Boomers Spend Money, Use Tech

Boomers Spend Money, Use Tech

By , Jul 22 in blog with 0 comments

The Baby Boom Generation is still responsible for a substantial portion of consumer spending and is technologically sophisticated, according to new data from The Nielsen Company.

Boomers Spend 38% of CPG Dollars
An estimated 78 million Baby Boomers, defined as those born between 1946 and 1964, currently reside in the US. This population segment spends 38.5% of CPG dollars. Yet it is estimated that less than 5% of advertising dollars are currently targeted towards adults 35-64 years old (which includes the latter half of Generation X, those born between 1965 and 1976, in addition to Boomers).

With most marketers generally targeting 18-49 year olds, more than half of the affluent Boomer demographic is ignored entirely. It is worth noting that Nielsen data shows Boomers dominate 1,023 out of 1,083 consumer packaged goods categories.

Boomers Watch TV, Employ Technology
Boomers watch one-third of all TV content consumed in the US. In addition, defying stereotypes of older people being out of touch with technology, Boomers:

  • Watch the most video: 9:34 hours per day.
  • Comprise one-third of all online users, social media users and Twitter users.
  • Time-shift TV more than 18-24-year-olds (two hours and 32 minutes a month compared to one hour and 32 minutes a month).
  • Are significantly more likely to own a DVD player.
  • More likely to have broadband internet access at home.

Boomers Have Similar Web Tastes to Younger Adults
Baby Boomers have similar tastes in internet sites to adults aged 18-34. Of the top 10 sites favoured by 18-to-34-year-olds, eight are shared by Baby Boomers. Both demographics rank Google and Yahoo as their top and second-favourite sites, respectively. Baby Boomers rank Bing third and Facebook fourth, while 18-to-34-year-old reverse this order of favouritism.

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The two sites Baby Boomers rank in their top 10 which 18-to-34-year-olds do not are Ask.com (ninth) and Amazon.com (10th). In comparison, 18-to-34-year-olds differ in their preference for Fox Interactive Media (eighth) and Apple (ninth).

Pat McDonough, SVP, insights, analysis and policy at the Nielsen Company, said Baby Boomers should be as desirable for marketers as Millennials (ages 15-32) and Gen-Xers (ages 33-44). “As the US continues to age, reaching this group will continue to be critical for advertisers,” said McDonough.

Boomers like Savings Tied to Spending
In previous analysis, Nielsen advised that Baby Boomers tend to be big spenders who like monthly or quarterly cash-back savings programs that reflect spending levels. The upsell can be pursued into prescription medications, insurance, gifts for grandkids and kids, entertainment, travel, even discount wines by the case.

In addition, Boomers are big online shoppers, comfortable using email and messaging to stay in touch. Twitter is a huge untapped outlet for reaching Boomers, who increased utilization 469% during 2009. Reach one and you can reach their entire follower base with product info and special offers.


About the author

 Boomers Spend Money, Use Tech Mike Andrew has been working with the Internet and small business for over 12 years. Mike has been a keynote speaker at conventions and seminars and conducted social media training sessions all over the world. Mike has an extensive media background having worked in electronic media for over 30 years. Mike specialises in social media and Internet marketing strategy, SEO techniques and search engine marketing campaigns. His articles appear on numerous blogs around the web as well as national magazines.

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