As I learned at a summit on “Boomer Consumers” last week in San Francisco, 2011 is a year like no other: Beginning in January, 10,000 Americans will turn 65 every day. An emerging market is already out there, but the technology is unsophisticated, the vendors small. While the potential is great, awareness is low and adoption is limited, according to Dr. Mary Furlong, CEO of Furlong & Associates, the summit producer.
Here are some things industry leaders had to say about the Boomer market:
A close look at what is working for companies who launch products and services to Boomers indicates that social networks are used to connect customers, families and friends.
Example: Ten years ago one woman would complain about a product or recommend a product to her immediate inner circle of women friends, perhaps 5-10. Today she goes online and writes a critique or sends a Facebook message to her friends; then it goes viral. One woman reaches thousands.
A survey by ivillage.com found that the “click-through rate” of Boomers on Internet advertising is three times greater than the average user.
Boomers Buy Technology
Example: Google’s study on Boomers found that 71% of the buyers of iPad are over 50.
Boomers Use Technology More than Gen X
According to Addie Braum of Google, “Boomers dominate the screens, spending more time online researching a product, before they get to the store. Their use of coupons is 339% above average and the time spent reviewing a product is 188% more than average.
- Boomers 189 Hours/Month online
- Gen X 159 Hours/Month online
- 60% are Female
69% Boomers who click on sponsored links
58% GenX ers who click on sponsored links.
*Google/Neilsen Boomer Survey
The newest trends in mobile and how it is being used to reach and service the needs of diverse customers indicated that retail, point-to-point, and online learning are growing on mobile devices.
Entrepreneurship and Social Entrepreneurship
Boomers are starting more entrepreneurial businesses after retirement to earn money to finance their longevity and help secure the future of their children and grandchildren.
Boomers use social media to create social impact, such as donating to a cause.