The New Way To Connect With Boomers: Inbound Marketing

Twenty years ago, brands treated consumers like a captive audience. A dinner interrupted by cold calls, morning radio playing more ads than music, and piles of unsolicited mail finding its way into the mailbox are pretty familiar memories for Boomers. Back then, the rules of marketing were that there were no rules; advertisers have put profit before people since the Madison Avenue days. Until recently, when brands realized that if they wanted to stick around, they’d need to ditch the old playbook. 

Humans have dramatically changed the way they shop and buy since the Boomer generation was the apple of every advertiser’s eye. Consumers today have grown up with digital tools at their fingertips that give them the power to mute interruptive marketing for good. Not surprisingly, marketing is finally starting to take a different form. Now, blogs and websites have replaced brochures and storefronts, and social media is key in connecting with your buyers. We call this new way of reaching your audience inbound marketing. At its core, inbound is about pulling people in with valuable online content and creating a personalized, helpful brand experience throughout the buying process. 



But there’s a problem. Some brands are quick to assume that Boomers are immune to inbound marketing because they’re not digital natives. The reality is, this generation is becoming more and more present online; according to Google, 83% of Boomers use the internet to find information before any other medium. Sounds pretty savvy to me. With people over the age of 50 controlling 70% of disposable income in the United States, marketers should be thinking about how they can deliver a meaningful experience to Boomer buyers online. Here are a few things for marketers to think about: 

Mobile Matters 

People joke that older generations hardly know how to text, let alone use a smartphone. Turns out, the joke’s on them; Boomers aren’t just connecting with their family and friends on mobile, but with brands. Forty-nine percent of people over the age of 45 have made a purchase on their smartphone and even more use mobile devices to gather information about a product or company. Marketers today need to prioritize optimizing their site for mobile in order to leave a valuable impression. 

Get Social

Social platforms may be flooded with memes, viral videos, and Jennifer Lawrence, but that doesn’t mean Millennials are the only people online. In the past four years, the number of Boomers using social media has tripled to 43%, according to Pew Research Center. The great thing about social media marketing is that you can segment your efforts; for example, Boomers spend most of their time on Facebook compared to other networks. Focus on customizing your social media content based on where Boomers are spending time. 

Don’t Forget Video

Video content is an effective inbound marketing tool today. Especially when it comes to reaching the Boomer generation. Over 50% of Boomers view and share videos online, with YouTube being the most popular platform. Posting video clips about your products, company, or just for fun is an engaging way to start a dialogue and share information. Whether you use an iPhone or a professional videographer, make sure you’re creating videos that are relevant and interesting to your 50 and over audience. 

All too often marketers overlook the Boomer generation and set their sights on younger, digitally fluent buyers. This not only neglects a valuable audience, but the growth of your business. Instead, develop an inbound marketing strategy that keeps Boomers’ tech savvy in mind to connect with this generation in a meaningful way.

3 comments about "The New Way To Connect With Boomers: Inbound Marketing".
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  1. Arthur Koff from, September 15, 2014 at 11:46 a.m.

    85% of the traffic to RetiredBrains is in the 50+ age demographic and we receive a great deal of this traffic from social media. We have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn as well as our own Blog.

    Revenue from advertising on the site has increased substantially, but the areas of primary interest remain working at home, employment and starting a business--all concerned with creating income. The only other area which gets huge traffic is our senior discounts pages.

  2. Michael Farley from Interactive Management Services, September 15, 2014 at 8:19 p.m.

    Superboomers are Big Spenders
    Dubbed the “Unstoppables” the next generation of 50+ consumers are free from limiting beliefs about age-appropriate consumption. With more active minds, fitter bodies and entrepreneurial power, this group is increasingly becoming the face of fashion, beauty, design and media.
    UK marketers have coined the term “Superboomers” to describe a demographic whose wealth and health means they are embracing a boundary less lifestyle, in which cultural and societal conceptions of age, beauty, fashion, relationships and careers are re-imagined.
    In Britain this group of “Superboomers” hold 75% of UK’s wealth and account for 24% of the population .
    Similarly, in Australia the boomer generation has been dubbed “the Unstoppables” and makes for a rapidly growing market. Their buying power is equally as impressive, with Adults 45+ accounting for a total of $4 billion of disposable income each week, holding almost half of the nation’s wealth.
    The over-50s have the leisure time, the ability and the willingness to shop for consumer durables, technical, leisure and luxury goods. Travel is high on their agenda with 88% of this group intending to holiday domestically in the next 12 months and 64% intending to holiday overseas in the coming two years according to recent surveys .
    These compelling statistics factored strongly in the Australian launch of new lifestyle and entertainment site www.RetirementLiving.TV which is a comprehensive, targeted information destination tailored specifically to aspirational Baby Boomers.
    www.RetirementLiving.TV speaks exclusively to the 50+ market and those who want to enjoy the fruits of their labour but seek direction, motivation and inspiration to do so. The website is designed to unearth the kind of high-end lifestyle choices and quality entertainment that Australian Baby Boomers want today.
    Statistics also show that this group’s online activity is on a growth trajectory. Currently 5.9 million Australians over the age of 50 access the internet every month and 90% of this segment shops online with over half purchasing travel online rather than through traditional travel agents .

    Online is now where a huge portion of this demographic gets its daily news, rather than buying newspapers.
    Yet another fascinating market trend is the online consumption of video content.
    These stats below come from international video software provider
    • The number of online video consumers is set to double by 2016
    • 65% of an online users time is spent streaming video
    • Sites with video are 53x more likely to be on page 1 of a search engine
    • Video increases people's understanding of your product by up to 74%
    • 85% of customers are more likely to buy after watching video

    The 50+ is jumping on board this trend and is already consuming rich media in greater quantities.
    Figures show that 33% of this segment are ‘multi-screeners’ who are online while watching TV .

  3. Erin Read from Creating Results, Inc., September 16, 2014 at 1:03 p.m.

    Creating Results' research backs up Google's findings that Boomers turn to the web first when starting their purchase journey. Specifically, our 2013 "Social, Silver Surfers" study found that 83% of recent mature movers had gone online when considering a new home. 71% had used search engines as part of their move decision.

    We also found that nearly 4 in 10 of respondents had rejected communities based solely on their website. So it's critical that marketers improve the experience on their sites for Social, Silver Surfers. Through mobile and video, yes, and also by avoiding Boomer pet peeves like required sign up and poor navigation.

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