When Kathleen Casey-Kirschling (born on 1/1/1946) stepped up to a computer to be the first Baby Boomer to enroll in Social Security, the first warning shot was fired that this would be a new age in connecting with people heading to Medicare. Her enrollment online was the sign of how differently marketers will need to address this “senior” market from those in the Eisenhower generation.
These Leading Edge Boomers know their way around a computer so for the first time online initiatives will become a larger part of your outreach. However, don’t think that is the only way to reach them. These Boomers stand with one foot in the analog world and one in the digital. They grew up with newspapers and real books. Television was their babysitter. Yet, now they may have their paper books but also a Kindle. They may get news updates on the television and online but they also will still read the entire newspaper in the morning (or at least USA Today).
The key is to keep all lines of connectivity open and available to them. Unlike the 20-30 age group who use the Internet for media (music, movies and games), the Boomers are great users of the Internet for information. So, they may search you out online to get information but then may call to talk or want you to send more information that they can read at their leisure.
It’s a matter of overlaying the previous media used to reach the mature market with a healthier dose of online media. Because of their use of the Internet for information, substantive SEM and SEO efforts are important. When they are looking, they should be able to find you.
They are also very practical about their use of the Internet. Unlike the younger generation, they don’t spend as much time on it. It’s a resource tool so it’s important to make every moment count for them while they are online. Everything should be easy to use and find on your site.
Since Captain Kangaroo first met Bunny Rabbit, Boomers have been sitting in front of their television sets. Television continues to be a medium that is appropriate to reach this market and one that they are accustomed to using as a source of new products and services. As the younger set goes online to view programming, the bifocaled Boomers go to the large screen TV to accommodate their eyesight needs. The bigger, the better, because if there is one thing that Boomers don’t want to be made to feel, it’s old.
Relaxed fit jeans, larger car seats, and bigger TV screens make the world as comfortable for Boomers as it was in their youth and with accommodations like those they aren’t reminded that their bodies are changing. Nice large type on your Website, easy maneuverability, clean and clear type both on- and offline makes them comfortable.
This is the forever-young generation. As marketers, it’s imperative that you make them feel comfortable at all times. When you do anything to make them realize their age, they will leave you for someone else who doesn’t make them feel that way.