In The Age Of Digital Fatigue, Reach Out Face To Face

Boomers are the largest generation of consumers in the history of mankind. They expect to take it all and have done a pretty fine job of having it all. As the first generation to grow up in “a better world” post-World War II, they are projected to control more than 70% of the U.S. disposable wealth over the next several years. Which makes it especially crucial to understand—and tap into—judging what it is they want from brands. 

So how do you connect with this affluent market? First, it’s important to focus on where Boomers are in their life stage and what motivates them. This highly self-accomplished group has moved beyond the material-gathering phase to the latter half of their lives, where they aim to bask in the rewards of wisdom, knowledge and most importantly, experiences. If there’s one thing that Boomers crave, it’s immersive experiences that that go beyond the digital. 



This is not to say that Boomers have not engaged in the digital revolution. They created it, after all. But they also remain largely loyal to the value of analogue interactions and savor the context surrounding a product often more than the product itself. We know this demographic values the reward of the wait for a reservation at Per Se. They value a Gucci bag purchased in Paris over the same one purchased at home, and they will willingly travel across the world to connect, be inspired and socialize.

We call that “Conversational Capital.” When we created a Montreal-based executive conference with Cirque du Soleil, the concern was real – will people show? The answer was a resounding yes – Boomer executives are in search of personal connections and live experiences in this antiseptic world of screens. Whilst the Millennials focus on the virtual, Boomers are out in the real world, embracing the real, human interactions presented to them. They value the belief that experiences shape one’s identity, an identity they have sculpted without restraint in their 50-plus years instead of the fickle digital social scrutiny so popular today.

4 comments about "In The Age Of Digital Fatigue, Reach Out Face To Face ".
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  1. Amy Murray from HZDG, May 21, 2014 at 2 p.m.

    I don't believe that there is a difference between Millennials and Baby Boomers when it comes to people in search of personal connections and live experiences as that desire spans across generations. The shift is really a result of post recessionary behavior that people are less focused on "keeping up with the Jones" and are changing the types of things they spend their time on. A unique experience is something that people are willing to pay for and they want to share those experiences with their friends and family too.

  2. R MARK REASBECK from www.USAonly.US , May 21, 2014 at 2:28 p.m.

    At 62, I'm a Boomerite through and through. I prefer a conversation over texting, a walk-in theater rather than watching a 3" screen, just because we can. I don't take pictures of my food, I HATE Facebook because you can have hundreds of "Friends" and not even know them. I have 5 adult kids who have a smart phone as an attached appendage and you can never reach them. I'm sick of looking around in a restaurant and no one talks, they have their face burried in a screen.I only buy American made vehicles, usually a truck, and despise the minivans with 7 movie screens to yet have the tube babysit your kids. We are "technically" more connected than ever, but totally disconnected in the relationship dept. Great video about this:
    Yes I do focus on the Real World, and just so you know I am in the digital world, check out my website for Made-in-USA Products www.USAonly.US

  3. Ben Brown from S, May 21, 2014 at 4:57 p.m.

    Great article!

    I work as a strategist on a number of brands targeting Boomers. The author has highlighted a critical duality at the heart of this cohort - the perpetually youthful, experience-driven generation who, having worked hard their entire lives, are reaching a point in their lives where they expect refinement, sophistication and the human touch. Nothing less than the best will do.

    If there's any doubt - Look at who's driving experience-based categories like travel, hospitality or dining in the US. Look at which cohort has the highest demands on in-store service staff. Look at who is spending the most on high-touch luxury categories like automotive and leather.

    These insights around Boomers are valuable, and too often associated to just the Millennial generation. A waste, too, since Boomers control such a high degree of disposable income...

  4. David Arelette from Oral Bioscience, May 22, 2014 at 1:50 a.m.

    There are two boomer groups, 1947 to 1958/59 and the 1960s onwards - if you cannot see then then you weren't there - it took until late 1946 until most service people were demoblised and were home long enough to start again. The 1950s were the real analogue times - cars with no active safety, almost free gasoline, b&w television and education just starting to reflect the efficiencies learned in WW2. By 1960, the space age had started and the elements of the nanny state were on the rise - tax and spend, college education, the Boeing 707, John Glenn - those born post 1960 are different to the decade prior. Mark R is correct, I'd rather sit around with other PhDs and talk and drink premium wine where both the content of what you say and how you express this matter. By the end of the two boomer groups, we had the late 1960s with the truism that if you can remember that time then you weren't there.

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