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Small Business Management Article
Are You Marketing To All The Right People?
Raymond D. Matkowsky
Marketers covet people in the 18 to 49 age group. This is the group that supposedly spends with abandonment. No more! Marketers have ceded 50 to 65 age group as not being worthy of effort. But, is this still true? I rather doubt it. In terms of full disclosure, let me say that I am a proud baby boomer that is in the best financial condition that I have ever been.
On the expenditure side, boomer households have spent an average of US$63,255 in the last twelve month period that data exists. Baby Boomers that are still in the workforce have an average income of US$82,322 this compares to a Generation X medium income of US$66,693 and a Millennia medium of US$54,243. Many Baby Boomers are empty nesters also. They do not have the same family obligations and consequently more discretionary income to spend on themselves. Compared with younger generations they have a medium net worth of US$187,300. This is nearly double that of all households. I know of many Baby Boomers that take expensive vacations yearly. 55 to 64 year olds spend well above the average on new vehicles. Baby Boomers spend almost as much as Generation X’s average income and much more than millenials. Many have a 30 year financial jump on younger generations.
69% of Baby Boomers have debt. However, this compares to 80% of Generation X members and 75% of Millenials that are in some kind of debt. In addition, TransUnion says the Millenials have poorer credit ratings.
Also, as Generation X and Millennial members age their attitudes toward finances will probably more resemble those of the Baby Boomer Generation. This has been a generational constant throughout history and there appears to be no reason for it to change.
Years Of Hard Work
Baby Boomers look at their spending as a reward for years of hard work. They pamper themselves accordingly. They resent not being accorded the economic recognition they feel they deserve.
Continue In The Workforce
As of 2017, a survey conducted by the Motley Fool revealed that 67% of Baby Boomers plan to continue working past the traditional retirement age of 65. This sets up two situations. First of all, boomers may continue to have a sizeable income for a lot longer than imagined. Secondly, if they stay in the workforce, they will hold down Generation X and Millennial wages insuring that they may continue being a spending force in the future.
There is one caveat that should be mentioned. Baby Boomers buy on value! To market to a Baby Boomer you must show him or her value in your offering. They are willing to spend more for value than not. They will turn down something they feel does not have any value to them.
To successfully market to Baby Boomers, businesses should provide facts that richly espouse value. It comes down to WIIFM – What’s In It For Me.
Don’t Ignore Others
I am not arguing that Generation X and Millennial buyers should be ignored. Every rule has an exception. These two generations buy and you want to sell. What I am saying is that Baby Boomers are the ones with the most disposable money and they are willing to spend it. I am not saying that as a group they are “rich” people. What I am saying is that they have more disposable income, less financial obligations and a greater number of individuals in the group than other generations. This may equate to more sales for you.
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