When marketing to baby boomers, you might think it’s about larger fonts or displaying images of older folks in your advertising. While this may be a common practice for many, those things alone are not going to garner the attention of this market.
Seniors are really no different from any other market and contrary to what many believe seniors spend a lot of time online. However, there are some very important differences to keep in mind when marketing to an older demographic.
So, here are some tips on how to market to baby boomers and some best strategies for 2017.
1) Use Language They Can Relate To
If you want to market a product or service to someone, you need to speak their language. So, if you are going to market to the baby boomers out there you need to avoid things like teen slang, trendy language, and internet jargon.
Unlike Millennials that feed off of an elevated level of drama, the baby boomer just wants to know if and how your product or service can improve their quality of life. Sure, it seems a bit old-fashioned but that is what they want.
Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t get creative, it just means you need to avoid using language they didn’t grow up with.
2) Know That Their Criteria Will Be Different From Younger Generations
When selling a product or service, it should be understood that you are not selling them “the product”, but instead you are selling what the product will do for them. So let’s look at it this way, if your product is a shovel, you are really selling the hole it can dig. The company that can convince people that their shovel can dig a better hole wins.
When it comes to baby boomers, they don’t necessarily want the same things teenagers want, but that certainly doesn’t mean they don’t want the same product. You can sell the same product to everyone as long as you know why they want it.
3) Don’t Assume That Baby Boomers Need Someone Else To Make Their Buying Decisions For Them
Seniors are not vulnerable, powerless folks who can’t make their own decisions. They are very often strong, healthy adults who enjoy making their own choices. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you need to be talking to a caregiving audience or their children in order to sell something.
4) Make Things As Easy As Possible
Always keep in mind, baby boomers didn’t grow up with an iPhone in their hands, so for them to perform certain actions on a web page or app won’t always be that easy. For instance, baby boomers may not know what a hamburger menu is, or if it’s even something they can click on.
So, if some of your marketing strategies require people to click on symbols or read the fine print, you stand a chance of losing a substantial portion of your seniors market. And don’t take these things into consideration just for seniors, everyone will benefit from a clear, easy to understand process.
5) Offer Them Something They Are Familiar With
People are naturally drawn to things they are familiar with. Since baby boomers grew up with advertisements and physical catalogs delivered to them in the mail, it only makes sense to market to them through this channel.
The baby boomer generation prefers to have something tangible they can hold in their hands, such as a catalog. The internet makes it easy for you to print out catalogs without having to leave home.
And yes, catalog marketing is alive and well, contrary to some rumors that are out there. In fact, digital retailers like Birchbox and Bonobos are starting to mail catalogs to their subscribers.
6) Try Multi-Channel Marketing
Studies showed that in 2015 only 27% of adults 65 and over owned smartphones. And since this number is most assuredly going to keep increasing, it is a good indication however that baby boomers live the majority of their lives in the offline world. This means that you will have a more difficult time selling to seniors if you are relying on mobile and internet marketing only in order to reach them.
So, if you really want to reach the majority of the senior market, you will need to seriously consider multi-channel marketing in order to target them both online and off. You can still rely on online marketing, but the majority of your efforts should be focused on where the majority of your market can be found.
7) Make Their Experience As Personal As Possible
When the baby boomers were growing up, quality customer service was always a personal experience, automation and self-serve was almost unheard of. There was always a real person to speak with on the other end of the phone in the customer service department.
When you take an experience and personalize it for someone, they will remember it for a very long time. So, since baby boomers are used to that personal touch, make sure to add some personalization to your efforts.
Did Your Message Get Received?
Baby boomers and anyone for that matter want products and services that they know will help make their lives easier in some way or another. It’s your job to let them know how that product or service will accomplish that.