The Baby Boomer generation comprises some 77 million people born between 1946 and 1964. By the end of this year, this group is expected to represent 45% of the U.S. population. Because they are currently both prospective residents and the adult children of prospective residents, Baby Boomers are one of the most important groups to the senior living industry.
Here are seven strategies to help you market to Boomers.
Baby Boomers are more likely to purchase from someone who they feel represents them. Therefore, using Boomers in advertising materials and asserting their values into your company’s marketing plan will make your organization the obvious choice. If you’re using content marketing and social media to reach them, make sure to use a tone that is reflective of them — leave out the overly sales-like verbiage and new slang.
Boomers are more traditional in the sense that they still rely on word of mouth and recommendations to make many of their decisions. As opposed to a younger demographic who might be more likely to go out on a limb and try something new, Baby Boomers tend to stick to what they (or their friends) know. This means your community might consider incorporating referral bonuses for residents and building up your website’s testimonial page.
Cater to them.
Baby Boomers appreciate being taken care of. After post-WWII economic prosperity, Tom Wolfe dubbed them the “Me” generation, characterized by feelings of entitlement and self-fulfillment. To appeal to this mindset, treat Boomers like the individuals they are. For example, keep the individual at the forefront of your marketing strategy, as opposed to addressing them as part of a group.
Avoid being pushy.
Baby Boomers are more likely to respond to a relatable, subtle sales pitch than a forced hard sell. Make your interactions with Boomers more conversational than sales-y, and address their needs honestly. Boomers also tend to be more private people and will be more hesitant to give up personal information right away. Don’t rush them. Give them the information they need and allow them to purchase when they are ready.
Create a user-friendly online experience.
Digital is more important than ever, but your company’s online presence is especially important with Baby Boomers. This generation makes up one-third of all Internet users, so ensure their online experience is smooth and safe. For example, make sure that any transactions that require them to input personal information are secure, that web pages load quickly, and that your site is free of bugs and other threats.
Although more and more conversations are being held online, don’t discredit the power of the telephone. Baby Boomers are more likely than younger generations to pick up the phone with a question, so make sure to list your company’s phone number and other contact information clearly on your website and marketing materials. Connecting via social media is also important, but don’t stop at getting them to ‘like’ your page. Make sure you actually respond to Facebook and Twitter inquiries, compliments, and especially complaints.
Don’t rely solely on digital.
The Internet is a big part of marketing, but Baby Boomers also appreciate more “old school” forms of marketing. Don’t put all of your eggs in the digital basket, and remember to include print media and direct mailings in your plan, too. These forms of traditional media tend to be more effective with Baby Boomers than any other demographic.
Here are a few more resources on how to market to Baby Boomers:
- Marketing to Boomers (Bloomberg)
- 9 Digital Marketing Strategies to Woo Baby Boomers (CIO.com)
- 4 Tips for Marketing to Baby Boomers in the Digital Age (Contently)