Marketers Can Target Boomers with Convenience, Accessibility of Products

Companies are missing the mark when it comes to engaging and catering to the needs of the aging consumer.  A new study from Nielsen finds there are generational differences in attitudes towards aging and their fears around getting older — younger consumers fear the loss of mobility and agility, while older consumers fear the loss of financial comfort and worry about how they will fund their retirement.

The Internet and e‑commerce will likely become more dominant resources for many, especially among more tech-​savvy baby boomers. Though the convenience of online shopping isn’t likely to completely replace trips to the grocery store any time soon, digital is making significant strides in other ways.

More than one-​third (37%) of global online respondents say they already order groceries online for home delivery, and more than half (54%) say they’re willing to give it a try if it becomes available for them. Only 9% globally say they’re not willing. While less than 20% of global respondents say they currently order groceries online for pick up either inside the store (17%) or via a drive-​through window (16%), four times that many say they’re willing to give it a try if it becomes available for them.

The findings serve as a wake-​up call to manufacturers, retailers and other marketers that need to bolster efforts to better reach and cater to an aging demographic. Improvements, such as using larger fonts on product labels and signage, arranging age-​related products in one place and at arm’s length for easier accessibility, and offering friendly customer service, can go a long way in building loyal patronage,” said Todd Hale, SVP consumer and shopper insights at Nielsen.

Additional highlights from the study include:

  • 38% of Americans say they don’t see advertising that reflects older consumers;
  • 44% say it’s difficult to find product labels that are easy to read;
  • 43% can’t find easy-​to-​open packaging;
  • 34% say they can’t find smaller portion-​sized food packaging;
  • 31% say products are not clearly labeled with nutritional information;
  • 25% can’t find products geared towards their special nutritional needs;
  • 60% of Americans don’t feel that they were financially set for retirement;
  • 53% fear losing their self-​reliance, such as the ability to drive, cook and shop; and
  • 57% fear having enough money to live comfortably, and an equal number fear losing their mental and physical agility.

Ad-​ology Research has discovered 57% of leading Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1954, enjoy reading books for pleasure, and are more likely than the average consumer to enjoy yardwork and landscaping.  During a typical week, 31% of leading baby boomers read a printed newspaper 6–7 days of the week, while more than 30% read their favorite newspaper (in print or online) almost every day.

Television advertising, followed by newspaper ads, (print, online mobile or tablet) and direct mail ads have the most influence on this audience and may be a good way for marketers to connect with leading Baby Boomers.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to Ad-​ology PRO. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.