Although millennials officially outnumber boomers, let’s not forget the spending power wielded by boomers.
Age is just a number to boomers, who aren’t sitting at home wondering how to connect to the WiFi and counting the minutes until they take their next round of pills. Instead, they are traveling, spend time outdoors -- and, according to U.S. News & World Report, control 70% of the country’s disposable income and spend $3.2 trillion a year.
George Clooney, Julianne Moore, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey, Jr., Lenny Kravitz, LL Cool J and Nicole Kidman are just a few AARP card carriers. Do they seem inactive to you?
Millennials and hot on their tail Gen Z may have some money to spend now — but boomers have it yesterday, today and tomorrow. Targeting boomers might not be as Instagrammable as a millennial demo, but it is instantly gratifying.
According to Total Retail Report, a mere 10% of marketing budgets is allocated to the boomer audience, while 50% goes to marketing to millennials. Odd — especially since “Baby Boomers outspend every other generation by $400 billion annually, providing over 50 percent of U.S. consumption.”
A study by the National Venture Capital Association, Ernst & Young and AARP finds ad spend even lower, stating that “Baby Boomers spend the most across all product categories but are targeted by just 5-10 percent of marketing. There’s simply a lack of marketing, and that sometimes results in low awareness of cutting-edge solutions by many 50+ consumers.”
Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys Inc., told the New York Times that “while the millennials are sharing stuff, boomers are buying stuff. If you are a brand, you are in business to make money, and a tweet or share or laugh online doesn’t translate into actual bottom-line dollars. Boomers are an audience that’s worth pursuing in virtually every category.”
Not only should advertisers target boomers in nearly every ad category, they should also target boomers in all ad media — and that especially includes social media.
While it’s a safe bet you’ll reach the boomer audience advertising during the evening news broadcast or an episode of “NCIS,” toss the assumption that boomers are lacking in tech knowledge. Boomers are active on Instagram and good old-fashioned email marketing.
According to Nielsen, baby boomers are the second heaviest users of the internet and more than half of boomers are on Facebook.
Nielsen also found that “Boomers account for nearly $230 billion in sales for consumer-packaged goods.” The demo also spends close to $7 billion shopping ONLINE.
Lastly, Nielsen established that boomers spend almost $90 billion a year on cars -- nearly 30% more than other age groups. This last stat doesn’t surprise me much, given that many millennials wait to get their driver’s license, regularly use ride share services like Uber and Lyft and use alternative means of transportation -- think bicycles -- when possible. This doesn’t mean millennials aren’t buying cars. They are, but car ownership isn’t atop their priority list.
How and where are you targeting boomers?