are several reasons for this. Let’s look at several of the main ones.
What Is a Baby Boomer?
A baby boomer was born between 1946 and 1964. The boom refers to the number of children born after World War II. The next generation, Generation X (from 1965 to 1982), has been jokingly referred to as the “bust generation” because there were so few of them.
In terms of marketing, it will always be a numbers game. The older boomers have now turned 70 and the youngest are 50+. At these stages of life, they have certain concerns and habits that you can profit from if you are willing to focus on the needs of this market.
There are around 75 million boomers, compared with around the same number of Millennials (those born from 1982 to roughly 2000). But guess what. Boomers have more money, and are willing to spend it on themselves and what is important to them in relation to what can best be described as transformation.
Boomers and the Transformative Years
Some boomers dread growing old, but with new medical breakthroughs, 50 can be seen as the new middle age – especially for women, who have a life expectancy rate in the US that is higher than that of men (81 years compare to 75 for men).
Boomers are in transition for many reasons:
- Empty nesters because the kids are grown up and gone
- Downsizers, who don’t need as much room now that the family has grown up
- Those wondering, “What next?” in terms of life, career, and personal aspirations
- Women going through menopause
- Men and women going through life after the loss of a spouse through death or divorce
- Those getting ready for retirement
- Those who have retired and are also wondering what next
- Those who love technology and all of the opportunities it provides to improve their lives
- Those who might want to go to college for the first time, or continue their studies
- Those who want to look after their health
- Those who have developed a health condition and need to practice good self-care
They want to become their best selves and live their best lives. And they usually have the money to do it. Statistics show that more than 70% of the disposable income in the US comes from baby boomers. They spend more than $3.2 trillion every year in America. Just think what this can translate into on a global level.
Boomers have the greatest net worth and largest total income if they are still working. They are online shopping, comparing prices, chatting on social media like Facebook and Twitter. And women, who make up 90% of all Pinterest users, regularly buy what they see at that site.
Baby Boomers Buy in Order to Improve Their Lives
Boomers grew up in a time when everything seemed possible. The 1950s showed a marked trend towards convenience and luxury, and the purchasing of products that were status symbols – such as cars, washing machines and so on. They were all interested in a better life, and the 1960s promised that as well, with free love, larger salaries and more leisure time than ever to enjoy the better things in life.
Target boomers’ current aspirations in your marketing messages, such as education, health and personal finance/investments, and you will find an eager audience willing to buy all you have to offer.