MetLife Mature Market Institute's John N. Migliaccio on What Direct Marketers Should Know about Middle Boomers
Jan Brady may finally have come into her own. Research just out from the MetLife Mature Market Institute takes a closer look at what it terms the "middle boomers," comparing them to middle children who've long lived in the shadow of the older boomers. Much like Jan Brady, the character from the '70s ABC sitcom "The Brady Bunch," whose angst-ridden exclamation "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" was felt by middle children everywhere, middle boomers need to be taken seriously as having needs of their own.
John N. Migliaccio, Ph.D., the Westport, Conn.-based institute's director of research, commented on the study Boomers in the Middle released in March. On behalf of the institute, GfK Custom Research North America surveyed a cohort of 1,000 boomers born between 1952 and 1958. The survey, conducted from Nov. 18 to Dec. 12, 2009, found that these boomers are the connection between the oldest and youngest boomers. But they have unique characteristics and represent the largest portion of boomers, as well as 10 percent of the total U.S. population.
Target Marketing: How has Internet marketing helped speed the need for direct marketers to think of middle boomers as their own demographic?
John N. Migliaccio: ... The middle boomers have a number of attractions. One, there are a lot of them; they're the largest subsegment of the boomer cohort [at] 29 million or 38 percent of all boomers. Two, they're in their prime earning years. Three, half have children under 18 living at home, and half have grandchildren; they're tied in to the Internet because their kids and grandkids are. They share some aspects of both older and younger boomers. So they're somewhat of a hybrid between the classic youth-culture boomer stereotype and the youngest boomers, half of whom don't even like the term "boomer" to describe themselves and identify more with Gen X.