Marketers to Increase Focus on Boomers

Consumers born between 1946 and 1964 comprise a group of 78 million strong. But Baby Boomers, all well past the age of 35, are not exactly the sweet spot as far as most marketers are concerned. The lopsided distribution of ad dollars by age group in the U.S. was the topic of a recent Nielsenwire blogpost.

Nielsen acknowledges that marketers have long ignored the age 50 and up crowd unless they are selling prescription medications or other products designed to usher this group into old age. But Boomers, according to Nielsen, are different from the older generations. This was, after all, the group that promised to never grow old. And in many cases, they haven’t. These consumers are more likely than average to:

  • Watch video: 9.34 hours a day
  • Time shift TV: 2.32 hours
  • Own a DVD player
  • Have home-​based broadband Internet access

This group also accounts for 38.5% of consumer spending on CPG and has shown considerable willingness to change brands. Historically, marketers have argued that they do not want to spend ad money trying to convince older consumers to change brands. As a result, ad dollars are channeled toward winning younger consumers. Nielsen analysts estimate that 5% or less of ad dollars target consumers between the ages of 35 and 64.

Pat McDonough, Senior Vice President, Insights, Analysis and Policy at the Nielsen Company says, “as the U.S. continues to age, reaching this group will continue to be critical for advertisers.” This is not a new observation. But what is different this time is that more Baby Boomers are financially secure than their younger counterparts. This fact may be enough to get marketers to broaden the age demographics of their ad campaigns.

[Source: Why Marketers Can’t Afford to Ignore Baby Boomers. Nielsenwire​.com. 19 Jul. 2010. Web. 22 Jul. 2010] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.