Google counts 1.8 million web pages that will help you market to Millennials -- those pink-wearing, avocado toast-eating, student debt-carrying, emoji lovers born between 1980 and 1992 (give or take). They rent homes instead of buying, prefer cities to suburbs, and share everything from rides to vacation homes.
Everyone seems to have forgotten about the Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964. There are 75 million Boomers in America today -- an enormous segment of the population -- yet less than five percent of all advertising dollars target them. Talk about a missed opportunity!
Here's a list of insights that may convince you to start selling to Boomers:
- They have money to spend. Almost half of all Boomers bring in more than $75,000 per year. They also hold more than 34 percent of the total net worth dollars in the country, and they give more to charity.
- They have more free time. Nearly half of all boomers are now retired, so they have more free time. By 2029, all of the baby boomers -- 20 percent of the country -- will be 65 or older. That's twice as many as in 1970. If they're not working, they're likely playing. My guess is they'll spend more on hobbies and leisure sports such as boating and golf.
- They like technology. My Boomer parents are big users of their iPhones and iPads and they love using Facebook and Facetime to catch up -- especially now that my wife and I have a baby they can ogle on our weekly calls. That's fairly typical: Nearly nine out of every ten adults over age 50 own a mobile device, according to AARP, and three-fourths of Boomers use their mobile devices primarily to stay in touch with friends and family.
- They travel. According to AARP, 99 percent of Boomers will take at least one leisure trip this year, with an average of five or more trips expected in the year. They use websites such as Trip Advisor, Expedia and Travelocity to book travel, and services such as Waze, Citymapper and Google Maps to get around town. Looking for directions is one of the three most common things Boomers do on their mobile phones.
- Health is becoming an issue. Boomers' hearing and vision are not as sharp as they used to be, so you may want to keep that in mind when designing new products. At Tile, some of our customers said they had a hard time hearing their Tiles when they "rang" their misplaced things, so we made the ringer on our newest Tiles twice as loud. We also added additional ringtones that go through a wide spectrum of audio frequencies (helpful for those with hearing trouble). Additionally, digital health devices with sensors are expected to rise. Given Boomers' evolving health needs, this generation will likely buy plenty.
- They like convenience. Unlike Millennials, Boomers can remember when it took effort to hail a cab and they had to drive somewhere to pick up their groceries. Nowadays they use their mobile phones to hail an Uber or a Lyft, or get dinner delivered through Beyond Menu, Grubhub or Postmates. Instead of carrying heavy bags, they order grocery delivery from PeaPod and Instacart. Amazon Prime is another "don't leave home" favorite.
- They're reliving their youth. Favorite Boomer bands like The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Paul Simon and James Taylor are still performing. Boomers buy tickets via services such as TicketMaster and StubHub, or watch videos on YouTube. Chances are, they would relish more opportunities to revisit the glory days.
- They sometimes forget things. Their short-term memory is starting to to get a little fuzzy, so some Boomers could use a gentle reminder from technology. At Tile we hear stories from our users about ways they use Tile to help find their keys, luggage, Kindles and even their canes. Evernote and Remember the Milk are helpful mobile apps for jotting down notes, to-do's and shopping lists.
- They're loyal. Unlike fickle Gen Xers and Millennials, if you provide Boomers relevant products and excellent customer service, they'll stick with you. According to Crowdtwist, 46 percent of Boomers say they are "quite loyal" or "extremely loyal" to their favorite brands.
Counter to conventional wisdom, Millennials are not the only generation worth courting. If you spend some time considering the evolving lifestyles of Boomers, you will find plenty of new business opportunities to pursue.