Generational Trends in Retail: Marketing to Baby Boomers

Marketing to Baby BoomersOver the last few years we’ve talked a great deal about generational trends in retail and how marketing to specific groups, rather than to all consumers as a whole, is the best way to reach a larger number of consumers. Consumer behaviour is undeniably generationally influenced, and, as countless studies have shown, ignoring the generational differences can be hazardous to your bottom line.

That being said, we’ve talked a lot about Millennials – it seems only fair, as many marketers have become obsessed with this up-and-coming generation: what they want, how they think, and how they buy. But in this race to harness the power of the Millennial, many of us have, often unconsciously, forgotten about their even more influential forbearers – the ones with even more buying power. This week we remedy that with a discussion on marketing to Baby Boomers.

The Baby Boomers are a huge group. According to Statistics Canada, in July 2015, for the first time, the number of persons aged 65 years and older exceeded the number of children aged 0 to 14 years. Nearly one in six Canadians (16.1%) – a record 5,780,900 Canadians – was at least 65 years old.  And not only are they a huge group, they are spending huge money – the most, actually – so how can we ignore such a powerful commodity. You can read more on this here: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/150929/dq150929b-eng.htm.

So, here are some tips to help you get a strategy in place to hit all targets, not just those up-and-comers.

Tips for marketing to Baby Boomers:

  1. Most importantly, don’t treat this group like they are old – they don’t see themselves this way and thus this approach will be seen as disrespectful. This group has knowledge and success behind it, so treat them in a way that acknowledges this fact.
  2. In the same vein, don’t assume that technology is not their friend. So many marketers fail here by assuming that Baby Boomers don’t have a firm grasp on things like e-commerce or social media, even the internet in general – an assumption which couldn’t be more wrong.
  3. Baby Boomers are loyal, but don’t take that loyalty for granted. Just because they’ve become loyal to a brand does not mean the right marketing won’t cause them to switch – that means you still need to engage these consumers to maintain that loyalty.
  4. Boomers, too, like to try new things – take advantage of their adventurous side.
  5. Focus on customer service. Of all generations, Baby Boomers tend to be the most put off by poor customer service. Strive to meet the needs of your customers – all of them – to keep them from turning to your competitor.

As they say, don’t place all your eggs in one basket. Relying on the strength of Millennials alone to power your retail sales ignores the buying power of those with the most to spend. Diversify your marketing to reach all generations – your bottom line will thank you for it.

Want some help marketing to Baby Boomers? Call Storesupport today at 1-877-421-5081.

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