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How To Capture The Attention Of Baby Boomers

The primary purpose of marketing and sales is about getting information into people’s brains and persuading their minds to act. The older we become, the more emotional reactions determine if we should think about a matter. Emotional triggers in the brain activate memories, and the stronger the memory – the stronger the emotional response. Marketing and sales must integrate both empathy and vulnerability into their messages. These two attributes are necessary to build trust, and are essential to optimal results. In marketing and sales, it’s not WHAT Baby Boomers think that’s important – it’s HOW they think that’s important.

How Do You Get Their Attention?

Tap into Nostalgia

  • Strong Boomer hook
  • Love their Rock & Roll
    • Sell to Boomers pining to recapture old thrills

Family Focus

  • Boomers want to spend more time with children
  • Desire traditional standards of:
    • Good manners
    • Family life
    • Parental responsibility
  • Boomers look for enriching experiences:
    • Shared by family
    • In any setting, especially outside the home
    • Want time to be a celebration not merely an accommodation

Reduce Their Stress

  • Want to control only the most important things
  • Willing to delegate one less problem, concern
  • Help make their lives easier
    • Personal services
    • Money management & food shopping
    • Security
    • Save time and energy
  • What NOT to do
    • Be careful about technology that requires customers make even more decisions
    • Too many choices online could be a problem

Reinforce the Strong Boomer Sense of Self-Reliance

  • Growing need for simplification
  • Continuing need to control
    • Provide simplicity and control simultaneously
    • Boomers are demanding and want the truth
    • Aggressive scrutiny helps them keep control
    • Most likely to want data before they buy
      • Most likely to seek advice
      • Consumer information services/reports

Be Careful About Using the Word Senior

  • Boomers think 79 is old
  • Will avoid company products pitched to older consumers
  • More subtle approach is required
    • Continue to be attracted to romance & adventure

Help Them Find New Ways to Win

  • Typically responsive to brands effectively positioned as choices for winners
    • High energy foods
    • Powerful, sleeker, sportier cars
  • Functionality is what Boomers now want
  • Let them know they are getting a good deal
  • Boomers want to think they are winning shoppers
Areas where Boomers don’t want to win anymore
  • Concerned more with comfort than style
  • Novelty for its own sake is out
  • Brand names no longer badges of success

Retirement Not in Boomer Dictionary

  • Don’t view leisurely retirement as a reward
  • Likely to start new careers
  • Retirement approached as a work style not lifestyle
  • Boomers cite work as primary way to express creativity
  • Boomers may not have financial wherewithal to retire
  • Boomers are work centered & will continue to focus on this
  • Still looking for meaning & fulfillment

Ads and sales approaches should be easy to read and be experiential in nature. They should reflect empathy for the values of this demographic in terms of your company products/services being a gateway to meaningful experiences for the audience. Understanding how consumer’s brains and minds processes information is key to effective communications and increased sales. If a company ad or sales presentation fails to connect with a Baby Boomer’s idealized image of self, it is more likely to be ignored. Finally, remember; don’t focus on selling the product. Instead, focus on selling your knowledge of the customer’s needs and how your product is a gateway to helping them to reach their goals and desired experiences.

Key Source: Rocking the Ages, J. Walter Smith & Ann Clurman, Harper Business

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