How to market to the baby boomers

Research by Emptynesting published in Marketing Week revealed that there are 3.7 million emptynesters in the UK with a disposable income of nearly £300million . We have more money and time to spend it than any other demographic. In the states eMarketer reckons nearly 60 million adults in the boomer demographic buy online. So why don’t manufacturers and marketing firms target our demographic better?

Are we being ignored?  A survey carried out by PrimeTime Women, says that “In most instances, using conventional celebrity advertising to reach PrimeTime Women won’t work. Consumers in PrimeTime have less of a need to aspire up and impress others and are no longer as driven by materialistic values such as fame and fortune. That is not to say that all celebrity usage is ineffective, but there is a different dynamic. Instead, they are drawn to people …who are approachable.”

They go on to say that the babyboomer woman is happier and more optimistic than women of other age groups. She is more independent and confident in her attitude and thinking and also less susceptible to the herd mentality encouraged by the broad approach of consumer advertising.

So, here are my thoughts on how all those people out there (are they mainly men I wonder?) could better target us as consumers.

1. Don’t insult our intelligence by saying we will look years younger if we use your beauty product, and don’t kid us by using models in their 30’s. Airbrushed 50 year olds won’t wash with us either. Fill your adverts with genuine people whose skin looks rejuvenated, plumper or with less fine lines. We know you cant work miracles so don’t pretend you can!

2. Give us clothes that a sassy, fashionable woman in the prime of her life (though maybe not at her most sylph –like!) would like to wear. Somewhere between M&S and Top Shop would be perfect.  Put yourself in our position – we do not want to look frumpy and shapeless, nor do we want to look like mutton dressed as lamb. We want elegant affordable clothes that flatter our shapes and make us look and feel great.

3. Likewise shoes – flatties don’t have to mean frumpy, we like heels but not ankle breaking stilettos. We can’t all afford Tods slip-ons, or Prada  wedges but you get the drift. Flattering shoes please, and don’t kid us that the models you see wearing those stilettos  can wear them for any longer than 10 minutes. Remember we are out there at cocktail parties and dining and we don’t want to be crippled.

4. Don’t keep sending us endless phonebook size brochures. We then assume half the cost of your products are advertising costs. Boden take note!

5. Cut out all the excessive packaging- whether it’s a perfume or a toothbrush we will admire you for promoting simple sustainable packaging. Talking of toothbrushes, please make those packets easier to open too!

6. Sadly bits of us do sag a bit with time, so how about tee shirts with slightly longer arms, and bras that give support without creating rollettes of fat above and below the back strap?

I’m sure there are a lot of other things I would add but I would just like to end here by saying credit us with intelligence and joie de vivre and you won’t go far wrong.

You may also like
Boomers are big consumers
60 After 60: Top Travel Ideas for Your Later Years