Posted 10 November 2014

Boomers a Key Demographic for Marketers, Research Suggests

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In 1900, 13% percent of the population was age 50 and over. In 2002, it was more than 27% and by 2020, it’s predicted to be more than 35%. Today, the 50+ population is referred to as Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964), caused by the post-World War II spike in birth rates. 

Because of the explosive growth of this demographic, those 50 and older should be a key priority for most brands, as – contrary to younger generations – they have both the luxury of time and resources to pour into the U.S. economy. Despite the economic downturn, 63% still have at least one person in the household working full-time.

The 50+ population currently wields $3 trillion of spending power in the U.S. alone. In 2017, those 50 and older will control a full 70% of the disposable income, according to Nielsen.

Many brands miss valuable opportunities to acquire customers over the age of 50 due to assumptions and common stereotypes about this demographic. Some of these stereotypes include: 

  • 50+ individuals are not tech savvy – According a CompTIA study, Boomers are just as tech savvy as their Millennial counterparts, however, Boomers learn and use the latest technology out of career necessity, while Millennials see it as a natural part of their lifestyle.
  • 50+ workers are in or nearing retirement – There’s been a 67% jump in Americans working past age 65 over the past decade.
  • 50+ individuals are resistant to change – The 50+ age group faces many new life changes including empty nests, decreased financial obligations and increased health concerns. These changes inspire them to invest in new products and services to help with these adjustments, resulting in huge opportunities for a wide range of brands offering everything from travel and leisure activities to prescription drugs.

Brands looking to market to the 50+ demographic should consider a multichannel strategy for optimal results. For example, a retired couple looking to buy a car will likely conduct research on a wide range of channels including:

  • Online – Visiting sites like Autotrader.com for vehicles and prices in their area and Consumer Reports for safety ratings
  • Retail – Visiting dealerships for a test drive
  • Phone – Calls to the dealership to schedule a follow-up appointment with the sales rep or calls their bank to discuss financing options

When it comes to the call center, a ResponseTap survey reveals that 61% of adults age 50+ value speaking to a well-informed advisor over the phone, in order to make sure they have the correct information. Even those claiming to do all their research online value the human voice, with 31% recognizing that it gives them extra assurance about what they want. Moreover, 30% of those 50+ confirm that speaking to someone on the phone helps them in their decision-making process.

Voice is a key component to building brand loyalty among those ages 50 and older. Specifically, some of the things that matter to them when it comes to phone communication include:

  • Those age 50+ want quality rather than quantity or speed, with only 3% valuing a quick call
  • 67% value talking to a local person rather than someone based abroad
  • 87% expect to be put through to a well-informed person on the other end of the line
  • 64% dislike being passed from person to person
  • 77% say that speaking to someone helpful and well-informed offers peace of mind and confidence in the fact that they are making the right purchasing decision

Brands looking to capitalize on the growing 50+ population through a multichannel strategy will benefit from the use of call-based marketing automation as a way to track the customer’s journey every step of the way, from online to offline, for a seamless customer experience.

You can read our full whitepaper here to find out more about how voice is the new relationship milestone.

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