When you think of Millennials, words like young, tech-savvy and impressionable come to mind. Understandably, marketers are more than willing to jump onto this target market. Even though it may be easier to connect with Millennials through social and digital media, the Baby Boomer (BB) generation should never be swept under the rug—and with good reason.
Though they are outnumbered by Millennials, Boomers hold more purchasing power. BBs have the dough: 70% of the country’s disposable income. Also, good news for you digital marketers, 75.9% of BBs are internet users and 59.6% are digital buyers. A 2011 Forrester Research study reports that consumers ages 50+ are spending $7 billion online annually.
So don’t reserve your digital marketing campaigns for Millennials alone, start creating online content targeted at BBs; they’ve got the time to look at it and the money to act on it. Don’t shy away from engaging Boomers on social media networking sites either. They actually make up one-third of all online and social media users and over eight million spend more than 20 hours a week online.
According to this graph from Social Media Today, of people over the age of 45, 44% use Facebook and 48% are on LinkedIn. The percentage using Twitter is smaller, but it’s growing rapidly as more Boomers pick up social networking. Keep in mind, BBs and Millennials use the internet for different reasons. Boomers tend to seek out information online and pursue interpersonal relationships. Tailor your marketing accordingly.
Ultimately, you have to follow the money. The Boomer Project via USA Today reports, “As Baby Boomers are aging and accumulating wealth, their spending is growing at a pace that’s leaving younger generations far behind. Spending by the 116 million U.S. consumers age 50 and older was $2.9 trillion last year—up 45% in the past 10 years. Meanwhile, the 182 million people younger than 50 spent $3.3 trillion last year—up just 6% during the same decade.”
Some treat the Millennial generation as low-hanging fruit and completely avoid online marketing to BBs. You don’t have to pick and choose, just make sure you have online campaigns for both in order to maximize your reach and profits.