We discussed marketing to millennials a couple times last year—mostly on the topic of how, against most marketer’s assumptions, millennials like and respond to direct mail.
As important as it is to know how to market to the younger generation, the plain fact is that, when it comes to having money to spend, the baby boomers are still the largest and most powerful age demographic.
So, let’s review a few things about marketing to them, shall we?
Over the next 10 years, nearly 70 million boomers will be retirement age. This is a largely affluent generation who will have plenty of free time to shop and discretionary income to spend. (Oh, and did we mention that, according to Forbes, they will inherit nearly $13 trillion between now and 2037?)
No matter what industry or profession you’re in, it’s likely that it’s needed or wanted or might appeal to this generation. So here’s five things to keep in mind when promoting your product/service to them:
1.) They Don’t Consider Themselves Old
This is the generation that experienced Beatlemania, youth culture, the hippies. They were raised on rock and roll but retirement to this crew doesn’t mean “rocking chair.”
Baby boomers will use their golden years to do all the stuff they couldn’t do while they were raising families: travel to exotic locales and have adventures. So don’t assume that such things won’t appeal to them. You just need to present it in a way that appeals to them—which may be different than how you would present it to a younger demographic.
2.) They Appreciate Quality Marketing Copy
Boomers like to read. But they largely don’t dig trendy slang, web abbreviations, acronyms, etc. (OMG! LOL!) So write proper copy. And don’t skimp. This generation is used to traditional direct mail, such as long-copy sales letters and the like. Though postcards provide limited space, you can still fill the back side of your card with sufficient copy.
Another thing is to play it safe with conventional sales copy—no hype, no foul language, nothing overly clever or cute. Address any possible objections they might raise—this goes not only for your direct mail but also for websites, brochures, and other marketing pieces.
3.) Don’t Rush ‘Em
Generally speaking, before a boomer makes a purchase, they will do their research. This includes familiarizing themselves with the product or service; talking to others who’ve used it or a competing brand; compare specs, check reviews, and the like. This generation has money but many are on a fix income, so purchases are viewed as investments. In short, they won’t be rushed into a purchase, so your best strategy (as detailed in point #2) is to give them plenty of information and content. Shoot for gaining their trust in your brand. When they get to that point, they are on the threshold of a close.
4.) Get Personal
They’re retired. They are not in any hurry. They have plenty of free time and tend to enjoy longer interactions with people—family, friends and, yes, even salespeople. So, if you’re marketing to this age demographic, don’t be in a hurry. Rather, be willing, ready, and able to invest time in them. It’s the flipside of #3 above. You will likely find a willing set of ears, interested in hearing what you have to say about how your product or service can benefit them.
5.) Baby Boomers Aren’t Afraid of Technology
The younger generations are often identified as the tech savvy ones but boomers are no less savvy. They may not have had smartphones in their cribs but they’ve lived through the progression of black and white TV to color, the advent of stereo sound, cordless telephones, VHS players, CDs…you get the idea. They are not fazed by more recent technology. More than 90% of boomers use email and search engines, and make purchases online. Because they are the fastest-growing age group on Facebook, you can successfully bolster your direct mail efforts with Facebook ads; they’ll see it.
Now that you know more about marketing to boomers, you can put that knowledge to work on your next postcard campaign, which you can design, print and mail, all from the comfort of your desktop, by logging on to www.prospectsplus.com/pei.
Or call Opportunity Knocks at 1 (866) 319-7109. Tell our design and marketing pros what you need and want and we’ll handle everything from design, to generating a targeted list, and even the mailing. You’ll say, “Boom. That was easy.”