This year, the last of 80 million baby boomers will reach age 50. That means this group now represents one-third of the U.S. adult population. In another three to five years, 50% of the U.S. adult population is forecast to be 50 or over. And by 2030, this segment will expand by 34%, compared to only 12% growth for the 18 to 49 sector.
If sheer numbers alone don’t convince you of this market’s potential, consider spending. Boomers dominate in many consumer categories. They control about 70-75% of U.S. wealth and contribute more than 40% of all dollars given to U.S. charities—making them the nation’s largest single group of givers.
So what are the best ways to reach this lucrative market? Baby boomers have a unique perspective on life that colors their spending habits. Therefore, you’ll need to take a far different approach than the one you use to sell to younger audiences.
Here are some essential tips for communicating with an older population:
- Give them the information they crave. Having been exposed over time to hyperbole, they tend to be cynical. A straightforward approach appeals to their practical decision-making process.
- Far from being set in their ways, this group remains open to switching brands. Give them good reason to do so.
- Boomers are busy. Most still work, so they appreciate simple messaging. Quickly demonstrate how your product or service will enhance their life.
- Boomers have greater sensitivity to value in their purchases, and they “value” security and comfort.
- Make sure the images you use are images an older market will recognize and relate to. Ideally, you should have people with a 50+ perspective driving these communications.
- This segment remains optimistic and has hopes for the future—a great deal more so than those already over 65. Keep this in mind when crafting your messages.
In terms of where to reach them:
- Look for them online. About 80% of those 50+ use the Internet. More than 70% report buying products online, and more than 80% indicate they search online for product information before making purchase decisions.
- Don’t overlook television. Even though they’re spending time online, they spend equal hours in front of that familiar screen they grew up with.