Gimlet-Eyed Boomers: They're Skeptical Of Influencers And Advertising

Marketers spend time and money trying to determine what Gen Zers and Millennials want. But they may be neglecting another valuable group (if a slowly shrinking one): The Baby Boomers. 

The Boomers are a tough audience, especially when it comes to influencers, judging by Influencer Marketing Across Generations, a study by Captiv8. 

Only 14% of Boomers are likely to trust an influencer recommendation. In contrast, 48.8% of millennials can be swayed by one, along with 46.15% of Gen Z.  

And, 25.33% of Boomers will trust an ad that features an influencer, compared to 41.54% of Gen Zers. 

Boomers—people born between 1946 and 1964 — are also more skeptical of digital channels and advertising in general.

For instance, “16% of Baby Boomers indicated that they have made an impulse purchase based on a social media ad, making them the most difficult market to penetrate based on first-touch marketing efforts alone.” 



That said, 56% of Boomers will trust an advertisement that they deem relevant. However, 50% are less likely to trust ads that lack clear information about the brand or the person promoting it. 

(The closest age cohort to the Boomers — Gen Xers — are slightly more likely to trust ads with influencers (27.95%) and to believe an influencer recommendation (29.81%). 

What do Boomers want? Discounts — almost 60% say price is a critical factor. 

The study advises marketers: “Run targeted discount campaigns through influencer channels, emphasizing savings and value propositions. Utilize limited-time offers to create urgency and highlight value.” 

Which channels do the Boomers prefer? The study doesn’t say. But a recent survey by Ascend2 shows that Boomers like email.  

At 90%, people in the Boomer+ category are most likely to like email, versus 81% of Gen X, 72% of Millennials and 70% of Gen Z. 

Captiv8 surveyed almost 600 consumers, covering all four demographic groups, from May 1 to June 1, 2024. 


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