Boomers: Not as cool, but their wallets rule.

Okay, I get it. Millennials are the shiny new toy, and Boomers smell of yesterday’s news. After decades of chasing the Boomer, marketers are ready for something new. Over the past six months, the number of searches for “Marketing to Millennials” is over seven times higher than that for Boomers. (Search data = Google Trends, 12/8/16)

But, if we start to count Boomers out, we’re overlooking the prize. With a population only slightly smaller than Millennials and the large majority of the country’s wealth, Boomers – particularly for certain categories – are the gold at the end of the rainbow.

Here are 10 things you may not know (or may have forgotten) about Boomers.

  • Boomers will control 70% of all consumer spending by 2017, spending more than the GDP of countries like the UK, France, Italy, Brazil and Russia. Yet they are the targets of just 10% of all marketing dollars. We could stop there. (Huffington Post, 3/17/15)
  • More than 1/3 of Boomers have kids under 18 in the household and 60% are providing financial support to their adult children. Their purchase influence spans age cohorts. (National Endowment for Financial Education)
  • While Boomers are living longer, they are in worse physical shape than their parents were at their age when it comes to obesity, disability, blood pressure and chronic illness. You may find that as hard to believe as Boomers themselves do. (US News, June ’13)
  • The Boomer population is not shrinking. Sure, some are dying off; but an influx of similarly aged immigrants maintains a stable population.
  • Even categories that immediately bring Millennials to mind might surprise you. Take snack foods. It turns out Boomers eat 16% more snacks. Their repertoire may not include Doritos’ latest explosive flavor, but it includes plenty of other things. (Food Business News, 3/8/16)
  • Similarly, Boomers are the Web’s largest constituency, making up 30% of all internet users and spending more hours online than in front of the tube. (Comscore 2016)
  • They’re not necessarily downsizing, rather reinventing. Boomers purchasing new homes purchase one about the same size as the one they are selling. But, they are buying more luxury…at a significantly higher cost per foot. (Zillow, Columbus Dispatch, 11/27/16)
  • Then, recall that older person who did such a good job with your furniture order at Crate & Barrel or your ridiculously complicated coffee at Starbuck’s. Turns out, it may be because they like their job. 61% of Boomers work part-time, and 60% of those don’t need the extra money. (Huffington Post, 6/19/16; Hanson McClain Advisors 2016)

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