Capturing the elusive millennial consumer seems to be the holy grail of today’s marketers but it’s Baby Boomers who own the wealth. Are companies missing a business opportunity by focusing marketing efforts largely on younger consumers? They spend a lot of money enticing young people to buy their products when they could be directing their spending towards the 50+ customer. Research shows that 50+ Consumers not only outnumber the younger 18-34 and 35-49 age groups, they also own a larger share of U.S. financial assets and command an annual spending power of more than $3 trillion. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, AARP).
There are more than 100 million 50+ consumers in the U.S. and their number is rapidly growing. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the 50+ population to grow by 16 million over the next decade vs. 5 million for the 18-49 population. They also own over 60% of all U.S. financial assets and are more likely to own financial investments. In addition, older Americans are living up to 3 decades longer than they did 100 years ago. They are living longer, more active lives prior generations, which make them ideal consumers for all types of goods and services.
And yet, although 50+ customers account for half of all expenditures, only 10% of marketing dollars are spent against their demographic. Television networks closely watch the 18-49 viewer ratings, but it is the 50+ viewer that’s keeping the lights on at traditional TV networks, as millennials and younger viewers defect to tablets and laptops to watch their favorite shows.
Another misconception is that Baby Boomers are not connected or internet savvy. However, 50+ people are online as evidenced by the number of older users on Facebook. They are also shopping online, many on smartphones and tablets, in larger numbers.
What can you do to gain a chunk of older customers for your business? Learn and understand their habits and predilections. Adapt your business practices and policies to their needs, for example: A delivery service, more customer service reps, how to video content and other ways to attract and keep an aging customer.