Understanding Today’s Baby Boomers

By Patrick Hanavan  | 

When it comes to demographics, many advertisers focus their attention on the young. Age groups like the Millennials and Generation Z tend to get the lion’s share of media attention and advertising budgets. But there’s another well known, if occasionally overlooked, group worthy of advertisers’ attention: Baby Boomers.  Here are a few reasons why this generation might require a rethink of your next ad campaign.

Boomers are more tech-savvy than you think
The assumption of many advertisers is that digital devices are the exclusive province of Millennials and Gen Z. But according to recent research, this theory isn’t always correct. Boomers are active online users, they just choose to engage with the digital world in different ways than their younger peers. Consider the fact that 96% use search engines, and 70% enjoy watching videos about products and services. In other words, rather than focusing on just TV campaigns, maybe it’s time to experiment with more digital formats like video.

Boomers watch lots of video
There’s a good reason why it may be time for advertisers to reallocate some of their Baby Boomer ad spend between TV and video. Many marketers report they’re seeing better-than-expected results on video platforms like YouTube. One recent study by Strike Social found that nearly a quarter of all YouTube viewers were Boomers, and that the group was responsible for higher-than-average view and click-through rates on YouTube ad campaigns.

Boomers make you earn their loyalty
Yet another Baby Boomer assumption among marketers is that their brand preferences are well formed. In other words, why spend valuable ad dollars to reach the age group when they are less likely to experiment with new brands and products? Yet new data suggests boomers aren’t as loyal as we’ve come to expect. One examination of CPG brand loyalty trends by GfK MRI found that some brands had lost 20% or more of their customers from the Baby Boomer age segment. To counter this trend, marketers should think about boosting their cross-platform ad spend to target the group online and in social media where a large percentage of boomers spend considerable time.

Despite the growing importance of younger age segments, Baby Boomers remain one of advertisers’ most important consumer targets. In addition to controlling more than half of all consumer spending, they’re increasingly active participants in the digital realm, a fact which is encouraging advertisers to rethink how they design campaigns to reach them. Think Baby Boomer ad buys should only focus on TV? Think again. It may be time to give this group a second look.

Recommended Posts