Humans always drive the decision process.
Frequently the industry and the entire society analyze the Baby Boomers and their decision process, as the boomers are some aliens from another planet.
There are many reasons why the Baby boomer segment gets so much attention. It’s a large group growing steadily. During 2017 it is estimated that over 50% of the U.S. population will belong to the baby boomer group.
To correctly understand the decision process marketers use to divide the people into the following six groups:
- GI Generation – born between 1901 and 1926
- Silent Generation – born between 1927 and 1945
- Baby Boomers – born between 1946 and 1964
- Generation X – born between 1965 and 1980
- The Y generation also called the millennium generation – born between 1981 and 2000
- The young Z generation –born after 2001
Two important reasons why baby boomers always are an interesting target group for marketers. One is the massive size of the segment and the other the strong average purchase power.
The baby boomers also represent the first generation that uses the word “retirement” in a different way. With better health and increase of longevity, they view retirement in a different way.
It’s the period in life when the focus will be on life quality. Instead of passing the rest of their lives in a rocking chair, behaving according to the old “rules” of old people, they go scuba diving, exercise, practicing their favorite hobbies and traveling the world.
The decision process for baby boomers is not only focused on their purchasing behavior, but also on how to continue an active life working on the personal project and income streams. More about this under the title “Decision Process For Active Baby Boomers: Retired But Not Tired” further down.
How To Be Considered In The Decision Process
Every serious and professional marketer start the marketing effort by understanding and getting to know as much as possible about their target audience.
You can find tons of material elsewhere to understand the baby boomer’s decision process thoroughly. However, seven fundamental rules never can be ignored when attracting baby boomers to your business.
- Be laser precise on your promises – Never try to win a baby boomer to your business by cheating him or her. You even have to be crystal clear on what you are promising. Trust is key to any successful marketing, but if a baby boomer doesn’t see total transparency in your offer, you can forget about the individual as a customer.
- Provide outstanding customer service – Baby boomers are coming from an environment where disposable products aren’t that common. The purchase mentality in the decision process is more focused on a sound investment with good performance and yield effect, then on short-term results or consequences. Therefore, the customer service is a fundamental part of the product.
- Offer extensive online resources – A lot of people make a mistake to assume that baby boomers don’t handle online platforms and resources as the millennium generation. Attention and re-think! According to Immersion Active the 50+ age is the fastest growing demographic group online. They spend more time online than watching TV. Something to seriously take into consideration.
- Social media a must in your marketing mix – Baby boomers represent the fastest growing age group on Facebook. To go after the baby boomers ignoring Facebook as an important platform is like leaving money on the table.
- Call to action – Although baby boomers are very active on different social medias and other online platforms, their natural behavior is somewhat different than one of younger people. Even if an offer is clearly explained on the site the next step and go shopping, isn’t a 100% natural step to take. Therefore, every single offer on the web must have a clear and distinct call to action message.
- Mobile friendly promotions – The baby boomer segment is increasing their participation of online purchasing through their smartphones. However, due to their background, still, they do not handle the phone with the same easiness their kids and grandchildren do. Add to this that with age, the vision and other age-related physical deteriorations can occur. Adapt mobile messages and call to action buttons accordingly.
- Never refer to age – All the previous six pieces of advice will lose their effect entirely if you go wrong on the age issue. The baby boomer generation is not looking forward to the retirement in the old traditional way. It’s an active generation, still ready to deliver a lot of value to the society. Never use their age as an excuse or explanation for why things are turning out the way they do. It’s the same as closing the door forever to this powerful and influential audience.
Where To Find Baby Boomers Online
For all marketing online you need understand where to find your target audience. According to the Houston-based Institute DMN3, over 82% of baby boomers in the U.S. belong to at least one social network.
Facebook is number one, and other networks are growing.
Even if baby boomers don’t spend as much time as the younger generations, Facebook seems to be the media where even 50+ people are spending a considerable amount of hours per week. Thus, Facebook is a must if you want to connect with baby boomers via social networks.
The same survey also shows the typical procedure for boomers after viewing an offer on social media. As much as 57.1% continue to the seller’s website. Almost almost the same number of people continue to search for additional information on the search engine of their preference. Only 33.8% made a purchase directly after visiting the social media.
The takeaway from this analysis is that a well-structured and user-friendly website will increase the purchase rate considerably.
Decision Process For Active Baby Boomers: Retired But Not Tired
Before the World War ll, no-one really talked about retirement. You worked as long as you could and then it was very much your personal savings and relying on other family members.
With all reforms and positivism starting to flow after the war, the first formal retirement systems and funds were created. The first group of people benefiting from the system could retire with a quite decent economic compensation.
However, after all these years the retirement plans have suffered a lot. The world has gone through various financial crises. The value of the funds suffers each time more. The improved general health and a massively growing group of people to retire, do not accumulate sufficient funds to fulfill the initial commitment to the employees.
Today there are very few individuals who can retire with a decent economic base, unless successful personal savings are in place.
A Decision Process With An Active Lifestyle
In my article of the 24th of March, 2016, “How Seniors Can Become Successful Entrepreneurs After Retirement.” , we dig deeper into this interesting topic.
In a nutshell, the two main reasons for upper age people to continue to work with something actively, are:
- Not financially feasible to live a decent life based on the pension payout after retirement.
- The desire to continue to work.
Since the online marketing appeared in the market, the large and important baby boomer group has something that really will fit in perfectly in their lives as “Retired by not tired” people.
- No big investments required. With a couple of hundreds of dollars, the business will be up and running.
- The business combines perfectly well with the desired lifestyle for a retired person, who the entire life has been tied up with a physical working place and formal time schemes. With a laptop and an Internet connection, you can work from anywhere in the world. You can travel with your partner or family, without losing connection to your business.
- The tremendous experience (both timewise and content wise) a person has after working for maybe 40 or 50 years, cannot be replaced with anything. Use this experience!
- Affiliate marketing is a perfect concept for baby boomers. No worry about products, inventory or anything else related to a “regular” business.
“We don’t grow older, we grow riper.” – Pablo Picasso
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Jan Nilsson –What To Know About The Decision Process For Baby Boomers
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