Contrary to Popular Myths, the Millennials Aren’t the Only Game in Town

Posted On May 30, 2017

You have, no doubt, been inundated by now with advice on how to market to millennials, and with good reason. They are not only the largest segment of the workforce, but also the largest segment of consumers.

You know to keep your website up-to-date, with easy-to-use customer service tools and a format that translates across multiple platforms. You know to take advantage of social media marketing tools, and to engage with your customers through a variety of channels. You know to create not only value, but a sense of global responsibility and citizenship for your customers when they do business with you.

Well, guess what? All those tools you use to market to millennials are also important in marketing to another smaller, and yet still vitally important, demographic – Baby Boomers.

Citing data from a trio of surveys, Sue Yasav of Synchrony Financial noted that Baby Boomers are far from the technologically illiterate stereotype as which they’re sometimes portrayed. Ninety-two percent of them say they use social media (mainly Facebook) and three-fourths of them have a smartphone.

What they value in products and services will also sound familiar: Quality over brand name, with the caveat that once they find a brand name they like, they develop some loyalty to it.

The differences, according to Synchrony’s data, are in how Baby Boomers use technology – or don’t. They’re less likely to shop, text or post on social media, and they’re less likely to be influenced by social media advertising.

So social media may not be your primary tool in marketing to Baby Boomers. But it still needs to be in the toolbox.

Why bother with Baby Boomers, you ask? Shouldn’t millennials be your primary marketing focus? Perhaps, but while Baby Boomers are a smaller segment of the market, there are good reasons for paying attention to them.

According to data cited by Yasav from the Pew Research Center, 27 percent of Baby Boomers are affluent – defined as a household income over $100,000 and savings over $250,000. That’s the highest percentage of any generational group.

They largely feel younger than their years, their life expectancy is growing, they’re dedicated to charitable giving and a healthy lifestyle, and they’re hungry for interesting life experiences. In fact, according to Synchrony’s data, a higher percentage of high-income Baby Boomers (73 percent) than millennials (69 percent) say they prefer to spend money on experiences.

If you’re in the travel industry, heads up: This means you. Leisure travel is the largest category of increased spending expected from affluent Baby Boomers — about 40 percent of those surveyed by Synchrony expect to spend more on travel in the future.

So keep doing what you’re doing. Create and maintain a first-class digital shopping and customer service experience. Engage with your customers. Provide value across all platforms. Just know that millennials aren’t the only ones who will appreciate it.

Categories: Baby Boomers