To know what drives baby boomers could be your gateway to success
What drives baby boomers when making a purchase decision is occupying the whole marketing world. To find the correct answer could mean the entrance to a vast market with a lot of financial resources to push the purchase button.
Frequently the industry and the entire society analyze the market to really understand what drives baby boomers in their purchase process. All humans need to go through a process before bringing out a credit card.
There are many reasons why the baby boomer segment gets so much attention. It’s a large group growing steadily. In 2019 it is estimated that 21.19% of the U.S. population belong to the baby boomer group.
To correctly understand the decision process marketers use to divide the people into the following six groups:
- GI Generation – born between 1901 and 1926
- Silent Generation – born between 1927 and 1945
- Baby Boomers – born between 1946 and 1964
- Generation X – born between 1965 and 1980
- The Y generation, also called the millennial generation – born between 1981 and 2000
- The young Z generation –born after 2001
A hidden powerful and profitable market segment
Two important reasons why baby boomers always are an attractive target group for marketers. One is the massive size of the segment, and the other the solid average purchase power.
The baby boomers also represent the first generation that uses the word “retirement” differently. With better health and an increase in longevity, they view retirement in a different way.
It’s the period in life when the focus will be on life quality. Instead of passing the rest of their lives in a rocking chair, behaving according to the old “rules” of old people. They go scuba diving, exercise, practice their favorite hobbies, and travel the world.
The decision process for baby boomers is not only focused on their purchasing behavior but also on how to continue an active life working on personal projects and income streams.
How to Figure Out the Decision Process
Every serious and professional marketer starts the marketing effort by understanding and getting to know as much as possible about their target audience. The definition of the so-called avatar could be the difference between success and failure.
You can find tons of material elsewhere to understand what drives baby boomers in their decision process. However, seven fundamental rules never can be ignored when attracting baby boomers to your business.
Be laser-precise on your promises
Never try to win a baby boomer to your business by cheating him or her. You even have to be crystal clear on what you are promising. Trust is key to any successful marketing, but if a baby boomer doesn’t see total transparency in your offer, you can forget about the individual as a customer.
Provide outstanding customer service
Baby boomers come from an environment where disposable products aren’t that common. The purchase mentality in the decision process is more focused on a sound investment with good performance and yield effect than on short-term results or consequences. Therefore, customer service is a fundamental part of the product.
Offer extensive online resources
A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that baby boomers don’t handle online platforms and resources as the millennium generation. Attention and re-think! According to the Washington Post, baby boomers is the fastest-growing demographic group online. They spend more time online than watching TV—something to seriously take into consideration.
Social media a must in your marketing mix
Baby boomers represent the fastest-growing age group on Facebook. To go after the baby boomers ignoring Facebook as an essential platform is like leaving money on the table.
Call to action
Although baby boomers are very active on different social media and other online platforms, their natural behavior differs from that of younger people. Even if an offer is clearly explained on the site, the next step and go shopping isn’t a 100% natural step to take. Therefore, every single offer on the web must have a clear and distinct call to action message.
Mobile friendly promotions
The baby boomer segment is increasing their participation in online purchasing through their smartphones. However, due to their background, still, they do not handle the phone with the same easiness their kids and grandchildren do. Add to this that with age, visions and other age-related physical deteriorations can occur. Adapt mobile messages and call to action buttons accordingly.
Never refer to age
All the previous six pieces of advice will lose their effect entirely if you go wrong on the age issue. The baby boomer generation is not looking forward to retirement in the old traditional way. It’s an active generation, still ready to deliver a lot of value to society. Never use their age as an excuse or explanation for why things turn out the way they do. It’s the same as closing the door forever to this powerful and influential audience.
Where to Find Baby Boomers Online
For all marketing online, you need to understand where to find your target audience. According to the Houston-based Institute DMN3, over 82% of baby boomers in the U.S. belong to at least one social network.
Facebook is number one, and other networks are growing.
Even if baby boomers don’t spend as much time as the younger generations, Facebook seems to be the media where even 50+ people spend a considerable amount of hours per week. Thus, Facebook is a must if you want to connect with baby boomers via social networks.
The same survey also shows the typical procedure for boomers after viewing an offer on social media. As much as 57.1% continue to the seller’s website. Almost the same number of people continue to search for additional information on the search engines. Only 33.8% made a purchase directly after visiting social media.
The takeaway from this analysis is that a well-structured and user-friendly website will increase the purchase rate considerably.
An Active Lifestyle is What Drives Baby Boomers Mostly
With all reforms and positivism starting to flow after the war, the first formal retirement systems and funds were created. The first group of people benefiting from the system could retire with quite decent economic compensation.
However, after all these years, the retirement plans have suffered a lot. The world has gone through various financial crises. The value of the funds suffers each time more. The improved general health and a massively growing group of people to retire do not accumulate sufficient funds to fulfill the initial commitment to the employees.
We also need to add the effect of Covid-19, which right now is too early to predict.
Today, very few individuals can retire with a decent economic base unless successful personal savings are in place.
“Retired but not Tired”
On top of this, the baby boomer of today wants to continue his or her active life. The phrase “Retired and but tired” goes for most people approaching the age of getting retired.
A recent article explains how baby boomers outspend millennials, a reason you should take this group seriously into consideration.
In a nutshell, the two main reasons for upper age people to continue to work with something actively are:
- Not financially feasible to live a decent life based on the pension payout after retirement.
- The desire to continue to work.
Since online marketing appeared in the market, the large and essential baby boomer group has something that really will fit in perfectly in their lives as “Retired by not tired” people.
- No significant investments are required. With a couple of hundreds of dollars, the business will be up and running.
- The business combines perfectly well with the desired lifestyle for a retired person, who the entire life has been tied up with a physical working place and formal time schemes. With a laptop and an Internet connection, you can work from anywhere in the world. You can travel with your partner or family without losing connection to your business.
- The tremendous experience (both timewise and content-wise) a person has after working for maybe 40 or 50 years cannot be replaced with anything. Use this experience!
- Affiliate marketing is a perfect concept for baby boomers. No worry about products, inventory, or anything else related to a “regular” business.
“We don’t grow older, we grow riper.”
– Pablo Picasso
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Jan O. Nilsson – What Drives Baby Boomers in their Decision Process <==Go to the top of page