The American Advertising Federation Central Regional Conference was terrific last month. I presented there about the economic strength of baby Boomers and their behavior online and began with this statement: if you are a marketing or media executive and you don’t know that Boomers hold 70% of the U.S. wealth and Boomer women make or influence 80% of household purchase decisions – then you should be looking for a new job.
Next, I posed the question, how many in the audience are currently targeting Boomers with their media dollars? About half of the audience raised their hands. After the presentation several attendees gathered to discuss targeting Boomers online. I sensed there was a new media strategy burgeoning - targeting Boomers online. It certainly is sound rationale with the increased time Boomers spend online each week, 15 hours vs. teenager's 13 hours per week. Overall, digital advertising will receive an estimated 22% of marketer's overall marketing communication budget according to eMarketer in 2012.
Baby Boomer Transitions
From ages 45 to 65, individuals experience more life transitions than at any other time in their lives. This means opportunity for brands and marketers to engage Boomers and build their brand promise in Boomers’ hearts and minds. The promise should have one or all of these key elements:
One or more of the following Baby Boomer life transitions are eminent as well as marketing opportunities:
Largest Transfer of Wealth: luxury travel, automotive, second homes, health (spa, trainer, home gym)
Empty Nest: decorate home, create a home office, travel
Caregiver: need time, need support, need pampering, need time off
Divorce: condo sales, active adult living sales, wealth management, travel, girlfriend getaways, downsizing
Grandparent: education, travel (cruises, theme, adventure, education), books, gifts, savings accounts
In addition to brands positioning themselves as being helpful, web sites are providing invaluable resources and building their brands in the hearts and minds of Boomers and seniors. There are many sites today where Boomers are seeking information and pursuing their passions. For instance, when Boomers become empty-nesters, they need information on gardening, golfing, traveling, health issues, spending time with grandchildren, and redecorating. It's understanding life.
A few Boomer brands that are doing a good job targeting ages 45 - 65 are Lincoln, Olay, Lee Jeans and we can't forget to mention Apple. Apple made a brand promise to Boomers long ago to Think Different. And they delivered. Now the average age of a Mac customer is 50. Apple creates products like the Mac, iPhone and iPad that are user friendly, intuitive and become a part of you. Now that is truly getting into the hearts and minds of Boomers. Thank you Steve Jobs. We will miss you.