Don’t Forget the Baby Boomers! Reaching This Heavy Spending Generation Through Their Passions
Marketers have been obsessed with the millennial generation for the past 10+ years. And rightly so, they currently represent a group of 73 million people in the US alone who are currently between the ages of 23 and 38 (born between 1981 and 1996). While this interest is clearly driven by their spending power; expected to reach $1.4 trillion in 2020, the obsession has more to do with figuring out how to market to this group. They’ve proven to be a unique generation of independent thinkers, who are digitally savvy and control their own destiny. Yes, a challenging group with which to break through, but loyalty is the reward if your brand is authentic to their experience.
Only recently have we begun to hear more about how to market to Gen Z; the next generation of spending power coming up in the US (the oldest of which are currently 23 and the youngest being eight years old). The clamor to reach them at a young age to lock-in brand loyalty early will only grow. Time will tell how this group reacts to old and new marketing strategies.
Don’t forget about the baby boomers!
But marketers would be foolish to ignore the baby boomer generation. The baby boomer generation sprang from a marked increase in the birth rate post-World War II, from 1946 through 1964, with current members ranging in age from 55 to 73 years of age. While the millennial population is expected to surpass baby boomers in 2019, boomers still account for a full 20% of the US population at approximately 72 million people, and according to U.S. News and World Report, control 70% of the country’s disposable income and spend $3.2 trillion a year!
As a group, this over-50 crowd should continue to be a major force in U.S. consumer spending, especially as those over 60 years old drive growth over the next five to 10 years. According to Visa Business and Economic Insights this is happening for two reasons; demographics – there are simply more consumers over 60 than there were 10 years ago, and; behavior – boomers are retiring later, holding on to more debt and maintaining budgets for travel and other discretionary treats.
What are boomers favorite activities where they are most likely to spend their money? According to HowStuffWorks:
Staying fit – tennis, golf, jogging, walking, swimming
Traveling – with friends and family, with spouses
Enjoying sports of all kinds – TV, digital, in-person and playing themselves
Enjoying music, movies, theatre, books – both downloaded and live performances
Doing it themselves – home improvement, gardening, automotive, wealth management
Socializing with family and friends – restaurants, bars and private clubs (36% of the 34 million Americans who live alone are baby boomers, according to NewStrategist)
Volunteering – community, church, schools, hospitals