Marketing to Baby Boomers on their own terms

Baby boomers grew up learning how to consume. They grew up in front of the TV and commercials. They like to buy and many businesses fail to see this and don’t market to them. HomeCare included. Baby boomers are still the decision makers when it comes to buying solutions to their aging parents but they are also the end users now.

Trying to market to them the same way you market to their parents is a sure way to fail.

Here are a few ways to hit a home run when marketing to Baby Boomers:

  1. Don’t mention age.They don’t want to be reminded of their age, but of their accomplishments and of their future. Think more about the Bucket list idea, they may have to buy diapers but they want to hear about where to go in Oregon in their next bike trip. They don’t grow old, they move into different experience phases.
  2. Go where they are. They still have a house in the suburb. They may be moving to a bigger one soon since they plan to age in place. Home Depot HD -0.15% and Ace Hardware know this very well, and take advantage of it by locating their box stores where baby boomers can get to them easily.
  3. They are online and so should you. “They do their homework online. Baby Boomers know their stuff … so you better too.” Instead of retiring to rocking chairs on the front porch, they are actively looking for newly constructed homes where they can continue to pursue an active lifestyle surrounded by the latest amenities and HME solutions that don’t get in the way of their decor. “Invisible and useful” is what they are looking for.
  4. Yes, they are on social media. As you develop your social media strategy for baby boomers, be aware that while a 20-year old is posting photos of their night out on Instagram or Snapchat, a baby boomer is more likely to post a photograph of a new grandbaby or the new RV they just purchased on Facebook. It’s the more ‘traditional’ venues such as Facebook and Twitter that are used by baby boomers; so keep your focus there. (Who would have thought we would ever call Facebook traditional).
  5. Difficult topics. Many times issues like incontinence will not be discussed on Facebook but boomers may look for forums or ask questions in places like
  6. Fun first. Remember what can touch an emotional cord with boomers. They love nostalgia. The Woodstock Festival was much more than a concert featuring the likes of Joan Baez, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead and Jimi Hendrix; it was a countercultural event which symbolized, among other things, that the baby boomers were not going to be trussed up by their parent’s morals and lifestyle. They would think and act for themselves – and they still want to be thought of that way. The least hint of patronizing the baby boomers will flatten any marketing campaign, just as Wile E. Coyote was flattened by the Road Runner.Marketing to Baby Boomers is different than marketing to other generations.We specialize in consulting on behavioral marketing for boomers for the HME industry.

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Life by design when aging

Let’s discuss Life by design when aging.

 Baby Boomers want to have a say in every aspect, they want to have their individual choice and decide how things are going to happen. Very different than their parents specially because they don’t accept: “This is the way it has always being done”. Baby Boomers don’t stick to the script!

They will be active and independent for as long as possible and then more.

So when it comes to aging in place and how they are treated, things must be in their own terms.

Are all Boomers making the most prudent housing decisions as they approach retirement? Not necessarily. Regardless, their decisions will have important implications as this generation, once again, does it their way.

While many Boomers are planning major home improvements in the next three years, a significant number will make style and value a priority over aging-friendly features. In fact, the top Boomer reasons to renovate are similar to those of younger generations:

39% plan for major home improvements in the next 3 years

Top reasons for that:

  • 78% increase home value
  • 78% make repairs
  • 66% energy efficiency
  • 65% update home style

Aging related reasons:

  • 58% easier to maintain
  • 44% easier for aging
  • 23% health needs

Note: major home improvement is defined as spending $2,000 or more on the job.

Source: 2013 Demand institute housing & community survey.

In some instances, baby boomers will move, but they still want to be close to home. When Baby Boomers do move, they don’t intend to go very far. Only one-third will move out of state, with the lure of “wanting to be closer to family” being just as strong as a “change of climate.” Indeed, more than half of Boomers will move within 30 miles of their current home. Further, only one in five Boomer movers wants to relocate to senior-related housing or active adult communities. For many Boomers, maintaining a connection to their communities and families is an important consideration as they decide where to live.

The population is aging, but Boomers are not necessarily looking for “senior” products and solutions. While there is limited interest in aging- and health-specific home improvements, those that make the home easier and less costly to maintain do resonate with Boomers. Among those moving, the majority will seek single-story homes, and subtle touches that make aging in the home easier without sacrificing style, like smaller yards and universal design elements, will appeal to Boomers.

As long as our homes are our private retreats, we will want them as comfortable as possible. As our needs for what is comfortable change, we will adapt our homes to those needs.

Baby-Boomers aging