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Marketing to baby boomers

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Saturday January 20, 2007 )

My partner’s mom, bless her cotton socks, finally started venturing online last year when their computer was upgraded with broadband access. She quite enjoyed her forays into what she called “Eban”, which was her term for the web at the time. I believe this word came from a confusion of Ebay, broadband and the web. Regardless, “Eban” is no longer a totally mysterious world to her and she was even using IM on her first expedition! In her case, broadband was the key to getting online. She had watched her husband using dialup previously and how frustratingly slow it could be at times and it just didn’t appeal.

Another baby boomer close to me who was a widower met a lady on a dating site in early 2006 and they were married late last year. Who says baby boomers are slow off the mark or are too old for the online dating scene? :).

If your products and services are utilized by mature age people, start considering marketing to this specific segment online – they certainly have cash and time to burn. It’s estimated that boomers have $1 trillion in spending power.

When marketing to baby boomers; recognize their life achievements and accumulated wisdom; don’t treat them as fools. They also need to be able to identify with the images on your site. Here’s a tip on that point – baby boomers often see themselves as being 15 years younger than their physical age.

For imagery, get away from perky teeny-bopper/20 somethings; certainly stay clear of old and fragile and focus on imagery in the 35-45 year bracket that reflects activity, vibrance, good health and success. Read my article on stock photos for some great image resources.

When looking for advertising opportunities to reach baby boomers, don’t just try the traditional ad networks, check out relevant social networks for opportunities as these sites will provide the most targeted audience.

For more tips; read my article on marketing to seniors.

Related

Stock photos and imagery
Grups and psychographics
Eons 50-Plus Boomer Online Trends for 2006

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Last year, the first of the Baby Boomers turned 60. Increasing numbers in this group are not only casually using the Internet, but totally embracing the web. What appeals to them and what are they doing with their time online?

Just a quick explanation of the term ‘baby boomers’. It generally refers to people born between 1945 and 1963, a period of increased birth rates in western countries after World War II when economic prosperity also accelerated.

A recent survey report from Eons, a social network/new media company for the 50+ market, reveals some interesting snippets about what’s important to baby boomers and some of their online activities.

The report states that over 35 million Americans age 50 to 64 are currently online – that’s getting close to half the USA baby boomer population. Their top 10 life dreams according to the survey:

1. Lose weight
2. Stay healthy
3. Exercise more
4. Write a book
5. Become debt free
6. Take a cruise
7. Go to Hawaii
8. Travel to Europe
9. Retire
10. Pay off my mortgage

Notice the “active” nature of their dreams. These types of elements should be incorporated into your marketing. As mentioned in my article on marketing to seniors published a couple of years ago; old certainly doesn’t mean infirm. “Old” is a term used by young people and certainly not how many baby boomers describe or feel about themselves.

According to the survey report, the forefront of online activities for baby boomers is making new friends and forming relationships; which is perfect for the development of niche social networks catering to this age group. Just a note on this point; as the survey was carried out on members of social networks for seniors, this result was probably to be expected :).

Also, if you thought that online games and puzzles were the realm of the young; think again – this is another popular baby boomer activity; but perhaps the games that appeal are a little different i.e., more cerebral than blood ‘n gore.

When I first started training people in Internet usage in the 90’s, the seniors were the hardest nuts to crack. Many were resistant to the Internet, some bordering on blind fear. The easiest way I found to train this group was to identify interests in each person and focus on that in relation to the web. It worked every time and fear soon turned to obsession in some of these older students. I also found a big motivating factor for many mature age people to get online was to be able to stay in touch better with their families.

As computers have become more user friendly and the web easier and faster to navigate, increasing numbers of mature age people are discovering the web pretty much on their own – very little handholding is needed.

My partner’s mom, bless her cotton socks, finally started venturing online last year when their computer was upgraded with broadband access. She quite enjoyed her forays into what she called “Eban”, which was her term for the web at the time. I believe this word came from a confusion of Ebay, broadband and the web. Regardless, “Eban” is no longer a totally mysterious world to her and she was even using IM on her first expedition! In her case, broadband was the key to getting online. She had watched her husband using dialup previously and how frustratingly slow it could be at times and it just didn’t appeal.

Another baby boomer close to me who was a widower met a lady on a dating site in early 2006 and they were married late last year. Who says baby boomers are slow off the mark or are too old for the online dating scene? :).

If your products and services are utilized by mature age people, start considering marketing to this specific segment online – they certainly have cash and time to burn. It’s estimated that boomers have $1 trillion in spending power.

When marketing to baby boomers; recognize their life achievements and accumulated wisdom; don’t treat them as fools. They also need to be able to identify with the images on your site. Here’s a tip on that point – baby boomers often see themselves as being 15 years younger than their physical age.

For imagery, get away from perky teeny-bopper/20 somethings; certainly stay clear of old and fragile and focus on imagery in the 35-45 year bracket that reflects activity, vibrance, good health and success. Read my article on stock photos for some great image resources.

When looking for advertising opportunities to reach baby boomers, don’t just try the traditional ad networks, check out relevant social networks for opportunities as these sites will provide the most targeted audience.

For more tips; read my article on marketing to seniors.

Related

Stock photos and imagery
Grups and psychographics
Eons 50-Plus Boomer Online Trends for 2006



 

 
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