Did you know that 45% of the population controls 70% of the wealth but isn’t really being effectively reached in digital marketing?
Those born between 1946 and 1964, the baby boomers, are expected to reach that status by the end of next year. Jennifer Lonoff Schiff shared 9 Digital Marketing Strategies to Woo Baby Boomers in her article on CIO and she makes some valid observations.
“…while the buying and online habits of millennials seems to dominate the news, their buying power pales in comparison to the buying power wielded by baby boomers — some $3 trillion in just the United States alone.”
There are challenges to reaching baby boomers with internet marketing because they don’t use technology the way that millennials or other demographics do. They do use the internet, though, and most will shop online and use social media. Here are Schiff’s suggestions for engaging the group that has most of the money to spend:
- Understand that baby boomers are a diverse bunch and don’t expect to reach all of them with the same strategy. Start with those who are already using your product or service and learn how they use technology then focus on reaching that segment effectively.
- Be relatable by showing the personality of your business. This is everything from pictures of staff (hope you have some Boomers on staff!) and the story of your business to the ways you share with the community. Think about it — you are more comfortable with a business when there’s somebody like you there.
- Don’t be pushy. Answer questions, show the value of what you are offering, and provide authoritative research for them to access.
- Share benefits like how your product makes life easier or more enjoyable. Stories of a problem solved are better than spec sheets.
- Online purchase processes must be easy and secure. Quick load times, not a lot of pages to wade through, but reassuring evidence that their information is secure.
- Make it easy to communicate with you. The contact information should be obvious, and a phone number is going to be used more than you’d expect. I think the phone is preferred by many boomers because it’s instant connection. Respond promptly to every question, online or off.
- Build a referral program by making it easy to share a product on social media or by email. Make it rewarding by offering incentives for referring family and friends.
- Old school marketing still works, particularly with the older boomers. Direct mail and print brochures can be a good investment IF you have identified this as a preferred contact. Remember to put anything you print on your site as content and link to it, and have your contact information updated.
- Baby boomers value privacy. This generation did not grow up with targeted ads, for instance, and feels invaded when it happens without permission.
Do you agree with these observations? In many ways the only thing you need to know about an online marketing strategy is that every demographic is diverse and you must start by studying those who are already interested in your business. Marketing is all about diversity and that’s what keeps it exciting.