Consumer goods companies should consider recalibrating their marketing priorities, and place at least equal emphasis on attracting and retaining baby boomers as they do on millennials. While millennials — the largest-ever cohort of the 18-34 demographic — are important, we would argue that baby boomers — the 50-70 demographic — are equally so, due to their number, wealth, longevity, evolving spending patterns and ongoing search for meaning through lifestyle choices and acquisitions (homes, cars, etc.).
The boomers’ “second coming of age” offers an enormous commercial opportunity for smart companies to capitalize on by creating and catering to new behaviors associated with entering later life — empty nesting, retirement and aging. Facing new challenges, fears and freedoms never experienced before in their lives, boomers are reconsidering the kinds of purchases they want to make and rethinking how they spend their time. Those behaviors require new models of marketing and thinking about approaching boomers, especially as they engage increasingly with technology at every step.
Our research has identified the following key steps you can take to better target boomers and help them tackle later life head on:
Create offerings that help baby boomers live out their dreams.
Such offerings will not only include more customizable, premium products, but will come with thorough service that helps boomers define and actualize their dream.
Develop total offerings that help baby boomers take on change.
Companies can take full advantage of the second coming of age by developing total offerings that connect several products, services and related experiences targeted to help boomers adjust to later life or build and sustain their new behaviors, such as healthier eating, more exercise and hobbies.
Create worlds around your offerings that keep boomers active and social.
Creating in-person meet-ups, online discussions and interactive tools around your organization’s offerings gives boomers a forum to deepen their interests, meet people who share them, and feel relevant and social — which will lead to deeper engagement with your products.
Understand the interplay between baby boomers’ digital and analog lives.
Boomers are steeped in technology, but also appreciate the human touch of customer service. And with many of their behaviors, preferences and past purchases coming from the pre-digital era, companies need a deeper understanding of the way boomers operate in both the digital and analog worlds.
Rethink your organization to more effectively target baby boomers.
Developing a unit or line of offerings focused on baby boomers — with at least some staff who are boomers themselves — will force your organization to take understanding boomers seriously, and enable the development of more detailed segmentations and relevant offerings.
This article was written by Filip Lau, Co-Founder and Partner of ReD Associates in Copenhagen, and Lester Lam, Vice President and Global Leader for Cognizant Digital Works Strategy Consulting.
To learn more, read our white paper “The Second Coming of Age” or visit Cognizant Digital Works or our partner, ReD Associates.