Out with the old, in with the new: from Millennials to Generation Z, obsession with youth is something of a marketing fixation. It is common practice to focus marketing efforts on the next wave of consumers. But sometimes, it’s the older population who innovate the most.
Baby Boomers comprise around 80 million of the American population, the largest living demographic of the population, outpacing their younger counterparts. Born between the 1940s and the 1960s, the group is actually one of the major growth markets across all social users and digital. MediaPost pointed out that music festivals and fashion shows cater to the demographic more and more. They’re influencers too – #GrannyHair, a hue of silver, was very popular among celebrities this year.
By 2021, 48.5 million Baby Boomers will be smartphone users. Although that represents just a 4% growth rate, the quiet uptick is noteworthy. With smartphone usage on the rise, it’s no surprise that Instagram and Snapchat follow suit. The time Baby Boomers spent with these apps reportedly increased by 37% from 2015 to 2016, compared to just a 3% increase for Millennials, according to another cited study by comScore in MediaPost.
Sales consultant Dave Hills, our resident Baby Boomer in the Kinetic office, gave an insider’s perspective on this online behavior. “I think my generation adopted social media out of a need to know what their kids are doing first and foremost,” he said, “All of a sudden our kids were using tools — phones, social networks, comms services — and we weren’t. So that was likely the impetus for adoption by most boomers.”
Implications of this social media usage are already evidenced in buying behavior, with MediaPost reporting 33% of Baby Boomers shop online weekly. In the meantime, nearly 90% of Baby Boomers were already on Facebook as of 2017 according to eMarketer, suggesting their presence is already solidified.
Overall mobile usage will also affect buying behavior, with eMarketer projecting that nearly all Baby Boomers with mobile phones use its internet capabilities, and 26% of them using banking apps.
Ultimately, what this data is really saying is that more and more people will be using their mobile phones to search, buy, and connect on social. From young to old, Gen Z to Boomers, we’re all moving towards a more connected world. Don’t leave this audience behind, because they could make for a booming business.