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Marketing to Baby Boomers: Retirement isn’t what it used to be

by Meredith Wilkins on January 20th, 2012
Branding and Creative Strategy

The Baby Boomer generation is known for revolutionizing cultural norms. Newly retired and about-to retire Baby Boomers are out to shatter the traditional image of a retiree as well. Mention the word “retiree” and an image of a frail, penny-pinching, mostly home-bound senior may come to mind for many people. The “new” retirees think of themselves as involved in their community, caregivers to family and advisers to friends. And, they have enough money to treat themselves to the finer things in life, be it exotic vacations or rejuvenating treatments at a health spa.

According the U.S. Census Bureau, there are over 79 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 defined as Baby Boomers. They hold half of the nation’s wealth and represent $2.3 trillion dollars in spending power. This is not a generation that will slowly wilt away and become disconnected from the rest of the world.

Boomers will enjoy more autonomy and self-sufficiency in their retirement years than ever before. They value their connections to friends and family and want to share monetary and experiential wealth.

Boomers see themselves as healthy, active and motivated. They expect to be healthy and mobile much further into their old age than their parents. They value staying as youthful and as healthy as possible so that they can enjoy their golden years and pursue life-long or newly-acquired passions.

According to a recent article in Media Post, this will all impact how marketers reach Boomers and what messages they should use to impact their buying behavior. Even with all their similarities, Boomers have always been proud of their individuality. Many will experience different life stages in their retirement years that will prevent messages from being cut-and-paste in every situation. Are there adult children at home? Recent divorce? Act as a primary caregiver for parents or grandchildren? While each of these situations is unique, all marketing messages should have one or all of these key elements to resonate with this audience:

• We make your life better
• We make your life easier
• We understand you

These are very simple, but powerful messages for a generation with tremendous spending power and a youthful spirit.

We hope you will follow us as we continue to explore how to reach Boomers with traditional and social media, and show a few examples of our work targeting Boomers.

Have a unique example? Share it with us and we may be able to include it in a future blog post.


Meredith Wilkins

About Meredith Wilkins

I am an Account Executive at Sheehy+Associates. I have over 8 years in advertising where I have enjoyed working with clients from various different industries. I have a passion for learning everything I can about each client and work to develop marketing plans that address their unique communication needs. When I’m not working you can find me on the soccer field as a coach or referee or hanging at home with my husband and puppy.

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