Tag Archives: Baby boomer

Looking For An Untapped Market?

Have you ever taken an online survey? Many of them begin with some sort of demographic screening (after they ask you if you work for a research or marketing company). I always shake my head when I get tossed out of the survey (“Thank you but we are looking for respondents with other characteristics”) after I give my age. Once one is over 50, we disappear to most marketers and that’s dumb.

My thinking is confirmed by a study from the Nielsen folks called “The Most Valuable Generation.”  You can register and get the report here.  Some of the findings about we Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, are that we account for:

There are a number of other findings about our brand loyalty (same as other age groups), online shopping (we do a LOT of it), social media use (a bit behind but catching up fast) and premium travel (we’re 80% of it).  The reason I’m bringing all this up is the head-shaking number:

5%.

That’s the percentage of CPG advertising that’s geared to Boomers (who buy 50% of the product).  It’s a huge opportunity for someone.  As an article on the report summed up nicely:

Boomers are the most valuable generation in the history of marketing and they are too valuable to ignore, concludes the report. The numbers on Boomers are big, and they add up to something that is very compelling.

So if you’re a marketer, are you going to listen to the facts and take advantage of an opportunity or are you going to let some bad targeting habits continue?  Your call!

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Old Goats And New Technology

My birthday is coming up in a few weeks.

English: Custom made birthday cake

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think I’m officially what would be classified as an Older American (seems like that’s anyone over 25 these days), so I read the press release from the folks at Perion with some interest.  They’re “a developer of software tailored for 40+ Second Wave Adopters (SWAs) of technology”.   I’m not sure if that means all their products are in large type, but nevertheless the research they conducted concluded that:

Older Americans have a cautious approach to technology, but are still willing to embrace it depending on the practical impact it will have on their lives. The study shows that 88.5% of Americans over 45 surveyed consider themselves slow to adopt technology. However, 84.8% adopt a new technology when it fits their current lifestyle, 89% will use new technology if it’s better than what they use today, and 79.2% enjoy technology and new gadgets.

Only 50% of respondents felt that greater usage of technology has hurt social interactions, and 89% said that they were good at keeping in touch with friends.  Key to understanding the segment is the recognition that SWAs over 45 do not fear technology, but they need to be a little more convinced to use it than others. Surprisingly, 76% said that technology was fun; not a term usually associated with technology amongst SWAs.

Add to that this nugget:

A new study by Euro RSCG says people are tired of having to act and look younger than they are and live up to some sort of unattainable youth ideal.  Just about three-quarters of those who surveyed expressed the belief that society has grown much too youth-obsessed — an opinion shared not just by the older set but also by 6 in 10 Millennials.

In other words, if you’re thinking that we oldsters don’t “get” what you’re doing you’re insulting not only a potentially lucrative business segment but maybe angering our kids as well (most of them do love us, after all).  Ever use the phrase “you’re not the demo” when receiving business commentary from an older person?  Maybe we really are.

The real underlying message is that older folks will use whatever means they can to stay in touch and make our lives easier.   We’re pragmatists, balancing the discomfort of the learning with the desire to make use of every minute we have.  Birthdays are great incentives!

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Missing My Wallet

Birthday Cake

Image by Пероша via Flickr

I had a birthday recently and am now firmly ensconced in the 55+ demographic. I know that this doesn’t matter to any of you since my youthful spirit shines brightly. However, it seems to matter a lot to people doing research or trying to sell stuff. What a shame.
This really hit home to me as I was being screened for yet another online survey. I take these for a couple of online music services in order to get the service for free. However, although I live in a nice zip code and am an active consumer (with opinions about everything as you all well know), I screen out of a lot of surveys – my opinions aren’t needed –  and I’m pretty sure it’s the age screen that determines that. Huge mistake, and here’s why. Continue reading

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