Yesterday we invited a heating and cooling sales person into our home. As he was rattling off some product features, he said, “You could even use your phone to control the temperature in here– but you wouldn’t be interested in that.”
Really? We wouldn’t be interested in added convenience? Why? Because we’re older?
This salesperson clearly didn’t know about the three deadly sins when doing business with baby boomers. Let me explain:
Deadly Sin #1: Assuming business representatives know what baby boomers really want.
Sadly, when marketing is targeted to older adults, it’s often based on stereotypical assumptions. I’m not alone when I say I’m tired of getting robocalls for medical braces, hearing aids, or reverse mortgage programs.
Yes, some older individuals do need and want these products. But know this: We’re a diverse group. And, of course, don’t assume we know nothing about technology or aren’t interested in learning.
Deadly Sin #2: Ignoring Us.
The Boomer generation controls about 70% of the disposable income in the U.S. Yet research suggests that advertising in general doesn’t really reflect this reality. In other words, it will pay businesses to pay attention to us!
Finally, Deadly Sin #3: Talking down
Trust me, many of us absolutely hate it when business employees refer to us as ‘sweetie’ or ‘honey’ and talk to us in the same tone as they would with a five-year-old. We want to be treated with the same respect that all your customers, clients, or patients want.
If you want to do business with us, then my challenge to you is don’t assume, don’t ignore, and don’t talk down to us. Let’s start a discussion and move forward together!
Boomers as Consumers (January 31, 2019)
Marketing departments often fail to recognize the purchasing power of Boomers. Research points to the fact that only a small percentage of businesses (less than 15%) have clear marketing strategies focusing on older adults. Other research suggests that Boomers control about 70% of all discretionary income. Too often, marketers assume Boomers are good targets for ‘old age’ products rather than products that are interesting and innovative.
Boomers have a wealth of experience and insight, yet they are often stereotyped as being ‘too old’ or lacking tech savvy in the workplace. In should be no surprise that research has suggested that nearly two-thirds of Boomers are not engaged in their work or are actively seeking other work.In both the workplace and when working with Boomer customers, it is also likely ageism is affecting you’re your bottom line in subtle ways. Sixty-five percent (65%) of Boomers believe they have experienced some form of ageism. If you do not address this problem, you will potentially limit the success of your organization or business.
One book I strongly recommend for some excellent, research-based insights on the boomer market and how to appeal to this powerful segment is Joseph Coughlin’s 2017 The Longevity Economy: Unlocking the World’s Fastest Growing, Most Misunderstood Market.