Market Focus: Baby Boomers
It’s important to remember that as boomers age, they become older boomers; they do not become their parents, explains Barbara Abudi, an account director at Millard Group, a full-service list marketing firm in Peterborough, NH.
As such, marketers find they can target products to people in their 50s that years ago would have been more appropriate for people in their 40s. She points to anything fitness- or sports-related as a prime example.
Zajonc agrees, adding that boomers realize they will be living longer than prior generations. They want to make the most of these extra years, so they generally respond well to products and services that rejuvenate the mind and body.
The financial security of this market offers continuing opportunities for marketers of travel and luxury products. Eighty percent of luxury travel and 48 percent of all luxury car purchases are made by boomers, reports Zajonc.
The majority of this market has grown up in affluent times, the result of which is a wide variety of products and services at its disposal. Naturally, Zajonc says, boomers are sophisticated buyers who know how to make the most of all the available shopping options.
Boomers collect a good deal of information to support their purchasing decisions, says Abudi. They do not like to be sold on image alone, so marketers need to back up their product claims.
As for channels, Zajonc notes that boomers tend to view direct mail as a starting point in gathering information, and certainly use the Internet as a research tool for shopping. However, they currently are not as comfortable buying online as Generation Y.
Studies conducted by Jupiter Research show that more baby boomers will embrace online shopping in the years to come. By 2007, online buyers age 50 and older will account for one-quarter of all online retail spending; more than half of the boomers will be in this age group.