Don’t call me old: 8 tips for smart baby boomer marketing

8 tips for smart baby boomer marketing

While the vast majority of marketing strategies seem to be about Millennials these days, many brands may not be capitalizing enough on the still-substantial baby boomer marketing.

A recent report by the National Venture Capital Association notes that by 2020, the number of Americans older than 50 will number 118 million, a number growing to 132 million by 2030. And their spending power is impressive: they hold the highest net worth of any generation in the U.S. and already spend some $3 trillion annually — which should ramp up to $4.74 trillion by 2033.

“Why would you leave money on the table by ignoring a market of over 100 million people who spend over $3 trillion per year and is the only humongous growth market that exists?” ask the authors. “Opportunities in the 50-plus space are numerous — in technology, social, ecommerce, travel, entertainment, education, transportation, financial services, healthcare, wellness and yes, anti-aging. (And) products and services designed for 65-plus (consumers) are equally relevant to GenX, as well as boomers, as these are their parents.”

When launching an inbound marketing campaign aimed at baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964), consider the following:

  • Boomers generate 49 percent of all consumer-packaged goods sales to the tune of some $230 billion annually, dominating 119 of 123 CPG categories, Nielsen reports in the NVCA study. Some areas of greatest impact? Marketers, take note: They’re responsible for 45 percent of sales in apparel and entertainment; 44 percent in transportation; 43 percent in personal care and food; 43 percent in healthcare and 42 percent in housing.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Americans older than 50 frequently optimize technology including mobile and social, so they’re a great target for mobile ads. “It might surprise you to learn that 96 percent of baby boomers use search engines, 95 percent use email and 92 percent shop for products and services online,” notes Karina Tama-Rutigliano in Forbes. Studies also show 60 percent read blogs and 70 percent watch videos about products and services.
  • Facebook can be a very effective boomer marketing tool since 72 percent of Facebook users are between 50 and 64.
  • In general, boomers are optimistic about the future and more health conscious than previous generations, says Tama-Rutigliano; as such, you might avoid the words “aging” and “elderly” in your marketing, though “senior” and “senior citizen” seem acceptable. Boomers are also known for valuing their independence and for seeking new learning opportunities and experiences.
  • Avoid condescension of any kind, particularly when it comes to your content marketing quality. Boomers are OK with explanatory videos, for example, as long as they’re not insultingly simple.
  • When viewing ads, boomers tend to prefer simple formatting, highly visible text and easy-to-view color schemes, reports Syed Balkhi in Entrepreneur. And make sure your content is mobile-friendly for boomers with diminished eyesight.
  • Boomers dislike cheesy headlines that sound like clickbait, says Balkhi, who recommends more straightforward titles.
  • Avoid confusing or annoying boomer audiences by staying away from slang or abbreviations with which they may be unfamiliar.

Learning the characteristics of the baby boomer segment could be a huge eye-opener in how you might expand your next marketing campaign.

“Some marketers think the boomer generation is boring,” notes Neil Patel on “This is a huge mistake. Boomers can be sexy; they’re not as old as you think; they’re not that set in their ways; and they’re incredibly tech savvy. The baby boom generation is probably the hottest age-defined marketing segment you can tap into.”

RingSquared can help design a smart inbound boomer marketing campaign that gets baby boomers’ attention. Call us at 1-800-700-1987.