Most marketers these days have realized the value in targeting Baby Boomer audiences. They are a massive market with the most spending power – accounting for more than 70% of the disposable income in the U.S. But this very lucrative segment is more than just another target audience. Baby Boomers are a complex blend of people who have lived through dramatically different times. Who have seen it all and heard it all. Who have been marketed to their whole lives, and can therefore be harder to reach.
In order to reach any audience, you must appeal to their root values and motivators. But to get through to Baby Boomers and Seniors, you’ve also got to realize that those root values and motivators have changed. That means going beyond targeting them based on generational commonalities, and must include targeting them based on their season of life. These audiences are now in the second half of life, and what drives them now isn’t the same as what drove them when they were younger.
As we reach the Fall and Winter of life, we start to think more about legacy, and our lives having meaning. We place greater value in time spent with others. Our definition of happiness changes as we age, so we are more likely to do things that are meaningful to us on an emotional level. And if you’ve ever been embarrassed by something your parent or grandparent has said in public, you know that older people can be less filtered in what they say. That’s because aging audiences are less interested in “fitting in” or what other people think of them. Materialistic factors become less motivating, and are replaced with a desire to enjoy life and do the things we love.
Knowing this, marketers need to redefine their messaging to appeal more to aging audiences based on their season of life – tapping into their need for meaning and their receptivity to emotional content. So don’t focus on “keeping up with the Joneses”, don’t be condescending, and don’t be too gimmicky or distracting. Instead, give them the facts to empower their own decisions, and tell aging audiences how your product or service can bring more meaning to their lives. Positioning products and services as “Gateways to Meaningful Experiences” appeals to second half of life values, and motivates Baby Boomers to take action.