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The Leisure Retiree

Hail the Boomer Consumer

MediaDisregard for the Boomer consumer runs rampant in American advertising. There is a good reason for it: Many advertisers and their agencies believe the future is in youth. The rationale is that it pays to invest marketing dollars in reaching younger generations who will hopefully become long-term customers of a brand. In addition, the demographic shift has just put Millennials ahead of Boomers as the largest segment of the population.

Still, studies indicate it is Boomers that have the most collective wealth and the most disposable income in America. That fact is not lost on at least some marketers. In an intriguing commentary for MediaPost directed to marketing professionals, Mark Bradbury writes, "There is a noticeable momentum shift in the marketing of mainstream brands to Boomers." The reason is that brand marketers now see "a significant loss of Boomer consumers that has not been made up for in the acquisition of new Millennial brand users. Having believed that Boomers’ brand loyalty was set in stone, many had hyper-focused on Millennials, only to learn that Boomer customers were more than willing to migrate to competing brands." Bradbury points to research to validate the claim: "Recent trend research from GfK MRI indicates that literally hundreds of CPG brands have lost 20% or more of their Boomer business over just the past five years."

Brands that have been systematically avoiding advertising to Boomers are now paying the price. You would think a demographic segment as large as Boomers (currently over 76 million) would warrant at least some attention. We are not unaware of brands that ignore us, and we are just as capable of switching brand loyalty as a Millennial or younger consumer.

Bradbury cites three examples of brands that not only appeal to Boomers, but also embrace Boomers in their marketing campaigns. Read his article to learn about these brands. We can only hope that they will teach a lesson to a marketing industry that has mistakenly and prematurely tended to cast aside the Boomer. 


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