Thursday, November 15, 2007

How To Market to Baby Boomers

Boomers were the first generation to grow up with TV, so it makes sense that they still prefer this medium as they age. In fact, on average, Boomers watch 22 minutes more TV per day than younger people, according to Nielsen Media Research. And since TV viewership increases with age, as the Boomers mature, their TV viewing time will continue to rise. What does this mean for infomercial marketers?

Focus on the right type of programming. Boomers tend to watch programs that center around life stages. For older Boomers, shows like CSI and Law and Order are favorites. Older Boomers also prefer news programs and are less interested in reality TV. For younger Boomers, shows like Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives are popular. Additionally, science fiction programming is popular with all Boomers, perhaps because this generation watched so much of the genre while growing up. Therefore, if you want your TV ads to reach Boomers in the most cost efficient manner, you have to place them during the shows that Boomers watch.

Boomers don't multi-task. While younger TV viewers are likely to be online while watching TV and may even interact with the program via online voting, text messaging or chat rooms, don't count on that with Boomers. They tend to focus on one media at a time. For media buying experts, that means Boomers won't likely type in your displayed web address while watching your commercial spot. Rather, they'll pick up the phone and call the toll free number you display or go to your website after they finish watching a TV show.

Help Boomers identify with your ads. Since Boomers are not in their 20s and 30s anymore, make sure your ads reflect the needs, wants, and images of older Americans. A 20-year-old perfectly airbrushed model touting an anti-wrinkle cream won't speak to the Boomer market. Go for more mature spokespersons and really do your homework to determine how your product or service helps Boomers. The big categories or "hot buttons" for boomers are security, longevity, money management, wealth transfer, lowering their bills, and travel.