Baby Boomers: A Boon for Your Small Business

small business marketing to baby boomers

Baby boomers still have the edge when it comes to population. (But the millennials, presumably fueled by avocado toast, are hot on their heels.) With 74 million Americans aged 52 to 70, this target market is nothing to scoff at. Yet somehow, boomers are consistently overlooked in favor of the “sexier” Gen Xers, millennials and Generation Zs.

It’s a big mistake, and not just because of numbers. Of all the defined generations, baby boomers have the most disposable household income, too: They hold 54% of all household wealth in the U.S.

So why is America’s biggest, richest generation getting so little marketing love? And how can you, as a small business owner, turn the tide? We have the scoop.

Don’t Discount Their Technological Knowhow

Baby boomers often are portrayed as bumbling but lovable nanas and grandpas who can’t locate the spacebar on a keyboard and are forever grumbling about “newfangled technology.” But the truth is that today’s baby boomer is more tech-savvy than ever. Seven in 10 own a smartphone; 90% have a PC or laptop. They get most of their information from the internet, and 92% of respondents to a DMN3 Institute study said they go online to shop for products and services.

Don’t exclude baby boomers in your online marketing campaign simply because “they don’t understand technology anyway.” It’s not true. Although many marketers who do target this age group do so through direct mail, catalogues, brochures and other print media, these channels are historically less effective with boomers. Don’t cut them out of your online campaigns. Just make sure your website, landing pages, blogs and emails are easy for any age to navigate.

Avoid the “O” Word at All Costs

Baby boomers may be more “mature” than your other target markets, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready for mushy peas in their retirement home dining hall.

Many are in the prime of their lives — retired (or nearly so) with the time and money to finally focus on themselves. And they hate being treated or referred to as old, elderly, past their prime, senior citizens or any other well-meaning but ultimately derogatory term.

Provide Stellar Customer Service

Baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964, which means they still remember the good ol’ days when milk arrived fresh on the doorstep each morning, every shopkeeper knew you by name and gas was 30 cents a gallon. While times have changed, their expectations of what constitutes good customer service has not.

We said earlier that boomers are becoming connoisseurs of technology, and they’re not above using that technology to research your small business. Bad reviews, lagging websites or indifferent customer service isn’t going to cut it with a generation who is used to being treated like minor royalty each time they make a purchase. They value the relationships they create with the brands they support, and they’ll make you earn their loyalty.

Market to Baby Boomers the Right Way

Baby boomers have the time and the money to enjoy the finer things in life, but they can’t buy what you’re not offering them. Overlook this generation, and you’re effectively ignoring half the money in America. Embrace them, avoid patronizing them and treat them the way they expect to be treated, and baby boomers will be a boon for your small business!

Running your small business is your job; marketing it is ours. Contact Mischa Communications today and let us create a tailor-made strategy for any generation! And check in next week for the next installment in our generational series: Generation X!