While millennials and Gen Z have dominated headlines in recent years, boomers have continued to dominate consumer spending in the U.S. Boomers now account for more than half of all U.S. spending. They are also responsible for more spending growth over the past decade than any other generation, including the coveted millennials. So why are advertisers talking about millennials and Gen Z so much?
Finding creative ways to woo and impress Millennials and Gen Z is a top priority for many marketers. Logically, companies place a large chunk of their marketing efforts on these generations as they equal present and future economic gain. But in doing so, they often miss the significant spending power of another age group. They forget about Boomers.
Here are some stats from Nielsen about Boomers:
Brands that cater to older audiences can be a profitable sweet spot. It is a large population, and in comparison to other generations, Boomers hold the most significant percentage of disposable income.
Baby boomers are a vital population segment with an enormous economic influence. There are around 72 million baby boomers in the United States, many of whom are approaching retirement age or have already retired. While millennials have passed baby boomers in population share, baby boomers continue to control the most wealth of any group in the country. This makes them a vital generation to keep an eye on, thanks to their sheer size and buying power.
If that doesn’t convince you, here are some more statistics:
While no generation can be uniformly summarized (Gen Z has a few well-earned stereotypes: They’re socially conscious, tech-savvy, and quick to sniff ouB.SB.S. “They don’t want to ‘buy’ from a brand,” says Eric Jones, who tracks Gen Z’s behavior V.P. V.P. of corporate marketinW.P.at W.P. Engine. “Instead, they want to partner with their brands. They want a relationship; they want honesty.”
Companies and brands hoping to win Gen Z’s loyalty and patronage must first overcome their significant trust issues.
They don’t want to feel exploited by companies collecting and using their personal information.
There are vast differences between Boomers and Gen Z, but there is so much noise about “marketing” to Gen Z that, frankly, it doesn’t make sense. In the meantime, research indicates that Boomers continue to await evidence that marketers take Boomer needs into consideration when they develop new products and services — as well as evidence that their advertising understands and addresses the issues that motivate Boomers.
Boomer women, as a group, control trillions in spending. Brands and marketers know that. Yet they are largely ignored. They are also misrepresented in the media, often shown as dowdy and needy. The two problems are linked. And they both need to change.
To make that change, Boomer women need to flex their economic muscles. Why? Because then the image of Boomer women will match reality. Marketing media are essential in creating a picture of retired and older women. They want authentic photos in ads, movies, TV shows, and other media. Images that show who they are. Images that show their energy and experience.
So go ahead, ignore Boomers and lose customers and prospects. Listen to magazine writers who don’t get it and watch your share go down.