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Baby boomer marketing statistics

Author's avatar By Jessica Wade 28 Nov, 2017
Essential Essential topic

10 statistics and reasons why you should turn your marketing attention to baby boomers

Baby boomers are born between 1946 and 1964, there are around 74.9 million baby boomers. That's an audience of 74.9 million that need to be reached. They made up almost 40 percent of the nation’s population. Because of the buzz built around millennials, it has become easy to market to that generation. But what about baby boomers, how are marketers reaching them and seeing an ROI? Marketers will usually be looking to reach one of the following generations to promote their product or service:

  • Baby boomers – born between 1946-1964
  • Generation X – born between 1965-1980
  • Millennials – born between 1981-2000

The generation that often gets overlooked is baby boomers. More importantly, this generation now constitutes the wealthiest age group this century. But marketers find boomers difficult to target. One key reason it is so hard to target this generation is they can be at very different life stages: from single, married with young children, empty-nesters to a combination of both. Use the following stats and trends to help you effectively target and reach out to this generation in an engaging way.

Baby Boomer Statistics

  1. 60% of people in the 50 – 64 year age group, which is most of the boomer population, are now on at least one social media site. Facebook is by far the most popular social media site for baby boomers (Colorado University, 2016)
  2. About 60% of baby boomers spend time reading blogs and online articles as a source of information and intrigue, and about 70% enjoy watching videos about products and services (Forbes, 2017)
  3. Baby boomers spend 27 hours per week online, which is two hours more per week than those who are between 16 and 34
  4. Baby Boomers are 19% more likely to share content compared to any other generation (Digital Trends, 2016)
  5. Videos that are slower paced and have a great deal of information are more likely to appeal to Baby Boomers than faster-paced videos with too many visuals (QuickSproat, 2017)
  6. It might surprise you to learn that 96% of baby boomers use search engines, 95% use email, and 92% shop for products and services online rather than shopping in stores and shopping malls (Forbes, 2017)
  7. More than half of Leading-Edge Boomers will visit a company website or continue the search on a search engine after seeing something on a social networking site (DMN3, 2016)
  8.  70% of the disposable income in the U.S. is controlled by Baby Boomers. As Boomers become increasingly social media-savvy, they may become the key to the success of many brands (Nielsen, 2016)
  9. Boomers devote the most time to linear or broadcast TV. Boomers clock up over 3 hours per day on linear TV, Millennials are on a lower 2 hours (Global Web Index, 2016)
  10. Baby Boomers were much less likely to switch channels while researching products, predominantly utilizing email and websites before making the purchase (Smart Insights, 2017)

What does this tell marketers?

To reach Baby Boomers marketers will need to consider the following:

  • Baby boomers have money and are willing to spend it with the right information and in-depth research. In the US more than 70% of the disposable income comes from baby boomers.
  • They can be reached on social media, there is a myth that they don't use social media, but Baby boomers now spend 27 hours per week online there are plenty of opportunities to grab their attention. In fact, half of people aged 50 to 64 are on social media, Facebook being their main platform. Look at how you can reach this generation through retargeting on Facebook and informative posts.
  • Boomers buy products and services for others, not just themselves. Neil Patel says ' Boomers love to invest in educational products and services, especially for their grandchildren. If you can market your products in this way, you’ll grab their attention. They value education, loyalty, and authenticity, and any kind of content or product that fulfills that goal will be of interest to them.'
  • Baby Boomers are active online shoppers. According to one source, 66% of people over 50 in the United States routinely make purchases from online retailers. Don't be afraid to push online sales with this generation, especially if you are pushing your products through email. As their presence increases on Facebook why not consider using Facebook ads to push your product out to this audience
  • They are influenced by what they see on social media, and most of the time it’s focused on finding more information. More than half of Boomers will visit a company website or continue the search on a search engine after seeing something on a social networking site (DMN3, 2016). Therefore ensure your marketing strategy includes these marketing activities to effectively meet them where they look. This shows the importance of a fully integrated multichannel marketing strategy, if you want to succeed and get one step ahead of your competition, no matter the age group you are targeting

Baby boomers as a whole tend to be hard-working people prone to spending money and learning new things. Thye like to be fully informed about products and services, and they want to interact with their brands in a personal way. When a brand makes a promise they expect you to deliver. On the plus side, they are willing to wait for your messages and communication much longer than millennials, therefore can be more understanding.

Having a better understanding of this generation can help inform your 2018 marketing strategy if this is an audience you aim to reach. Start looking at how you can tweak your marketing message to appeal to this large segment. They are spending more than ever and spending more online, don't miss this huge opportunity.

If you are still unsure who your business should be targeting why not check out our free digital marketing plan template to start defining your target audience. This popular template will give you a structure for applying the RACE framework to help you rapidly create an integrated digital marketing plan for your business.

Are you looking to reach out to Baby boomers? Or have you tried to but been unsuccessful? We would love to know what you think, let us know and connect with us on TwitterFacebookInstagram or LinkedIn.

Author's avatar

By Jessica Wade

I was previously the Social Media Executive for Smart Insights and managed all of Smart Insights social media channels and social strategy. I love all things social, most of the time you will find me endlessly scrolling through Instagram. You can follow me on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.

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