Marketing to Boomers Crucial to Bottom Line

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Marketing to Boomers Crucial to Bottom Line


NEW YORK -- Although their children may not agree, the 80-million-strong Baby Boomer population in the United States is hip, willing to change their minds and spends more on consumer packaged goods (CPG) than any other age group.

"The Boomer market is misunderstood," Beth Brady, global head of marketing effectiveness for Nielsen, said today during a webinar entitled, "Boomers: Marketers’ Most Valuable Generation.” She noted that Boomers spend 50 percent of their total spend on CPG, but only 10 percent to 15 percent of advertisements are marketed to them.

The entire Baby Boomer demographic, defined as individuals born between the years of 1949 and 1964, will be 50 years old or older in 2014. And in five years, the demographic will control 70 percent of the country's disposable income, according to Brady. Baby Boomers spend more money on 119 of Nielsen's 123 defined CPG categories and have the highest average annual basket ring -- $7,233 -- of all demographics, she stressed.

These facts combined mean the Baby Boomer generation is a potential gold mine for marketers, with Brady dubbing the demographic "the most valuable generation in the history of marketing."

"Boomers are value conscious and seek out information before purchasing items," she explained. "But they don't only shop on price."

Addressing where companies should market their products to Baby Boomers, Brady relayed that "TV is still king," considering this demographic watches television an average of 174 hours a week. However, Baby Boomers also frequent social media websites.

"Usage on social media by Boomers has doubled in the past year," Nielsen's global head of marketing revealed."Fifty-two percent are now on Facebook." In terms of approach, she said the marketing should be more holistic, give plenty of facts and communicate value beyond price points.

"Boomers are not a needle in the haystack. They are the haystack," she stated. "Boomers are easy to target with a mass-media message."

Importantly, Baby Boomers are also willing to change their minds and highly respect loyalty from marketers, Brady concluded. "You don't need to change your brand personality," she said. "Apple is a great example. Forty-six percent of its sales are to people [aged] 55-plus. That's because the company makes it easy for Boomers and created its Genius Bar."