Which generation do you think is the hardest to reach with marketing materials?
While the two generations above are incredibly unique, this one is neither. The data we got recently may surprise you.
According to our most recent survey of 1,200+ marketers, it turns out that Baby Boomers (age 55+) are the hardest to reach:
Because boomers are the oldest generation, and may also have more purchasing power than others, you’d think we’d know them — and where to market to them — pretty well by now. Correct?
The truth is, while marketers find it challenging to understand and engage young-growing generations, Boomers are markedly different.
Why? It all goes back to how boomers like to find and buy products, which stands out like a sore thumb compared to other generations.
How Boomers’ Shopping Habits Are Different
You might think that Boomers are the hardest to reach because they’re not always on the Internet, but our survey of more than 1,000 consumers shows that more than two-thirds of Boomers use social media. On top of that, searching online is one of the most common ways they find new products.
So what exactly is it that makes it so difficult to reach the 65+ audience? In short, most marketing efforts targeting Gen Z, Millennials, or Gen X will reach all three generations to some degree — while leaving Boomers in the dark.
For example, marketers can effectively reach three younger generations by advertising on social media, streaming services and YouTube — but will do a terrible job of reaching Boomers, shown in yellow below.
Only 17% of Boomers have discovered a product on social media in the past 3 months. This drops to 13% for streaming services like Netflix and 8% for YouTube ads. In comparison, these are among the best channels to reach Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X.
So where exactly can you reach the elusive Baby Boomers?
Top 3 Marketing Channels to Reach Boomers
Television ads drive boomer product search
More than any other generation, Boomers love to discover new products through television commercials, which is also where they often discover new products.
Online Search Is Second Best, But Boomers Do It Differently
Online search is second in reaching Baby Boomers. While this channel is also a top product discovery channel across generations, boomers are searching differently.
All other generations heavily favor their phones for online shopping, while most Boomers are using their computers.
Boomers love retail shopping more than any other generation
Another common and highly preferred product discovery channel for Boomers is in retail stores. 44% of Boomers have found new products in stores in the past 3 months, and 37% of them say it’s their preferred method. Both numbers are the highest of any other generation.
keeping up with consumer trends
Boomers may be the most unique, but each generation has its own way of connecting with brands and their content.
To keep you updated on how each generation’s shopping habits change over time, we’ll run our Consumer Trends Survey twice a year. for a more detailed analysis Boomers’ Shopping HabitsWith every other generation, check out our full consumer trends report,