For Retailers, the Baby Boomer Isn’t Leaving
It’s been over a year since Nielsen revealed findings from its study “Marketing’s Most Valuable Generation” about the significant opportunities in the Baby Boomer demographic. For those brands tending to focus on the younger, more active and more tech-savvy demographics, this is a significantly valuable group that is often overlooked – especially considering they control 70 percent of U.S. disposable income and account for 50 percent of CPG sales. Those over the age of 50 will not only comprise half of the U.S. population by 2017, but grow by three times the rate of those in the coveted 18-49 segment. (Nielsen)
So what’s the hesitation about reaching out to this market? Contrary to popular belief, they have more money than any other demographic and are willing to spend it; they spend more money than any other demographic on new technologies; and they’re not stuck in their ways when it comes to brand preference. If retailers can understand and fulfill the growing, specific needs contained in this large demographic, they can benefit from the remarkable opportunities not offered by other segments.
First, it’s important to note one can’t cast all Baby Boomers into the geriatric, silver-haired category. This demographic spans almost twenty years and finds individuals at different life stages – from raising a family to enjoying retirement. And even the oldest don’t like to be viewed as being old. In order for retailers to effectively customize messages to this group, it helps to break them down into segments from the younger Baby Boomers, age 48-57, to the older Baby Boomers, age 58-66, as well as understanding where they are at in their life stages.
Although engaging this demographic is no easy task, it’s definitely getting easier, as Boomers are becoming more engaged with social media. They may not be driving technology like the millennials, but, compared to other age groups, they spend more money on it each month and are eager to adopt new innovations. In fact, some analysts believe this demographic represents a more important technology market than Generations X and Y.
Considering this is the demographic that helped mold the consumerism we’re so familiar with, Baby Boomers are wide open to trying new products and spending money to do so. In fact, it can be difficult to maintain a long-term relationship with this group if brands aren’t meeting the reliability, quality and effectiveness they demand from products. (Colloquy) This can be good news for those brands whose owners feel their products offer a better alternative and can effectively communicate this message.
No matter which demographic retailers are pursuing, understanding all of the nuances that make up a group is one thing – but knowing the most effective way to reach them is another. This is why retailers need real-time analytics provided by ShopperTrak people counting technology to harness accurate data that gives them the actionable insights they require to optimize every opportunity.