OK I’d never consider my mum an ‘oldie’, the term is offensive…and hey I’m probably an ‘oldie’ too according to most teens. This article is all about busting those bad ‘oldie’ myths…
Mum if you are reading, Happy Mother’s Day this one’s for you 😉 xo
Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) are accustomed to change. They’ve lived through numerous wars, were the first TV generation, the first to use PCs, and let’s not forget it’s the boomers that invented the Internet!
Interestingly an article on boomers embracing digital media by Mashable notes Google’s chief Internet evangelist and one of the fathers of the Internet, turns 68 in June! ‘The web, often viewed as a realm for just the young, is getting older.’
MYTH or MISCONCEPTION # 1: BOOMERS ARE BRAND LOYAL
Tradition says that by the age of 50, a consumer has developed deeply entrenched buying preferences and brand loyalty that no amount of marketing can undo. Today’s marketers, however, are finding that tradition is wrong. “Unlike previous generations, boomers are much more likely to change careers, have more children, go back to school, remarry, pursue new hobbies, and inherit more money from their parents. Consequently, marketers are finding that boomers’ brand preferences and shopping habits are not as entrenched as once thought.” (Marketing Strategy, 2005)
Mother Case Study 1:
My Mother, a prime Boomer has been eating Weet-Bix as her breakfast of choice – for 30 years running!
Did someone say brand loyal?
MYTH or MISCONCEPTION# 2: BOOMERS DO NOT SPEND MUCH TIME ONLINE
Apart from the late adoption of social media, smart phone technology, and still owning a Fossil of a Laptop that’s takes 10mins to warm up (plus an annoying ‘running dog’ on screen – anyone old enough to recall that!), this boomer on average is a mainstream adopter of technology…
Compare my facts to research on Boomers, the results show boomers digital habits are not unlike younger generations.
‘Boomers spend more time and money online than any other demographic. Younger boomers (ages 47 to 55) spent an average of 39.3 hours online per month in 2010 and Older boomers (ages 56 to 65) averaged only slightly less, at 36.5 hours. A lot of that time was spent shopping—and buying says’ a Pew Internet Research Project. Health information is the third-most common search activity for adults of all ages.’ According to my personal Case Study and comparison research, top of the line search for boomers is certainly Health.
MYTH or MISCONCEPTION # 3: BOOMERS ARE RELUCTANT TO ADAPT TO GEN Y INVENTED SOCIAL MEDIA (Web 2.0)
Contrary to stereotypical belief boomers are embracing technology.
According to Mashable (& the Pew Research Project) “recent trends show older people are among the fastest-growing demographics online. Social network use among Internet users 50 years old and older has nearly doubled to 42% over the past year…in the U.S. alone there are nearly 16 million people 55 and older using Facebook.”
Anthill Online, Myths and misconceptions article maintains Facebook has the potential to improve the lives of older Australians by keeping them connected and maintaining relationships through online groups and fan pages. e-marketer agrees, ‘Boomers and older people are creating Facebook groups fueled by their passion about a particular product or service, and companies have the opportunity to target these online groups as part of their social media strategy’.
I wrote a blog on Google TV recently and it’s impending release in Australia (launched in US last year). Looking at the digital awareness of BOOMERS, I think they’d be a great market to target for Google TV. What do you think? Please feel free to COMMENT
 ANTHILL ONLINE, 19th April 2011, “Myths and misconceptions about marketing to the oldies”, http://anthillonline.com/myths-and-misconceptions-about-marketing-to-the-%E2%80%98oldies%E2%80%99/
 E-MARKETER, April 4th 2011, ‘Are Digital Marketers Ignoring Baby Boomers”, http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1008317
 MASHABLE, April 6th 2011, ‘How Baby Boomers Are Embracing Digital Media’, http://mashable.com/2011/04/06/baby-boomers-digital-media/
 FERRELL O.C and HARTLINE Michael D, 2005, Marketing Strategy – 4th Edition
 PEW INTERNET, Aug 2010, ‘Older-Adults-and-Social-Media/Report’, http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Older-Adults-and-Social-Media/Report.aspx