Your biggest marketing flub? Mistaking these hardworking multitaskers for a bunch of Facebook-fearing Luddites.
While modern marketers are working diligently to connect with Generation X, millennials, and Gen Z, many are overlooking one of the world’s most prosperous and connected demographics—baby boomers.
The influential post–World War II generation, born between 1946 and 1964, makes up 33 percent of the United States’ affluent population, according to the 2015 Ipsos Affluent Survey USA (Gen X composes 37 percent). And boomers bring in $2.4 trillion in annual income, which accounts for 42 percent of all after-tax income in the country, reports the latest Consumer Expenditure Survey.
Find them online
They’re also, contrary to popular belief, avid consumers of online and social media channels. According to a 2015 study from marketing agency DMN3, 82 percent of boomers are on Facebook, while more than 30 percent are on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. “Social media is really the preferred way of staying in touch for boomers now,” says Brent Green, president of marketing firm Brent Green & Associates Inc. and author of several books on baby boomers. “They are an active and engaged demographic.”
For starters, this means brands should be connecting with the generation online—on Facebook, through search engines, and via email.
“Those that discount new media, assuming baby boomers fail to use it, are making a big blunder,” says Jim Gilmartin, president of Coming of Age, a boomer and “seniors” marketing agency. “Older populations are increasingly becoming immersed in the Internet, and in many ways can be compared to users who are decades younger. Baby boomers are using all forms of information gathering available to them.”
And they’re not just chatting online—they’re buying and researching products. According to the DMN3 study, more than half of boomers will visit a company website or continue the search on a search engine after seeing something on a social networking site that piques their interest.