Marketing To Baby Boomers

    May 11, 2009
    WebProNews Staff

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.