Marketing To Baby Boomers

A few things to know

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Have you noticed how many retro ads you’re seeing lately? Going retro is no accident of course. Marketers are vying to grab a suddenly very important demographic: the Baby Boomer.

Yael Davidowitz-neu
Yael Davidowitz-neu

(Interestingly, in a side note, Yael Davidowitz-neu of Google’s Retail Team suggests focusing on the glorious past is a way of easing this group’s anxiety about the economic present.)

Almost 80 million Boomers will be turning 50 soon while spending half of America’s discretionary income, according to the Google Retail Blog. That’s two trillion dollars up for grabs. They’ll be spending a lot of that money online, and while the Boomer demographic makes up 30 percent of the online population, the vast majority of them (as many as 83%) believe online advertising isn’t meant for them but for younger people.

Here’s an interesting twist, though it should be common sense: If this your target market, lay off the old jokes. Don’t call them seniors or aging hippies or even cougars. They hate that. And who wouldn’t? It’s alienating and makes them feel obsolete.

But this crew has money, unlike their kids and grandkids who are still trying to make some, and that makes Boomers a very attractive lot. With that in mind, here are some things you need to know them:


  1. Half of them have grandkids and they spend a lot of money (> $50B) on their grandkids. If they’re like my parents, they don’t need much of anything and would rather spoil their offspring’s offspring. So don’t leave them out of the loop on what the youngest generation might want.
  2. Grandma (don’t call her that) wants to still feel sexy. Don’t judge it, just help her find the creams, lotions, makeup, tighteners, girdles, exercise products, and nutrition she needs.
  3. 68 percent of boomers go online after seeing a health-related TV commercial. 80 percent click health-related ads.
  4. They’re not brand loyal like their kids, so this is good news for startups, but they’re more likely to trust a friend than you. Win grandma’s friend over, you’ll win grandma over too. So ignoring Facebook at this point might be a bad idea.
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  • http://QuittingYourJob.com David

    Like the title said, “short, sweet and to the point”. In a few short sentences, you have captured the essence of the subject – without all the hype.

    Just one thing I would like to add, grandpas want to feel sexy too. So hair loss products should work pretty too. :)

  • http://boomersint.org boomers

    Boomers! FOREVER!! yes, that’s right!
    We dont want that envelope of that mail from AARP.
    We dont want Social Security (as yet.)
    We Love Rock & Roll,
    We Love Oldies
    We Love good old days
    We dont want to work but we have to work still….
    We dont want fashion
    We want comfort
    We are techies too! Dont forget that.

  • http://www.reikipathway.com Caroline

    You`re best off not looking to categorise us at all! We hate it…. Remember we broke the original mould and intend to carry on doing so. Freedom was the word then and freedom is the word now. The article doesn`t go far enough. It`s not about not calling us this or that (whether or not you think it … don`t call her grandma …don`t judge it …). You`d better wise up and change your misconceptions altogether. Anyone being patronising and condescending in their adds to the 60`s lot are in real trouble. They won`t even annoy, they will be laughed at as ignorant of reality. We changed the way a generation expected us to behave in the 60`s and we are doing it again now. We have a whole new freedom we live by and if you want to get through to us you`d better recognise that first. :)

    Get offa my cloud … talking `bout my generation …. Come writers and critics throughout the land … and don`t criticise what you don`t understand ….

  • http://www.citystyleapartments.ee/ Anneli

    We have noticed it in the accommodation market. Baby boomers are the ones who would order a limousine and rent an upper scale holiday accommodation (often they will bring the grand kids along). Their kids and grand kids would rather crash in a hostel or cheap hotel .

  • http://boomersurvive-thriveguide.typepad.com Rita

    Check your figures.

    There are currently 80 million baby boomers ranging in age from 45 to 63.

    Your comment that 80 million boomers will be turning 50 doesn’t seem right.

    Rita blogging for boomer consumers at The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide

  • http://www.bellajewelz.com bella Jewelz

    I saw a commercial for a phone called the Jitterbug, I guess they wanted a name that Baby Boomers would like.

  • http://www.notjustthekitchen.com rita

    Isn’t it wonderful that marketers finally figured out who has the money, who is spending it and how. Even a few golf clubs have started to stock fashionable golf apparel for women. I wonder when the rest will realize that women will spend money on cute outfits not baggy golf shirts.

  • http://www.gardenpartytea.com Jo

    And while we don’t need to be the height of fashion, please quit trying to sell us those ugly “little old lady clothes” from days gone by. We aren’t teens and we don’t want those clothes but I’m not wearing little old lady stuff either!

    Clean, classic lines with pretty fabrics would work really well for me. So get busy, designers! And yes, a lot of us are plus size. We have money. We’ll spend it. WHEN we find something we like.

  • Tracy Cornish

    The Baby Boomers want Good Health & Great Wealth.

  • http://www.dealappliances.com Gojiin

    Babies are the most adorable ones that any parent can have. They are fun to play with and almost all of us would find a little bit of ourselves in them. But at the same time caring for babies is the biggest responsibilities that young parent are entrusted with each time they have new babies.

  • http://www.babypushchairsreviewed.co.uk/pramspushchairs/ Baby Prams Pushchairs

    This is yet again a very helpful article- thanks!
    I have baby boomers as part of my prams/pushchairs market but I never thought of some of the points you brought up about their social networking they rely on, and the fact they have so much they want to spend on the younger generations :)

  • Guest

    Here’s an article I wrote on Marketing to Baby Boomers:

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