The boomer generation as a target group – wasted potential?

Boomers are more trend-conscious, wealthier, and tech-savvier than they’re given credit for – and it doesn’t stop there. Read on to learn what matters to the boomer generation and why it can pay off for brands to embrace this target group.

The boomer generation is (still) underestimated as a target group.
Image: © Alessandro Biascioli / Adobe Stock

Meet the boomers

Amid all the marketing tips for young age groups like Gen Z and millennials, we shouldn’t lose sight of the boomer generation. People born between the start of the 1950s and the end of the 1960s are still hardly being addressed as a target group by many brands. However, they are precisely the people who offer enormous potential. Accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic, boomers are researching, browsing, and buying in the e-commerce sector more than ever before.

3 reasons why the boomer generation should be on your marketing agenda

The boomer generation is an attractive target group for marketers for several different reasons. The following are the most relevant to you:

#1 Boomers are living longer

People’s life expectancy is increasing thanks to medical advances and a better standard of living. Demographic changes are also playing a significant role: recent figures from the German Federal Statistical Office reveal that the proportion of older people in Germany’s total population increased from 12 million to 18 million between 1991 and 2019 – and the upward trend is set to continue. Consequently, older people will be more and more interesting for marketers in the future simply because there will be more of them.

#2 The boomer generation has a lot of buying power

The boomer generation is affluent – in the USA alone, it possesses around

of the population’s total wealth.

In Germany too, the average wealth enjoyed by boomers is about 30 percent higher than that of younger generations. The reasons for this are varied. For one thing, today’s older citizens benefited in their young years from the post-war educational expansion and economic boom; and for another, they are generally inheriting assets from the generation before them much later in life due to people’s longer life expectancy.

The coronavirus pandemic and the new focus on social distancing, hygiene, and safety have spurred boomers to engage in e-commerce even more intensely. The boomer generation is now the fastest-growing group of online shoppers.

#3 Baby boomers are the trendsetters of today

Baby boomers are on the cusp of a new chapter in their life. When they reach retirement age, they often have much more time for their hobbies and interests. They want to experiment and expose themselves to new experiences – but never without the worries that come with age. That is being directly reflected in the market: many trends of recent years have been driven by the needs and desires of the boomer generation.

For example, the increased demand for wellness trips and the higher sales of e-bikes and SUVs are linked with boomers wanting to enjoy themselves, while at the same time being supported in everyday life. In this context, the tech industry in particular has an enormous chance to win over the boomer generation – whether with self-driving cars, robots that help with the housecleaning, or smart homes.

How to trigger the boomer generation

If you want to target the boomer generation with your brand, you need to thoroughly understand its typical values, desires, and motivations. Among other things, analyses and data on the online behavior and search entries of boomers can provide valuable answers here.

There are also some basic principles for reaching the boomer generation:

  • Facebook is by far the boomer generation’s favorite network. If your brand wants to also attract older people, then a Facebook campaign is a must.
  • Content is king – especially for boomers. If you offer content that is both visually appealing and has added value because it responds to the boomer generation’s problems and questions, your brand will be sure to impress this target group.
  • Video content is really gaining ground from a marketing perspective. You should experiment with various formats and messages to see what works best on older people.
  • Font size, contrast, the size of the CTA button – the more accessible your digital content is to the boomer generation, the more likely it will remember your brand in a positive light and as one that is inclusive and trustworthy.
  • If there’s one thing that boomers don’t like being called, it’s “old”, seeing as many people who belong to the baby boomer generation are only in their mid-sixties and are still enjoying life to the full. For your campaign to achieve the desired effect, you should therefore highlight how your brand’s products can benefit users, instead of focusing on their age.

Time for more boomer marketing

While the boomer generation is (still) being neglected by many marketers, the potential that this target group offers is simply too great to be ignored. After all, the boomers are just as abundant as the money in their bank accounts, and they’re not afraid to spend it. So, marketers – what are you waiting for?

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