A recent USA Today article pointed out some important facts businesses need to know and understand about Baby Boomers. According to the article, Americans aged 50 and over will represent approximately half of the U.S. population and control 70 percent of the nation’s disposable income by 2017. That’s a lot of buying power that’s not being targeted in advertisements featuring the twenty-something crowd. Many baby boomers, are, in fact, becoming small business owners themselves.
Savvy business owners understand the importance of Baby Boomers to their bottom lines, but are your current marketing plans catering to this generation of buyers in an effective manner? The first, and most important, rule of marketing to Boomers is that you should never, ever, suggest they’re getting old.
Of course there are other steps you can take that will appeal to a more mature audience. These steps are all well worth considering in any marketing efforts designed to attract a Boomer audience.
Keep it Simple
Boomers are looking for straightforward advertising and not slick sales tactics. Treat them like Joe Friday by providing just the facts. They’ll appreciate your company more and feel better about buying from you than if you offer them a litany of confusing or foreign terms.
Include Social Media
While Baby Boomers, by and large, aren’t the most technologically savvy of all consumers, they are active on social media sites like Facebook. Don’t focus all your social media activity on younger crowds. Include Boomers in your social media outreach efforts and enjoy a surprising return on that investment of time and attention – especially in light of so few competitors making efforts to tap this huge market.
Provide Outstanding Customers Service
It’s important to treat Boomers with respect at all times. Just as you want to take great pains not to suggest they’re getting older (see the number one rule mentioned above), you should also train your staff to avoid talking down to them and making them feel as though they are children. Outstanding customer service is key in a marketing plan to boomers.
Don’t Forget to Caption Videos
Baby Boomers do shop online as well as in stores. While they appreciate watching sales videos and product demonstrations online, many of them have difficulty hearing all the words. Make sure to include captions in order to be more effective when advertising to this generation.
Boomers consider themselves informed consumers. They like to get to know the companies they do business with. Offer various methods of outreach designed to reach a Boomer-centric audience. From email newsletters on issues that matter to them to webinars, blogs, and Google hangouts, there are plenty of opportunities to develop the relationships they desire from the companies they do business with.
Before you change your marketing efforts to reach out to the Boomer population, you should also consider whether your business insurance is adequate to the task of reaching out to an aging population including coverage for liability issues, product recalls, and the like. Once you have the right coverage in place, then you should hit the ground running with your plans to engage a Boomer audience.