A friend of mine from EMM Group sent me this email about the rising impact of retiring baby boomers on businesses. If you don’t have a strategy to capture the values of this generation you need to get cracking!

The Silver Tsunami
The “age wave” is officially upon us. Bolstered by rising life expectancies and declining fertility rates, the 76 million American boomers continue to hold unprecedented workforce, marketplace, and political power as they pass into traditional retirement age. By 2015, 45% of the population will be 50 or older (AARP), and by 2030, nearly one in five Americans will be 65 or older (U.S. Census).

Clearly, as marketers, we can no longer dismiss older consumers to focus exclusively on the 18-49 age bracket. Here’s some of the latest data on the restless, affluent, savvy and dominant boomer market:

  1. They dominate 1,023 out of 1,083 consumer packaged goods categories. (Nielsen)
  2. They embody more than 50% of all discretionary spending. (ThirdAge)
  3. 62% of working boomers expect to work at least 9 more years. (Center for Work-Life Policy)
  4. Boomers spend more on technology than Gen X or Gen Y – an average of $650 per month. (Forrester Research)
  5. Boomers account for 32% of all Internet traffic, and 70% go online every day. (Pew Internet & American Life Project)
  6. 91% of boomers use email, 88% use search engines, 78% research health information, and 74% get news online. (Pew)
  7. One in five 50-64 year olds now use social media every day. (Pew)
  8. 66% of boomers send text messages. (Deloitte)

As you ride this demographic wave, a few reminders to help you stay out front:

  1. Boomers see themselves as young-at-heart and not as old or “seniors”.
  2. As parents and grandparents, boomers are eager to stay relevant and connected to the younger generations. This is a key driver behind the growth in boomer social media usage.
  3. Like any large demographic, Boomers are not monolithic. There is a wide variety and diversity of needs, insights and interests that need to be understood to be successful.
  4. Don’t assume brand loyalty. Unlike previous generations, boomers are used to having their changing needs addressed and will quickly try something different if they’re not satisfied.
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