Don't Launch Your Product On Facebook

We have recently been asking Boomer women how they travel the path to purchase new products, and their answers are surprising only because they don’t point to the tools used by many marketers today. No matter how many “friends” and “followers” you have, Facebook and Twitter are not the place for activation. It turns out that a combination of peer reviews and coupons is the most effective way to get Boomers to buy your new product.

Here’s why.

Peer Reviews: Gaining Trial through Trial

If you have a new product to launch with Boomers, you’re already ahead of the game – since so few other companies are innovating in this space. But if you think that consumers 45+ will jump at your offering just because you promote it in advertising and social media, think again.

Consumers at midlife have grown distrustful of traditional marketing, in part because it has ignored them for so long. As a result, there is nothing more likely to make a Boomer woman purchase your product than a reference from another “woman like her.” 



For that reason, getting this woman to try your product usually means getting another woman to try your product first, then to tell her peers about it. 

In a recent survey of more than 700 women aged 45-65, we heard what makes them more likely to try a new product for the first time, and the most effective methods are: consumer reviews and articles, free shipping, and free samples. They look for this content (and these offers) primarily on shopping sites and online communities, which are twice as likely to make them try a new product than posts on Facebook or Twitter. 

The lowest-ranking influences for these women? Content from a brand directly, whether on websites, emails or social media. While 72% said that a consumer review would prompt them to try a new product, only 23% said that Facebook posts from friends would have the same result, and only 9% said that Facebook posts from a company itself would make them want to buy its new product. And they are six times more likely to buy a new product based on a recommendation on Amazon than Facebook.

Let There Be Coupons

If Boomer women are less likely than younger consumers to try a new product based on Facebook posts, they are just as likely to buy that same product based on coupons. And what’s even more interesting is that they now prefer digital coupons over traditional print. Over two-thirds of the women we surveyed said that printable online coupons (or coupon codes for online purchases) would influence their purchase decisions; less than half of them said the same about print coupons in newspapers, magazines or mailers.


A few years ago Google created a new marketing term: “ZMOT,” or the Zero Moment of Truth that describes the way every shopper is now a multi-channel shopper making decisions on multiples platforms, devices and locations. 

Our new research seems to identify a “BMOT” or Boomer Moment of Truth that describes when a midlife consumer will choose to try a new product: when a combination of peer references and special offers (coupons or free shipping) get her to see it as an offer too good to refuse. The bad news about the BMOT is that you can’t do it yourself. But the good news is that you can use her peers (together with your own promotions) to generate trial and loyalty from this invaluable and vibrant consumer.

5 comments about "Don't Launch Your Product On Facebook".
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  1. Ursula Ehrenfeld from St. James Properties, LLC, May 13, 2013 at 10:24 a.m.

    Enjoyed the article, Stephen. My own experience confirms the central point of your article: That this group values the opinion of their peers ("women like me") more than almost anything else when deciding to try/buy a product or service.

    But I'm a little baffled by the finding that "...only 23% said that Facebook posts from friends" would influence their decision.

    I can understand their reluctance to accept Facebook posts/comments that are generated by a company. That makes perfect sense to me.

    But, if they tend to value their peers' opinions, why would 72% of them prefer the opinion of "strangers" -- other Amazon customers, for example -- over the opinion of their "real" friends and family on Facebook?

    Do you think there is something about Facebook, specifically, that's influencing this behavior? Or do they trust the "stranger" opinions more because they believe they're more unbiased?

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, May 13, 2013 at 11:29 a.m.

    Friends and family who you can trust are people who you could call 2 A.M. in a desperate situation and they would help you. Good luck doing that with products and strangers on line. They are not your friends and therefore eliminate the need for fbeast and twits for friends and not to be trusted.

  3. Joshua James from Happiness Life Solutions LLC, May 13, 2013 at 11:54 a.m.

    Great article Stephen!
    I have a service company-a Life Coach practice. Any suggestions for marketing to Baby Boomers?
    Thank you,

  4. Joshua James from Happiness Life Solutions LLC, May 13, 2013 at 12:50 p.m.

    Hi Stephen,
    I went through the archives and found an article that nailed it for me. I'm a Happiness Life Coach using the methods of the new field of Positive Psychology to maximize Boomers/Seniors happiness. The Dec. 6, 2012 article by Mark Bradbury is titled "Happiness:The gift that keeps on giving" and touts the benefits of using happiness in marketing to Boomers/Seniors.
    For me, it's a great article that I'll be using in my Life Coach business.

  5. Craig Mcdaniel from Sweepstakes Today LLC, May 13, 2013 at 1:54 p.m.

    Sweepstakes and Contest is the best way to introduce a new product to baby boomer female. With 65 percent female out of over 274,000 ST members and the majority of this group is 45+. They do buy products and sweepstakes do work. With over a billion entries, and asking the members in surveys if they purchase from the sponsors, the response was overwhelming yes.

    Last, we tell our major client/sweepstakes sponsor to use their own domain verses Facebook. The reason is people don't trust FB and as a result, USA Facebook entries are 20 to 30 percent lower.

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