What Boomers Want
Laxatives. Depends. Lubricants. Viagra. Osteoporosis medicines. Walk-in bathtubs.
Every time I open my email….that’s what I see. Advertisers have figured out how to bypass my spam box and so every day I am reminded that I’m getting older (as if I needed reminding). Just once I wish I would be surprised with ads for skinny jeans, expensive cars or sexy perfume. But noooooo….because I’m over 50 I couldn’t possibly be interested in those things. Says who?
So, while there is nothing wrong with any of those products I mentioned earlier and many folks do need them, there’s something wrong when those are the main products marketed to boomers.
Why Advertisers Should Sit Up and Take Notice
Boomers are the single largest consumer group in America but according to a survey done by Neilson and Boomagers (full report here) advertisers spend less than 5 percent of their budgets on boomers.
That’s just crazy!
Don’t they realize there are 76 million of us?
If advertisers aren’t convinced by our sheer numbers then they need to check this out.
1. We account for an estimated half of total U.S. consumer spending.
2. We have a longer life expectancy and lower savings rates than previous seniors, and we areprojected to spend an additional $50 billion over the next decade.
3. Rather than passing on our wealth to future generations (sorry kids), we are expected to splurge mostly on ourselves.
Advertisers and Marketing Experts Are Missing Out
I read an article where a man who is a gerontologist and author said that he ask Fortune 500 CEOs what they were going to do about the boomer market, and most they mentioned assisted-living, devices for dementia or grab bars for showers. Come on…seriously?
He went on to say that there is a myth that older consumers buy the same brands they have always bought.
This strange logic has long prevailed in the advertising world. Companies and advertisers believe that if they capture the younger consumer they will have them for life. That just doesn’t fly when it comes to boomers. If it were true I would still have a Farah Fawcett hair cut, be wearing bell-bottom jeans and driving a Thunderbird.
Listen up….boomers are changing and evolving. (I’m not even sure what I want to be when I grow up) They want to remain current and are open to new interests and products.
Some companies have noticed.
Amazon created a website called 50+ and while I think it’s great that they noticed us, they didn’t do a very good job of making me want to shop there. Why? Because they refer to us as Seniors. Being a high school senior is cool. Being called a Senior by society isn’t. They might as well have called it the Elderly Page. Amazon has some great categories to shop from on their 50+ site but unfortunately they failed to impress me with those either. Right below the Vitamins and Health category was one for Incontinence.
Thanks, Amazon, for reminding me to take my vitamins before I buy my diapers.
Despite the vast evidence in studies and surveys most brands and advertisers simply haven’t figured out how powerful boomers are and they don’t know how to advertise to us without offending us. Because of this outdated logic and their failure to reach out to us and ask us what we want, they are missing a huge opportunity.
Yo, I’ll tell you what we want. What we really, really want….
Boomers want to be heard and understood. We want to work with brands. We want to know about fun products, new technology and great places to eat, travel and shop but we want to hear about them from other boomers, preferably cool, hip boomers who aren’t falling and can’t get up. And if they are wearing Depends or using Viagra they don’t feel the need to tell us about it.
But most of all….
We want to be respected and valued.
And when it comes to the blogging world, we want the same doors opened for us that have been opened to the Mommy Bloggers. Boomers have more purchasing power, more time and more resources than any other generation. Stop ignoring us.
We are 76 million strong. Let’s talk.
Like the song says, “Call me, maybe?”
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