Time to Startup!

The BizFilings blog covering business tips and trends.

Baby Boomers More Plugged-In Than Many Assume

Published on Jun 6, 2011

Summary

Read our article, 'Baby Boomers More Plugged-In Than Many Assume' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
The internet has fundamentally changed the way in which businesses market to consumers. Now, instead of relying on ad copy and TV commercials, marketing exists in social networks, mobile devices, email inboxes, search engine results and quick response codes. Of course, traditional channels are still relevant, with certain demographics found to be using them more than others. However, there is a misconception among many small business owners and entrepreneurs forming a company that baby boomers are less inclined to such technologies. On the contrary, this generation is very active on the web, with an estimated 60 million online baby boomers, according to marketing expert Greg Bayer of the ad network Adknowledge. That represents more than three-quarters - 78.2 percent - of the entire age group. What's more, boomers contributed $2 trillion worth of consumer spending. These figures should suggest to businesses of all sizes that, despite some unfortunate generalizations, Americans currently aged 46-65 are a fairly tuned-in cohort that exhibits strong marketing and revenue potential. That being said, there are still certain ways to best reach this generation, the primacy of which involves knowing their lifestyles, preferences and characteristics. "Baby boomers are a free spirited generation that values freedom of thought and self-expression," Bayer writes. "As a competitive, hardworking and driven generation, boomers lead active and fit lifestyles and hold social causes and individuality in high regard. They’re by no means 'over the hill.' In fact, many boomers consider themselves to be in the prime of their lives." For that reason, they are also extremely concerned about their health and how healthcare impacts their lives. A Pew Research Center report released last year found researching health-related information to be the third most common online activity among baby boomers. Businesses should keep this in mind when developing a strategy to reach them. Even companies that offer services unrelated to health can use this information to style their messages. "Play into boomers' lifestyle traits with offers for physical fitness, leisure, travel and adult education, as these may also prove enticing to a wider audience, which can earn you more bang for your buck," Bayer adds. "Find the balance between casting too wide or narrow a net to maximize your efforts and returns." A recent FedEx survey found 55 percent of small businesses are planning to boost their marketing budgets this year, up from 42 percent last year, suggesting now is a good time to consider one's promotional initiatives.