Our Blog

GenSights - Making Boomer Magic

Sharing generational insights to help businesses make magic with Baby Boomers

Boomers: Still opening their wallets. One More Reason Why Marketers Still Need to Target Boomers

paint canThe recession has touched everyone’s pocketbooks, but recent research from Mediamark Inc. shows some bright spots. Over the past two years, the share of spending by consumers age 50+ was up in the following categories:
– Credit Card Expenditures +15%
– Home Furnishings +12%
– Home Improvements +11%
– Foreign Vacations +10%
– Health & Beauty Aids +9%
Of course, this demographic leaves out some of the later-stage Boomers, those 45 to 50, and includes seniors 65+, but it does indicate that there are still business opportunities out there for businesses with the vision to target those of Boomer age and beyond.

Source: Media Post Publications

(On January 1, 2011, the first of the Baby Boom generation begins to turn 65. While marketers have traditionally viewed anyone over 49 as over the hill, there are compelling reasons why overlooking Boomers isn’t smart for business. During the course of the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting 65 of those reasons.)

-posted by Gen-Sights

Labels: Baby Boomer Spending, Baby Boomers

Boomers: Technology’s Big Spenders – One More Reason Why Marketers Still Need to Target Boomers

65 logo(On January 1, 2011, the first of the Baby Boom generation begins to turn 65. While marketers have traditionally viewed anyone over 49 as over the hill, there are compelling reasons why overlooking Boomers isn’t smart for business. During the course of the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting 65 of those reasons.)

One of our main goals in creating the 65 Reasons to Target Boomers series is to puncture some of the myths that have been keeping businesses from embracing the magic of the Boomer market. Perhaps there’s no bigger myth-bubble to burst than the one that says Boomers are technophobes. We suspect that some of this comes from the propensity of researchers to lump Boomers into the age category of 50 and above, rather than the more representative 46-64.

This was borne out by a recent article in Advertising Age, which coalesced research from a number of sources to arrive at the somewhat astounding (to some) conclusion that Boomers are not only eager adapters of a wide range of technologies, but are in fact, some of the biggest consumers.


Source: Advertising Age
According to Forrester Research's annual benchmark tech study, Boomers in the 46 to 64 age group now spend more money on technology than any other demographic. This includes everything from purchase of devices and gadgets to monthly telecom fees, even online purchases! As Patricia McDonough, senior VP-analysis at Nielsen Company put it, Boomers “represent 25% of the population, but they consume 40% [in total dollars spent] of it."

From everything we can see, Boomers desire for technology will not diminish. In fact, we look forward to seeing how the demographics of purchasers of e-readers like the iPad and the Kindle break down. The implications of this for electronics manufacturers are staggering, even as they try to balance Boomers’ desire for the benefits of technology with the need for more user-friendly features for aging eyes and less-than-limber fingertips.

-posted by Gen-Sights

Labels: Baby Boomers and technology, Reasons to target Boomers

65 Reasons Why Baby Boomers Remain a Powerful Target For Marketers.

5 logoFrom their diaper days onward, Boomers have reinvented every stage of life they’ve passed through. And as the first wave of 78 million Boomers turns 65 in 2011, there’s no reason to believe they’ll stop now. In the process, this will transform the way people think about everything from retirement to health care to aging in general. To celebrate this milestone, over the next few weeks, Gen-Sights will offer 65 reasons why businesses of every kind would be wise to keep Boomers in mind when designing and marketing products.

posted by Lynn Schweikart, Tom Gorski, Laura Willis

-posted by Gen-Sights

Labels: Baby Boomers, healthcare, First Boomers turning 65

Boomers: Driven to buy new cars One More Reason Why Marketers Still Need to Target Boomers

65_logo(On January 1, 2011, the first of the Baby Boom generation begins to turn 65. While marketers have traditionally viewed anyone over 49 as over the hill, there are compelling reasons why overlooking Boomers isn’t smart for business. During the course of the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting 65 of those reasons.)

How well do car commercial casting specs reflect the real world of car buyers? Not very well, according to a recent analysis performed by researchers at AARP Media Sales.

Using data supplied by J. D. Power and Associates, AARP found that nearly 39 percent of new cars were sold to people between the ages of 50 and 64. Add in those over age 65, and the number rises to over 62 percent -- more than 3 out of every 5 cars sold in 2010. And we’re not talking geezer-styled gas guzzlers, either. 73 percent of all battery-assisted vehicles, or hybrids, were purchased by the over-50 crowd. In contrast, those 35 and under accounted for less than 13 percent of new car purchases. Some of this is demographic-driven, as that large cohort of Baby Boomers grows older; some due to the recession’s impact on younger pocketbooks. As further evidence of the purchasing power of both Boomers and those 65+, the study found that 33 percent of adults over 50 pay cash for their cars, compared to 13 percent of consumers under 50.

Does this offer opportunities for car manufacturers – and car dealers? Definitely. At Gen-Sights, we think that cars that are easier to enter and exit – and offer improved sightlines will benefit, as long as style hasn’t been sacrificed. We also think that dealers could set themselves apart by offering seminars or driving clinics on how to use the next-generation, computer-assisted technology that’s beginning to appear in their showrooms. One thing’s for certain: new cars purchases by older Americans are only going to increase, as more than 78 million Baby Boomers move to age 65 and beyond.

Source: Brand Week and AutoBlog

-posted by Gen-Sights

Labels: Baby Boomers and car purchases

Boomers – Using Technology to Bridge the Gap Between Generations

circle of technologyHow does my 77-year-old father-in-law stay in touch with his eight grandchildren? The answer may strike you as a little surprising: through Facebook. Of course, it does help that he’s relatively computer literate—after all, he was an early adapter of that revolutionary Internet invention, AOL dial-up! However computer literacy doesn’t always translate to understanding the intricacies of social media. For that, it takes a knowledgeable son-in-law and a father-in-law eager to learn. The outcome? A grandfather who, with the simple click of a mouse, is now in touch daily with his grandchildren, ranging in age from 14 to 25.

Whoever would have guessed that Boomers like me, the sandwich generation, would come to serve as the catalyst uniting parents, in-laws, and children—through email and Facebook. After all, despite the fact that I was an ad guy at a cutting-edge Boston-based agency, in the early 1990’s when my first child was born, email was barely in my vocabulary. Facebook? Not even invented!

And it’s not only computer-savvy seniors like my father-in-law who’ve come to embrace the Internet. I realized a couple of years ago that my mother was very interested in getting online with a computer of her own. After all, my kids frequently shared their favorite websites with her and read emails to her that they received from other family members. So on her 80th birthday we bought her an iMac and brought her into the 21st Century – quite a leap for a Silent Generation denizen who remembers listening to FDR’s fireside chats on a Philips radio. As with my father-in-law, we were able to introduce her to a whole new world with the stroke of a key and a click of a mouse.

Two years later, via email, my mother delights as her oldest grandson begins his college years. She is thrilled to death to receive his emails and respond back to him with her pearls of wisdom. And she’s not alone: computer usage among seniors is growing. Studies indicate that it can help reduce loneliness and isolation and improve mental acuity. In fact, seniors can continue to live on their own without having to feel separated from their families. Witness Carolyn Rosenblatt’s experience of acquainting her elderly mother-in-law with Skype in her article “Can technology save an aging widow?”

All this demonstrates that I’m not alone in seeing the opportunities for using technology to cross generational lines and bring families together. And it’s proof that companies that are developing these products should be marketing to Boomers, too. After all, Boomers have not only embraced the benefits of technology for ourselves, we’re using it to connect the generations on either side of us. And when it comes to the senior market, for the most part, we’re the gatekeepers.

What’s more, new product opportunities will only grow as Baby Boomers cross over into their mature years, demanding the comfort and benefits of technology, plus a desire to stay ahead of the curve. Just make sure any technological enhancements have a purpose. One thing to keep in mind: Boomers expect that bells and whistles will make life easier and/or better, not just be there for their own sake.

Posted by – Tom Gorski

-posted by Gen-Sights

Labels: Baby Boomers, benefits of technology, Boomers and Technology, genrations, senior market, Seniors and Computers