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Sunday, January 24, 2010

WHAT BOOMERS WANT: Tips for Marketing to the "Spending" Generation, Part 2

What Boomers Want, Part 2

with Terri Benincasa

Last month we gave you the first set of fundamentals for marketing to this very lucrative cohort (why do it, and how to do it right), and promised the second set this month. So, here are the other important steps you’ll want to take to ensure your strategy will be successful.

What Venues are Best for Getting Their Attention

Surprisingly, the best are the more traditional media outlets, as Boomers are the last generation to still fully embrace them in the following order of importance to them:

  1. TV (but this is the most expensive)
  2. Radio (this is much more affordable, particularly AM) – and not internet radio
  3. Newspaper (older Boomers still subscribe to at least one daily paper delivery; younger Boomers will get their news on-line, so a combo is perfect)

Combine these with social marketing outlets designed specifically for Boomers (ex: and using innovative Boomer-friendly factors like those listed above, and you’ll have a winning combination: the “word of mouth/we feel like we know you” that comes from social marketing, with the credibility that comes with traditional media advertising for Boomers.

Who in Your Company is Best Positioned to Earn Boomers’ Business

That would be someone closer to their age… Unless you have a young person with a high credibility factor (comes from a level of maturity and sensitivity beyond their years), Boomers will not respond well to people their children’s age introducing your product/service to them.


  • If the product/service is for their children/grandchildren, e.g. something age relevant
  • If it is something Boomers perceive to be a younger person’s domain, such as technology
  • If it is the owner’s son/daughter who is working to follow in Dad’s/Mom’s footsteps and that is made clear upfront

Some Do’s & Don’ts

Do: Always be positive – Boomers as a generation are concomitantly optimistic & pessimistic, but most don’t realize it…what they do know is they are immediately turned off by someone who bad-mouths the competition or talks in terms of what doesn’t work vs. what does

Do: Use emotions, stories, and imagery – Boomers are a heartfelt generation and are moved far more by these criteria that “cold hard numbers”…that was the Greatest Generation, not Boomers

Do: Make your product service feel very high end for a smart price (for middle class Boomers) & regardless of price (for wealthy Boomers) – with wealthy Boomers only go to price if they bring it up – reliability & durability are also big deciding factors for Boomers

Don’t: Talk about age as in “this is the perfect option for people your age…” Ooops. Talk about “life stage”, experience, savvy, discerning tastes…these all come with age but Boomers much prefer seeing it in those terms

Don’t: Underestimate the determination of the Boomer consumer to know exactly what they want, having done all their research prior to contacting you – don’t treat them like an unknowledgeable customer – treat them like a knowledgeable partner

Don’t: Treat all Boomers the same way, not only because the Boomer Generation spans 18 years, but more importantly because this generation prides itself on individuality – traveling to the beat of their own drummer. So do not waste your time with one size fits all content - they will immediately pick up on a “canned pitch” meant for the masses.

Source: Boomer Consumer

5 Common Boomer Myths Form Outdated Marketing

By steering clear of these falsehoods, your Boomer Marketing campaign will be that much more successful:

1 | They’ll Sit Down, Exhale, Retire
2 | Understand One Boomer and You Understand Them All
3 | Boomer Consumers are More Brand-Loyal
4 | All Boomers Are Rich
5 | Technology Belongs to the Young

Source: DMW Worldwide LLC

Bottom Line: How you develop and implement your marketing campaign will determine whether you’ll get that call from this very active market. Follow the strategies above, don’t fall prey to the myths, and you’re off to a great start!

For more information, please visit Terri's TNNW Bio.

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The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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