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The Biggest Mistakes When Marketing to Baby Boomers

If you have any experience in anything, chances are you’ve made a few mistakes. Don’t feel too bad – mistakes are inevitable. The trick, of course, is to learn from the mistakes that have already been made, so that you can avoid repeating them. This is especially true when marketing to Baby Boomers.

When it comes to marketing to Baby Boomers, mistakes are as common as they are in all other aspects of life. Luckily, you can learn from the experiences of others. With that in mind, here are three of those mistakes, presented with the hope that being aware of them will help you avoid committing the same errors and improve your overall strategy for marketing to Baby Boomers.

Ignoring Digital Marketing

Shunning digital platforms might be the single biggest mistake companies make when marketing to Baby Boomers and seniors. Unfortunately, it’s a mistake companies make far too often.

Ignoring digital when marketing to Baby Boomers and seniors is based on the mistaken assumption that Baby Boomers and seniors don’t use digital channels. The truth is seniors and Baby Boomers are often heavily engaged in digital channels, as we’ve noted before. Consider that the 50+ demographic is the fastest growing age group online, or that Baby Boomers and seniors are spending 19 hours a week online, and you’ll be hard-pressed to avoid the conclusion that a digital strategy is essential for any company wondering about the best strategy when it comes to marketing to Baby Boomers.

If complete negligence of digital marketing is the biggest mistake, then disregarding mobile is a closely related error. Again, the underlying assumption is that mobile is not a channel Baby Boomers and seniors are engaged on. In fact, 54 percent of adults 50 to 64 own a smartphone, 27 percent of those over 65 own a smartphone, and 27 percent of seniors own tablets, according to Pew research. Those numbers are on the rise, too, as seniors increasingly expect mobile solutions to their digital needs. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that mobile’s pervasive reach doesn’t extend to older consumers. Make sure that your marketing efforts encompass mobile experiences.

The tragedy of ignoring digital in marketing efforts is intensified by the fact that digital mediums offer rich new opportunities to connect with Baby Boomers and seniors in exceptionally meaningful ways.

Social media is one avenue that lends itself to genuine, meaningful customer engagement. This isn’t the time to dive into the tactical methods behind social media success, but it is worth mentioning. We’ve worked with companies to facilitate real, honest conversations on social media channels, and we’re constantly encouraged by the thoughtful engagement that older consumers provide. When it comes to social media marketing for Baby Boomers and seniors, establishing trust and genuineness can go a long way.

Video is another highly productive digital medium that lends itself particularly well to storytelling. Everybody loves a good story, and Baby Boomers and seniors are no exception. Baby Boomers and seniors are increasingly embracing digital video, as more than half of them watch videos on YouTube. The storytelling opportunity video provides is one more reason you can’t afford to ignore digital.

Treating All Baby Boomers and Seniors the Same

Another common mistake that companies make when marketing to Baby Boomers and seniors is to treat all members of the broad Baby Boomer and senior demographic as essentially the same. The assumption is that segmenting an audience based on age demographics is all that’s needed in order to deliver relevant content, because a Boomer or senior’s defining character trait is their age.

While it’s incredibly helpful to segment based on age demographics, it’s unwise to base marketing efforts entirely on that segmentation. Baby Boomers and seniors, like any other age group, vary in terms of individual interests, lifestyles, and consumer behavior. Before you deploy campaigns geared toward them, take a look to see if you can define your audience any further based on their interests or other components. That way, you’ll be able to tailor your creative content to be even more relevant to your customers, and in turn you’ll get better performance. Don’t treat all Baby Boomers and seniors the same.

Ignoring the Family Caregiver

Family caregivers are a surprisingly large demographic; more than 45 million people in America care for an aging loved one over the age of 50, according to the CDC. However, caregivers aren’t an obvious target market. Companies offering products and services that are geared toward Baby Boomers and seniors tend to focus their strategies toward end consumers. In the process, it’s extremely common that companies simply forget to include the family caregiver in their marketing efforts. This is a big mistake.

Often, family caregivers play a large role in helping Baby Boomers and seniors research products and services, and they sometimes act as decision makers on the part of Boomers and seniors. This means neglecting to consider them will result in missed opportunities. On the flip side, targeting them well can prove to be very effective, as they’ll be especially pleased to know that their needs are being considered and addressed. We’ve worked with our clients to address the pain points of this audience, and we’ve found positioning messages in a way that speaks to family caregivers directly can be extremely effective.

Immersion Active Can Help with Marketing to Baby Boomers

These are only three of the many huge mistakes companies make in marketing to Baby Boomers and seniors. Hopefully, you can use these as a stepping stone or conversation starter to discuss other ways you can improve your company’s strategy.

Let us know if you’ve witnessed any additional mistakes when it comes to marketing to Baby Boomers and seniors. As always, if you have any questions about crafting messages and marketing in a way that relates to Baby Boomers and seniors, we’d love to hear from you.

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