8 min read

For our latest Google Marketing Platform meetup, we spoke about marketing to baby boomers with Bronwyn White, CEO of New Young Consulting. Bronwyn discussed the most predictable marketing opportunity we have ever had: Marketing to Seniors.

Bronwyn will help us connect with this multi-trillion dollar global economy – the most cashed-up, time-rich generation of our lifetimes. She will share her deep understanding of the baby boomer generation including the nuanced complexities and a complete, well-rounded understanding of the opportunities available for growth in this sector.

Watch the webinar below:

Marketing to Seniors: The Rich Generation

What we’ll cover:

  • Why Should We Care about Baby Boomers
    • Fertility Rate Graph
    • Household Wealth
    • Consumer Spending by Segment
    • Life History that Shaped their Attitudes
    • Differences from Past Older Generations
    • Market Comparison
  • Mythbusting
    • Scared with Technology
    • They Don’t Use Internet for Research
      • Implications
      • Statements/Testimony
      • Content Marketing should be King and Queen
    • Use Images of Seniors in Marketing to Them
      • Images and Video General Rule of Thumb
      • Engage in Ageless Marketing Practices
  • Marketing Crimes Committed Against ‘Seniors’
    • Contrived, Implied and Stereotyped Images
    • Briefing is Key
    • Wordings and Captions
  • The Future is Female Baby Boomers
    • Gender Blind Spot
    • Women are Influencers
    • Tips on Marketing to Boomer Women

tl;dr? View the slides instead:

Why Should We Care about Baby Boomers?

Total Fertility Rate in Australia (1930 to 2010)

In terms of population, baby boomers are a huge demographic. More are retiring every day and they have more time and more money than anyone else.

Fertility rate in Australia 1930 to 2010

Household Wealth

This chart shows the wealth of households in Australia, by age bracket. As you can see, the mass of Australian wealth sits with the +55’s market.
Proportion of household wealth in Australia by generation/age

Consumer Spending by Segment

Consumer spending by segment - marketing to seniors

Interesting Life History that Shaped their Attitudes

Baby boomers have had an interesting life history which has shaped their attitudes. They’re fun, active and adventurous and they were a generation with a loud of firsts.

  • Travelling before the internet (TripAdvisor, Instagram)
  • Popping all sorts of pills and going to festivals before you were
  • They didn’t call it the swinging 60s for nothing (sexual freedom driven by the pill)

Key Differences to Past Older Generations

  • In 1900, life expectancy for much of the industrialised world was under 50
  • Today, living well into one’s 70s, 80s and beyond
  • Desire to purchase enjoyable, satisfying and memorable experiences rather than possessions
  • Not concerned with longer life but quality of life
  • Active interest in health and fitness

They are not stopping spending, like previous generations did, not even spending reluctantly, just spending differently for different reasons

– Dan. S. Kennedy

Feedback and Contact Options

Feedback and contact options - millennials vs baby boomers

Mythbusting

Myth #1: Scared / Out of Touch with Technology

  • This used to be true of the silent generationsMarketing to seniors - Myth 1: Scared/Out of Touch with Technology
  • When computers first arrived in workplaces, baby boomers had to learn to use them
  • Very comfortable using and spending on technology
  • Overwhelmingly see technology as having a positive impact on their lives, always connected and willing to spend online

Myth #2: They Don’t Use The Internet Much For Research

  • The most sophisticated and heaviest online researchers I have seen  – in the travel vertical
  • Spending hundreds of hours researching

Implications:

Baby Boomers Statement  on Internet Search (travel):

Baby Boomers Statements on Internet Search

Content Marketing Should be King and Queen

 

Content Marketing Should Be KING and QUEEN

  • They tend to have good attention spans
  • You simply cannot have enough content for this market when they are actively researching
  • They can spend hundreds of hours researching on high involvement purchasing like travel
  • Stories (blog)
  • Video – they will probably watch the whole thing
  • Images

Myth #3: Use Images of Seniors in Marketing To Them

  • Seniors don’t think they are senior
  • Don’t call them senior
  • No old people photos
  • They don’t want to see pictures of old people in advertising
  • They feel youthful and adventurous
  • There is a true discrepancy between chronological age and perceived age

 

Marketing to Seniors: Images vs Perception

There is a disconnect between Grandpa on the outside and Grandpa on the inside…you need to talk to the ‘inside Grandpa’

Images and Video General Rule of Thumb

  • Good high-quality imagery
  • Images with people
  • Images with movement
  • Relatable
  • Not staged
  • Images with single women
  • No geriatric style images with ‘daggy’ looking old people

Marketing to Seniors - Images

This image would be great in a Campaign. This IS what retirement is all about. Good times, and hanging out with your Grandkids.”

Engage in Ageless Marketing Practices

  • When in doubt, from a tactical perspective, it is much safer
  • They are involved in everyone’s lives
  • Attractive scenes should be incorporated
  • By practising ageless marketing, you don’t risk alienating others
  • Boomers are often making the decisions on behalf of others or at least, have a high influence

Marketing to Seniors: Crimes Committed

Is your Marketing Team guilty of the Boomer cringe images?

Crimes committed in marketing to seniorsCrimes committed in marketing to seniorsCrimes committed in marketing to seniors

Briefing is KEY

  • Ensure your ad and digital marketing agencies are briefed
  • Ensure your marketing staff are briefed

Images - marketing to seniors

Wording and Captions

Words – this is the start of a new life. Don’t finish us off!

Wording and Captions when Marketing to Seniors

The Future is Female Baby Boomers

Today’s Boomer women start 70% of all new businesses. It’s just where the BUCKS are.

Watch Your Gender Blind Spot

  • Boomer women are high in numbers
  • Make 85% of purchasing decisions for their households
  • They will control more than 75% of US wealth as they inherit from parents
  • Influence spending around them:
    • buy on behalf of the people who live in their households, as well as for extended family (such as older parents and in-laws) and friends.

Marketing to Female Seniors

“If there is a disconnect between how marketers view Boomer women and how these women perceive themselves, it could be because 97% of all creative directors are male, and still seeing marketing through a male lens”.

Source: Boomer Women, The Invisible Goldmine Whitepaper (Girlpower Marketing)

Influencer, Not InvisibleBaby boomer women are influencers

  • 91% of Boomer women feel that marketers do not understand them
  • Appreciate balanced images in marketing campaigns
  • Boomer women are:
    • Strong
    • Active
    • Fearless
    • Know what they want
  • Ageless marketing that doesn’t paint them as 20 years old or nearly dead…somewhere in the middle is good!

Tips on How To Market To Boomer Women

  • Appeal to their sense of adventure, curiosity, renegade energy and continuous development
  • Implying they’re ready to toddle off into the sunset will repel them
  • Show Boomer women in a variety of roles and settings
  • Each Boomer woman is an individual, not just “half of a whole”
  • Don’t always show her accompanying a husband

Marketing to Seniors: The Future is Female

 

THANK YOU!

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Paul Hewett

Paul Hewett

Commercial Director & Consultant at In Marketing We Trust. Spends his day applying creativity and technology to provide growth for ambitious brands. First job was in the circus!

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