I spent the majority of my professional career in direct marketing and advertising, disciplines in which practitioners always work hard to fully understand the characteristics of target audiences. Not surprisingly, there are some marketing firms that have not only figured out that Boomers are a fertile target audience, these firms also specialize in marketing to Boomers.
One such firm, Coming of Age, is an industry leader. Established by Jim Gilmartin in 1991, Coming of Age positions itself as "The Baby Boomer & Senior Marketing Agency." Jim writes frequently about the Boomer audience, and a recent column of his for MediaPost caught my eye. In it, Jim pinpoints some of the characteristics of the Baby Boomer Consumer, demonstrating rare and fascinating insight into this audience.
Since my assumption is that most readers of my blog are in fact Boomers, I thought I would share Jim's perspective with you. He highlights these six characteristics:
- Baby Boomers are less subject to peer influence than are younger consumers.
- Baby Boomers tend to be less responsive to sweeping claims in marketing messages as they age.
- Baby Boomers tend to be quicker than younger consumers to reflect a lack of interest in or negative reaction to an offered product that doesn't make an emotional connection.
- Baby Boomers tend to show increased response to marketing appeals reflecting altruistic values.
- Baby Boomers spend more time in making purchase decisions.
- Baby Boomers often project what seems to be contradictory behavior.
I think Jim really hits the nail on the head. I encourage you to read his entire article here. Even though it is intended for marketing professionals, it will give you a real understanding of the implications of these characteristics -- and maybe, just maybe, allow for a little self-reflection as well!