Using Consumer Behavior to Connect with Baby Boomers

June 2, 2022

Boomers might be retired, but they remain active consumers of products and experiences. Creating dialogues and relationships with each unique generation is a crucial aspect of creating successful marketing campaigns. Let’s take a closer look at Boomers.

Who Are the Boomers?

The Baby Boomer generation was born just after World War II all the way up to the early 1960s. They are a generation that endured the turmoil of the Vietnam War, invented counterculture, and, of course, gave us disco.

During these formative years, this new generation experienced a rapid succession of cultural trends–from the “free love” of the 1960s to the hipster cynicism of the 1990s–and they tend to be independent and hardworking.

They’re still active consumers, though much of this population–the children of The Greatest Generation–is near or past retirement.

Most Boomers are likely to continue to prefer traditional values and methods of communication that were popular when they were younger.

It’s important to understand that this generation typically values—well—value, as opposed to objects themselves, and does not depend on the internet as heavily as younger generations for shopping, marketing, or communication.

How Do Boomers Spend Money?

Boomers tend to prize memorable experiences over physical goods, often spending their money on non-material purchases that enrich their lives in other ways.

Boomers spend more on pre-planned travel experiences, such as cruises and all-inclusive group tours, rather than make travel plans on their own, which younger, more independent, generations tend to prefer. They appreciate the convenience of pre-planned vacation packages, which allow for efficient travel without spending time researching and booking the parts of a trip separately.

This generation frequently attends concerts, goes to museums, and takes part in other cultural events. Sure, “the kids” enjoy these activities too, especially in major cities, but Boomers tend to seek out experiences with lasting value instead of purchasing material things.

Boomers also spend more money than the younger generations on health supplements and other products that have the potential to improve their overall health and quality of life. They are more likely to benefit from the assistance that supplemental nutrition and similar products can provide, especially as their nutritional needs change over time.

Connecting with Boomers

Knowing how to effectively reach and market to Boomers is critical to the success of many brands, especially if this generation is a major part of your target audience.

One brand success story among Baby Boomers is Cheerios. It’s the breakfast they loved as kids and one they continue to love as adults. The nostalgia that the Honey Nut Cheerios name invokes in Boomers, and the health benefits the product provides, led to higher Boomer engagement.

Executing this strategy can be a bit more challenging than marketing to younger generations, because Boomers are sometimes more limited in their interest and skill in using technology—which means it’s important for your search results to be clear and easy to find if you want to connect with this group.

Generally, searchers are unlikely to look beyond the first page or two of search results to find what they are looking for. This is especially true of Boomers.

Having quality online reviews is valuable to this generation, making them feel more confident that a product they find online is what they are looking for and will meet their needs.

This is important for Boomers who rely more heavily on in-store shopping where they can see and handle products before making a decision.

Many Boomers continue to get their information from newspapers, network television, and radio rather than jumping onto their smartphone’s browser. It’s important to include multiple forms of advertising in marketing campaigns that target Boomers.

Otherwise you’ll miss the significant portion of your audience that appreciates coupon and sales mailers, in-store displays, and expert recommendations.

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