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A Neglected Opportunity


A Neglected Opportunity


There’s a neglected marketing opportunity that is hiding in plain sight.


According to Forbes, Boomers control a significant majority of the disposable income in the US. But data also shows that they are the target of a mere 10% of marketing dollars. The disparity between what companies are spending on Boomers and what Boomers spend is enormous; too many marketers are misallocating resources and missing out on a very important target audience.


Boomers, without question, redefined the culture. They were at the leading edge of many revolutions; the sexual revolution; the social revolution;  women’s liberation, black power;  music, the arts, fashion, literature; the list is endless.


And Boomers also led a spending revolution. They couldn’t wait to get a car, and then it was a house and all that went with it. Moreover, that acquisitive nature has not waned as they have aged. According to Nielsen, Boomers still account for the majority of spending across most major CPG categories.


Boomers are the ultimate consumers and their purchasing habits were fueled by a golden age in television advertising. Boomers grew up with advertising that was intelligent, witty, entertaining, and they connected with this messaging on a very emotional level. Today Boomers are too often lumped into a target labeled ‘Seniors’ and spoken to as if they were old people.


But they are not Seniors.  Fifty years on, the revolutions that Boomers ignited with their passion, idealism and intellect, have not abated. They see the changing social order, and they have the experience to adjust accordingly. They know what is real and enduring, and what is a transitory fad. Boomers ‘get it’ because they lived it.  And when marketers plug into this Boomer open-mindedness, a powerful marketing connection is established, because Boomers react positively to marketers who recognize their unique qualities.


Boomers may indeed be older, but as with everything else, they are also redefining the process. For them, aging is simply an inconvenient reality: they are comfortable with it and are simply looking to age well. Unlike the generation that preceded them, Boomers have no interest in retiring; in fact, 80% of people reaching 60 say they do not want to retire at 65. They intend to keep earning, and spending. For them 65 is the new 65. They have no interest in trying to be 40.


Another misperception is that Boomers are not tech savvy. While they may not be digital natives, they have become digitally fluent. Consider the fact that they actually spend more time online than Millennials. YouTube is particularly favored by Boomers; in fact, people 55+ are the fastest growing YouTube demo. And YouTube is now enormous, with viewing hours almost equal to television and rising fast.


Now we are experiencing a pandemic, which is inevitably affecting behavior across the board. One key behavioral change is that Boomers in particular are becoming even more comfortable with on-line activity; and they will retain those new found on-line habits when this period has ended. In addition, the pandemic is not impacting Boomers as harshly as other age cohorts; most Boomers are continuing to spend and they are not as likely to let the current climate negatively impact their purchase decisions.


So, that is why, as the economy starts to re-boot, companies and brands need to seriously re-think their allocation of market resources and take a harder look at the lucrative Boomer target. Boomer Consulting is here to help.


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