“When I was your age…” The five words that catapult into a story of a time where things were simpler, cheaper, and done a lot differently. Commonly, these anecdotes, told by someone who is several years your senior, transport you to a time that is unfathomable. Since social and technological advancements have transpired so rapidly over the past century, envisioning growing up in a time outside of your own childhood years can be difficult to relate to.
Different generations are accustomed to growing up in different conditions, so they will naturally respond differently to strategic marketing tactics. Therefore, the way a company markets to each generation should be entirely different—and the Baby Boomer generation is no exception.
Why To Market To Them
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, almost 8,000 people enter their 60s daily. Look at it this way: on any given day, about 8,000 prospective customers are entering the decade where they will retire. Why is this good news? When someone retires, they suddenly gain about 40 free hours in their week. They have more free time to invest in hobbies, recreation, and travel—and they want to. After spending 40+ years working, they are itching to seize the opportunities their nine to five robbed them of. Since they do have an abundance of free time, they are reading the newspaper and watching TV more than any other group of consumers, so reaching this generation with your message can be pretty easy.
How To Market To Them
- Take Your Time.
While their increasingly free schedules can be an advantage, the other side of the coin is that they have all the time in the world to make a decision. What would be one to two calls to secure a “typical sales process” is at least double the amount of time when working with Baby Boomers. Boomers grew up in a time without instant communication, so they don’t feel the need to make split-second decisions like some of their latter generations. Additionally, the communication they grew up with was strictly face-to-face, which means they will likely engage with a brand that takes the time to know their consumers and makes them feel heard.
- Text Is Your Friend.
In a world where information is told in 140 characters and pictures do the explaining, using a lot of words can seem countercultural. However, Boomers appreciate reading about a product in order to become informed about it. If you take a look at print advertisements that ran in the 1950s and 1960s, they often have paragraphs of information, letting the potential consumer know the benefits of the product and why they should invest money and time into purchasing it. They are a crowd who may take some convincing, and offering extensive detail will help gain their trust.
- Don’t Call Them Old.
Boomers are free of job responsibilities and young children to take care of. In a way, they are entering the prime of their lives; appeal to this side of them. They don’t want to be told they are limited because of their age, but instead want to be told of the opportunities available to them in the later half of life. According to a Pew Research Study, 79% of people think a person is old when he/she reaches the age of 85. These individuals don’t see themselves as old, so it’s important that you don’t either.
Appealing to the Baby Boomer generation may feel like a daunting task, but if the time and correct focus are conveyed, they just might become some of your most loyal customers.
Creative Spot is a full-service marketing and advertising agency in Columbus, Ohio. If you would like to learn more about how we can help your organization with strategic marketing, please contact us.
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