Commentary

Don't Overlook the Booming Boomers

According to a recent report from NielsenWire, media companies focus on reaching consumers age 18-34 or 18-49, who spend (or have a key role in spending) billions of dollars every year. If solely focusing on these groups, advertisers and consumer goods manufacturers are overlooking a group that has tremendous buying power of the 78 million Baby Boomers in the U.S. today, says the report

advertisement

advertisement

Born between the years 1946-1964, the oldest of the Boomers are beginning to retire. But today's middle aged and older consumers are different than their predecessors, says the report. The conventional wisdom that they spend little, resist technology and are slow to adopt new products should be re-assessed. Boomers are an affluent group who adopt technology with enthusiasm (consider the number of parents or grandparents who regularly send e-mails or upload photos to Facebook and other sites). They have also shown a willingness to try new brands and products.

Boomers spend 38.5% of CPG dollars. Yet it's estimated that less than 5% of advertising dollars are currently targeted towards adults 35-64 years old (which includes the latter half of Generation X in addition to Boomers). With most marketers generally targeting 18-49 year olds, more than half of the affluent Boomer demographic is ignored entirely.

Pat McDonough, Senior Vice President, Insights, Analysis and Policy at the Nielsen Company, says "... boomers should be as desirable for marketers as Millennials and Gen-Xers... they are the largest single group of consumers...  a valuable target audience... "

Consider these Nielsen facts about Boomers:

  • Dominate 1,023 out of 1,083 consumer packaged goods categories
  • Watch the most video: 9:34 hours per day
  • Comprise 1/3 of all TV viewers, online users, social media users and Twitter users
  • Time shift TV more than 18-24s (2:32 vs. 1:32)
  • Are significantly more likely to own a DVD player
  • More likely to have broadband Internet access at home

Web sites Boomers visit are similar to those visited by adults age 18-34, as 8 of the top 10 web sites are the same:

Most Popular Sites By Age Group

Boomers

Ages 18-34

Rank

Sites for Baby Boomers

Rank

Sites for 18-34

1

Google

1

Google

2

Yahoo

2

Yahoo

3

Bing

3

Facebook

4

Facebook

4

Bing

5

Microsoft

5

YouTube

6

AOL

6

Microsoft

7

YouTube

7

AOL

8

Wikipedia

8

Fox Interactive Media

9

Ask

9

Apple

10

Amazon

10

Wikipedia

Source: The Nielsen Company, July 2010

Boomers represent tremendous potential to those who know how to reach them, says Nielsen, at a time when most analysts are predicting much slower growth in consumer spending.

For additional information from Nielsen, please visit here.

 

 

4 comments about "Don't Overlook the Booming Boomers".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Larry Czerwonka from happinessu, July 30, 2010 at 8:32 a.m.

    funny, i have been telling clients this for years but most of them would not believe me...

  2. Lori Bitter from The Business of Aging, July 30, 2010 at 1:58 p.m.

    I am pleased to have Nielsen's buy-in at last! I was afraid I had squandered my career!

  3. Dave Barnes from MarketingTactics, August 1, 2010 at 4:06 p.m.

    "are slow to adopt new products" is so true.

    We waited 2 weeks after the introduction to order our iPad.

  4. Nancy Padberg from Navigate Boomer Media, August 1, 2010 at 6:34 p.m.

    This year may be the year boomer consumers finally hit the ad agency radar. I mean there are only 78 million spending $2.3 trillion, four times of what the next generation spends on consumer goods annually. AND exactly why marketing agencies and boomer strategists like Mary Furlong & Associates, Lori Bitter's Continuum Crew, Agency Five-0, Brent Green of Boomer Marketing and Jim Gilmartin "get it" and will get the boomer business! We are growing and getting many more RFP inquiries for 4Q and 2011 as we place online display ads, articles, enewsletter access, interviews on 119 boomer sites delivering 112 million unique monthly visitors.

Next story loading loading..