Thursday, September 11, 2014

Don’t be fooled!

Baby Boomers ARE NOT 

Your Typical Ma and Pa. 

The 77 million people born between 1946 and 1964 are defined as the baby boomer era (U.S. Census) and make up what advertisers call the "Silver Market." The bright side is that the Silver Market is more affluent these days, controlling 70% of the nation’s disposable income and standing to inherit $15 trillion over the next 20 years. So with these numbers, why do so many brands ignore them?

Many advertisers assume if they advertise to the youth, the seniors will come along for the ride. However, that’s a really dangerous assumption to make. Baby boomers are older, but not old. They embrace 55 as the new 35. This presents great marketing opportunities, so seize the day and aim towards them directly.

The not-so-bright flip side of the Silver Market is that those who are old, poor, and sick will likely be in the majority. So businesses need to prepare today for the realities of this market tomorrow, in order to leverage the looming demographic opportunity.

Supporting seniors in their everyday lives and enabling them to grow old in a humane way is a simple way to develop a marketing strategy, not to mention promoting positive public relations. For example, products can have adapted functionalities like foods packaged in smaller servings. The population size ensures that profits can be gained even from sales with narrow margins, because the group’s combined total income is substantial—and growing.

Important facts to know: 

  • The senior age group is now, for the first time, the largest in terms of size and percent of the population in the U.S.
  • Boomers outspend younger adults online 2:1 on a per-capita basis (Forrester Research).
  • Americans over 55 spend 50% of all vacation dollars in America (ICSC).
  • 55-64 year olds outspend the average consumer in nearly every category, including: food away from home, household furnishings, entertainment, personal care, and gifts (US Government Consumer Expenditure Survey).
  • 96% of baby boomers participate in word-of-mouth or viral marketing by passing product or service information on to friends (ThirdAge and JWT Boom).
  • 89% of seniors 65+ have personal email and use it regularly (Nielsen).
  • 72% of baby boomers have broadband Internet in their homes (ThirdAge and JWT Boom).
  • 36% of adults 50+ own a smartphone (Pew).
  • Americans 55+ are the fastest-growing age group among gym members, up more than 266% since 1987 (IBISWorld).

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