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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Three Keys to Engaging Baby Boomers

By the end of 2015, baby boomers will represent 45 percent of the American population and control approximately 70 percent of the wealth.

Obviously, this is a powerful and important demographic for us to consider when planning marketing strategies. Conventional wisdom holds that boomers lag their younger, faster, and more technologically proficient millennial counterparts when it comes to digital engagement. However, an estimated 79 percent of them regularly use the Internet. Because of this, we as marketers must find ways to optimize their experience and appeal to their preferences.

  1. Get to know your audience: Preference management - the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication - goes a long way with baby boomers. Seeing that the brand they did business with six months ago still remembers who they are, what they bought and what else might appeal to them is greatly appreciated.
  2. Educate your audience: Boomers are more receptive to learning how they can enhance and personalize their online experience than most would expect. When brands empower baby boomers to control their own experience, they are gaining the respect and trust of a generation that values good service. Savvy companies seeking a boomer-specific audience leverage oversize fonts, easily navigable interfaces and intuitive controls to help them through the personalization process. 
  3. Respect your audience: While baby boomers are far from technically illiterate, they are not exploring evolving social media channels that many millennials have come to embrace. If you know that your audience is not tweeting about their experience, liking your brand’s latest Facebook post, or Instagramming their latest purchase, don’t waste time trying to get them to adopt those channels. As marketers, we must respect the means of communication that baby boomers are most comfortable using.

Bottom line: boomers spend an estimated $2.9 trillion a year . If that’s not encouragement to spend a little extra time and energy on appealing to a specific demographic, I’m not sure what is. With preference management, baby boomers are an exciting and attainable audience to appeal to. When baby boomers can do business with a brand that personalizes their experience, empowers them to take control and respects their preferred channels, brands will be successful in winning them over.

Eric Tejeda is the Director of Product Marketing for PossibleNOW and CompliancePoint. Eric supports the organization’s growth objectives by productizing and launching innovative new products and services that fill critical needs in the marketplace. 

With 25 years of experience, Eric firmly believes that permission-based marketing and preference management is a mega trend and the path to success for marketers today. 

Follow me on Twitter: @EricTejeda | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Tejeda

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