Villing & Company

Don't Forget Those Boomers, Baby.

Some days it’s hard to come up with good ideas for a blog post. Other days, it’s hard to narrow down the possibilities. I was in the latter mode when I started this piece. There were several topics I had wanted to address. Then, out of the blue this morning, I saw an interesting piece from MediaPost’s Engage:Boomers. It was titled “Why Is It News That Marketers Can’t Afford To Ignore Boomers?” It reminded me of an article I wrote some months back, “Who Says 18-34 is the Most Coveted Marketing Demographic?” That column seemed to touch a nerve and generated an exceptionally high level of traffic to the News & Views page of our website.

The MediaPost article was based on a couple statistics referenced in a release from research giant Nielsen. The statistic that got my attention was this:

While boomers spend almost 39 percent of all consumer packaged goods dollars, only 5 percent of advertising is directed at them.

In this era of extreme focus on target marketing and marketing ROI, this is an amazing statistic.

OK, I know the conventional wisdom is that Boomers have a shorter amount of remaining lifespan to make purchases than their younger counterparts who may be more in the formative years of establishing their brand preferences. But isn’t 60 the new 40? Boomers have more active lifestyles than those in their age demographic even just 20 years ago and they project to be more active spenders for a longer period of time than their predecessors as well.

My experience is that Boomers are also much more open-minded about changing brands than may have been the case in previous generations. For sure, they have access to more brand choices than ever before and they seem to be more willing to embrace new brands that reach out to them in ways that avoid ageist stereotypes.

Maybe it’s time for marketers to learn the new math. Spending 5 percent of marketing dollars to reach 40 percent of the market just doesn’t add up.

Filed Under: advertising

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