Ride The Gray Train To Increased Profits
Something is roaring into the business community’s depot that has been building momentum for years. I call it the Gray Train. On December 31, 2004, the last Baby Boomer turned 40, pushing that train to full throttle. Marketers are missing the obvious and not-so obvious opportunities to grow their businesses with this appealing audience.
Self-indulgent Baby Boomers want what they want, now. They have business expertise, have received all sorts of training from their corporate employer and now that education allows them to open up their own businesses. Or, they have done so well, they no longer have to work. They can pursue their passion.
A few, smart marketers have been positioning themselves to take advantage of this segment that – with few exceptions - has disposable income, time and the inclination to use both to get what they want, when they want it.
Baby Boomers are members of a generation – 78 million strong - born between 1946 and 1964. Boomers control half of all discretionary income and spend $2 trillion every year on consumer-related services. Half of Boomers will pass 50 in 2005, as 10,000 more see their cake ablaze with 50 candles every day. Despite the size of this demographic segment, it has been reported that only about 10 percent of advertising dollars are spent on Boomers.
Not only are most marketers ignoring the obvious about this segment, they are clueless about what Boomers really want: experiences, particularly those that bring with them knowledge or a chance to connect with family.
Here are a number of other themes the marketer should take advantage of in targeting the Baby Boomer:
• Boomers are first and foremost self-interested. They want what they want, and they want it now
• Despite this “want it now” mentality, Boomers are increasingly concerned about having enough money to continue their current lifestyle in retirement
• Although self-involved, they also are very family-oriented and have a charitable side that has not been fully tapped
• When Boomers retire – and that retirement will be radically different from their parents’ retirement - they will want to bring their lives with them, not start new ones
• Baby Boomers don’t think about their ages, so marketers should focus on the benefit of the product or service and not on the user’s age
For marketers, the bottom line is this: Baby Boomers constitute a ripe demographic that has been ignored too long. TV network programmers and Hollywood movie companies, among other marketers may want to take a fresh look at this 78-million-strong generation. My advice: get on the Gray Train and profit. If you’d like more on this topic, get my Purple Paper on the subject.
Article Source: http://www.redsofts.com/articles/
Harry Hoover is managing principal of Hoover ink PR, www.hoover-ink.com. He has 26 years of experience in crafting and delivering bottom line messages that ensure success for serious businesses like Brent Dees Financial Planning, Levolor, New World Mortgage, North Carolina Tourism, Ty Boyd Executive Learning Systems, VELUX, Verbatim and Wicked Choppers.
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