Baby Boomers Control 70% Of The U.S. Disposable Income

Brad Pitt is a Baby Boomer. George Clooney is a Baby Boomer. Madonna and Bruce Springsteen are Baby Boomers. Not exactly in a wheelchair or using a walker. Do I have your attention? If you are under 30 and reading this, it’s your parents, ages 47 – 66. Change your thinking and understand Baby Boomers are vibrant, healthy and a very lucrative audience. The brands and agency executives that understand this will increase their bottom line. 

Baby Boomers represent close to 80 million U.S. consumers and hold 70% of the U.S. disposable income. If you are a marketer or media planner looking at 4Q, be sure to target the Baby Boomers online. You will be a visionary and hero to your firm or client. Step out of the old way of thinking and lead your brand to new and additional revenue. 

Baby Boomers are spending the most time and money online each month, more than Gen X and Gen Y. Here are some more facts to solidify your decision:

Consumers ages 47 – 66 (Baby Boomers) Facts: 

  • Dominate 119 out of 123 CPG categories
  • 40% of customers paying for wireless service
  • 41% own Apple computers
  • 53% are on Facebook
  • 40% most likely to use an iPhone 
  • Over age 50 spend $7 billion online annually
  • Purchase 62.5% of new cars
  • Purchase 80% of luxury travel
  • 70% show up to vote in elections
  • Boomers spend more money each month on technology than Gen X or Gen Y – an average of $650 per month
  • Spend most on health care
  • Spend most on pharmaceuticals
  • One in 7 boomers care for a parent or family member
  • 71% of Boomers go online every day
  • 66% of Boomers send text messages

Your marketing campaign creative should engage the Baby Boomer. Solve a problem, make them feel good and they will be loyal to your brand. Women ages 45+ should receive special attention as they make or influence 80% of the household decisions. 

I travel to Detroit, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco and meet with media planners, buyers and brands. Here is a question I received in the spring while in Detroit from a young media planner in charge of millions for an automotive account, “I know I should know this, but tell me again what is a Baby Boomer?” It was not Audi, Subaru or Toyota because they are targeting Baby Boomers and increasing their market share by doing so. Who is leading your brand?  

Sources: Pew Internet, Deloitte, Forrester Research, GfK, MRI, Nielsen and BoomerAgers August 2012 Report

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8 comments about "Baby Boomers Control 70% Of The U.S. Disposable Income ".
  1. Joshua Iverson from iMediaSalesTeam , August 20, 2012 at 9:58 a.m.
    Wonderful Nancy! Totally agree. We also share a 20 min. Boomer Research Review with many agencies let me know if you'd like to see it. Cheers! Josh josh@imediasalesteam.com
  2. Ted Rubin from The Rubin Organization / Return on Relationship , August 20, 2012 at 10:10 a.m.
    Not only a tremendously valuable and important market for Brands, but one that is so often overlooked and ignored. Low hanging fruit, ripe to be plucked by the right products/brands, in my humble opinion.
  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited , August 20, 2012 at 11:42 a.m.
    There are many reasons why whippersnappers should instinctively know who boomers are, one of which is those snappers have to depend on boomers who will choose to keep social security for all or to say f___y__ to those under 55.
  4. Kellee Harris from Package Containers, Inc. , August 20, 2012 at 1:06 p.m.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am so sick of hearing my generation depicted on TV as the group that needs every RX under the sun, as if we are all ailing and in constant need of Depends. The first thing I was taught in journalism school by my ad prof was "don't market to yourself"...more than a few of the younger set needs to hear this lecture!
  5. Kern Lewis from GrowthFocus, Inc. , August 20, 2012 at 2:54 p.m.
    We Boomers are a guilty party in the seeming neglect of our generation by marketing professionals. We took over the marketing/advertising business 40 years ago and remade it in our own image, as the biggest, brightest, hippest group of folks around. This self-obsession is still evident in how the business operates (exhibit one: Neilsen age brackets), even as we have handed the reins of control to Gen Xers. That group needs to be smarter than we were if they want to get a share of our disposable income!!!
  6. Anne Peterson from Idaho Public Televsion , August 20, 2012 at 6:01 p.m.
    Just was told by a colleague that as a younger boomer she is insulted that the older boomers want to cut the generation off below age 56 -- i.e. 10 years of boomers left hanging. She said she had an argument with an older cousin over this during the weekend.
  7. David Cearley from self employed , August 20, 2012 at 11:29 p.m.
    Do. you have any data comparing current boomers 55+ to wealth patterns 30-50 years ago? I'm an over 55 boomer, and I'm wondering whether I should be concerned about the next generation having enough wealth to buy up all the real assets held by boomers, or are we in for another residential housing collapse in twenty or thirty years
  8. Hanna Gryncwajg from RLTV , August 28, 2012 at 1:25 p.m.
    I completely agree and applaud your comment about the auto category especially. Feels like they don't want to customers who buy today, but those who will be the car 10 years from now...only then they won't target them.