MetLife Mature Market Institute's John N. Migliaccio on What Direct Marketers Should Know about Middle Boomers
TM: What sort of direct marketing campaign or strategy would work best with this group and why?
JM: The middle boomers are like their slightly older boomer counterparts in many ways. They share a lot of the same life view[s] and influences as older boomers, such as the JFK assassination, Vietnam and the women's movement. However, they're ... at a different life stage. Many still [have] children at home, and two-thirds have parents still alive, as well. As they are getting older, family and friends, financial security, personal wellness, and purpose and meaning in their lives are taking a higher priority. So helping them focus and figure out these issues at a personal level is very important.
TM: Which marketers would benefit best from treating this demographic differently from the rest of the boomers?
JM: Middle boomers' biggest concern is not being able to afford their health care costs in the future. And they are getting close to really having to pay attention to retirement issues, as well. ... Many still [face] education costs for their children. Almost a third of them are also anticipating a good-sized inheritance from their parents, so financial and benefits issues are a significant concern. About half of them feel like they're behind in their retirement savings. They've been affected by the recession like everybody else, but also have some time to recover from it before retirement. So safety, financial security and income they can count on are leading issues for them.
TM: What direct marketing channels work best to reach this group?
JM: Middle boomers are hooked into all of them, since they bridge having been exposed to marketing from both new and traditional media. Social media is certainly growing, since it's a way to stay current with their children, as well as more focused social media for business and professional contacts. And Skype may be the new VCR challenge. Remember all those blinking digital clocks? They'd love to use [Skype] if someone would just help them figure out how to do so.