As marketers, understanding your audience is the most important insight to consider when formulating a marketing plan. However, when it comes to reaching Baby Boomers, many marketers tend to miss the mark.
According to Ali Hanan, founder of Creative Equals; an organization that fights for inclusion in creative industries, only five percent of the advertising industry is over the age of 50. Most advertising agency staff are young 20 to 30-year-olds who grew up with grandparents who were most likely not very active.
So when they think of marketing something like healthcare to an audience of Baby Boomers, the campaigns that are created seem to involve a bunch of grey folks who are probably confused about something or not using technology correctly.
The reality of how this cohort lives their day-to-day life couldn’t be more opposite than the stereotypes that marketers try to reach them with. Baby Boomers today are redefining what it means to grow old with grace. They’re buying cars, taking trips, paying for expensive gym memberships, and are becoming more digitally savvy every day.
Baby Boomer audiences don’t only not relate to messaging that focuses on them being technologically inept and sedentary, they typically get offended and feel ostracized by the inaccurate portrayal. Forbes states that Baby Boomers don’t even think of themselves as an aging population.
SO WHAT CAN MILLENNIAL MARKETERS DO TO EFFECTIVELY REACH BABY BOOMERS?
Taking into account the sheer diversity of the Baby Boomer generation is probably a good place to start. There are an estimated 74.4 million Baby Boomers in the United States, each of them desiring to be spoken to as an individual, not as a mass audience.
Baby Boomers also don’t like being referred to as “seniors” or “elderly”, and we can’t blame them – no one would want negatively charged words describing them, especially when the people describing them are trying to push a product. Use terms like “55+” or “aging adults” to describe Boomers.
In terms of activity levels, Baby Boomers are more active and wellness-conscious than generations prior. A How Stuff Works Health article shows that Baby Boomer activities show preference towards taking long bike rides with friends or playing sports hiking rather than being sedentary.
Get rid of the notion that technology is a foreign concept to the Baby Boomer. There are more Baby Boomers on Facebook today than there are people under the age of 18. Baby Boomers are also 19 percent more likely to share content on Facebook than any other generation, according to Pew Research Center.
Boomers have shown a love for long-form content, like informative articles, and are the population with the highest likelihood of consulting these articles prior to making purchasing decisions.
Important decisions, such as purchasing a car or choosing a healthcare plan, take Baby Boomers a long time to deliberate, often the weighing of options for what could serve them and their families best.
See a possible campaign strategy coming together? Targeting Boomers on Facebook with relatable videos or long-form written content that they can digest and make informed decisions from is a great way to start accurately targeting this misunderstood cohort.