Baby Boomers crying out for attention: ditch the stereotypes

A new Mi9 ‘Australian Baby Boomers’ study, unveiled to media agencies in Melbourne and Sydney this week provides insight into how marketers can tap into the 50- to 69-year-old audience with greater success. It finds the group to be unhappy with how marketers communicate and says that the 10% of advertising spend directed toward this demographic does not represent its value.

With this demographic holding more than 40% of the nation’s wealth, and worth an average of $1 million each,, Baby Boomers are one of the fastest-growing groups in Australia.

“Don’t assume Baby Boomers are stuck in their ways – these guys matter and should be front of mind for marketers and advertisers,” says Gabbi Stubbs, Mi9’s head of research & insights.

Currently, over 4.7 million Baby Boomers revel in unprecedented financial and personal freedom, are flexible to change, embrace new media, and are a far cry from being ‘stuck in their ways’.

The study finds that almost three quarters (72%) say they’re open to trying new brands. They’re also embracing new technology, with those polled spending an average of 21 hours a week online. A significant proportion are active on social media (20%) and a quarter prefer shopping online (25%).

Yet, in light of this information it still seems as though the market is a forgotten one by both marketers and retail, with stereotyping the main issue.

An alarming 94% have stated that they dislike the way advertisers communicate with them, when they actually do that is, with the study showing that only 10% of advertising spend by Australian companies goes towards targeting the over 55s.

“While some consumers are tightening their belts, this lucrative ‘Lifestyle’ stage provides real opportunity for brands to attract new customers and drive sales through more targeted campaigns based on deep audience insight and intelligent data,” declares Stubbs.

Here are some of the key findings from the Mi9 report:

  • An impact in delayed retirement means Baby Boomers’ earning capacity is higher than ever, with 42% claiming to have disposable income to spend on themselves,
  • almost three quarters (72%) have a positive attitude towards technology, seeing it as great change and 71% believe it plays an important part in their lives,
  • spending 21 hours a week online and viewing over 3,000 internet pages each monththey are bigger internet content consumers than any other generation,
  • they are big online spenders – 90% have purchased online and a quarter (25%) do so every week, and
  • only 6% like the way advertisers talk to them but 72%  are open to trying new brands.