70 is the New 50 and Other Baby Boomer Facts of Life

By Kathy Roy Gaughran
Senior Marketing Strategist

This was the year that the demographic, statistical and medical marketing spotlight shifted. The Baby Boomer crowd—people born between 1946 and 1964—were no longer the largest generational cohort.

All (marketing) hail! Millennials—roughly, ages 18-34—are now King of the Hill as the largest bunch, and nearly everyone’s “marketing prime” target.

Older couple sitting together on beach chairs on the beach

Although Millennials remain an important planning consideration, it would be a healthcare marketing mistake to neglect the Boomer bunch. Here are are few of the reasons:

70 is the new 50. Only misguided advertisers portray “senior citizens” as wrinkled, gray and sedentary…they don’t even like the label. If the marketing-manager-decision-maker is 30-something, their mental image of an older American is probably a misconception. The self-perception among Boomers is not the stereotype. They are likely to feel like they are middle-aged, successful and regard themselves as active and engaged.

Age is a state of mind in marketing to seniors and the smart play considers the “feel age” (cognitive) over the “real age” (chronological). “Generally those with a younger outlook than their actual age should evidence better health, which influences personal economics, life satisfaction, attitudes toward aging, and activities and level of participation in organizations,” according to Marketing Professor Tom Barry of Southern Methodist University.

Boomers still hold the disposable income purse strings. A whopping 70 percent of America’s disposable income, according to Nielsen, is controlled by this segment, with at least one person employed full time in the household. What’s more, this stage in life affords the opportunity to invest time and money in activities, hobbies, travel and other discretionary expenses.

Yes, they are online and mobile connected. Society has embraced technology in daily living, and Boomers are no strangers to smartphones, Internet access and social media. There are some exceptions in every age group, but the 60-plus crowd remains a prime, tech-savvy and digitally connected audience that actively engages via websites, blog posts and social media.

They value relationships they can trust. Market analysis has identified trust as a key consideration with Boomers. Although they represent a large slice of consumer spending, their purchase decisions are carefully considered and backed by deliberate research. For healthcare, building a trusting relationship—keyed to patient experience and satisfaction—is a primary ingredient in buying—and remaining loyal to—providers and hospitals.

Although the Millennial bunch seems to hold the highest buzz-factor, marketing planners can’t neglect Baby Boomers as a primary target audience. They’re still a vibrant and important demographic group. For more on this topic, click through here for these related articles:

Kathy Gaughran

Kathy Roy Gaughran
Senior Marketing Strategist at Healthcare Success
In her career, Kathy has helped over 4,000 clients all over North America achieve their growth goals. As an award-winning strategic marketing planner, Kathy has been involved in both the high-level strategies required for long-term sustainability, plus the tactical execution used to accomplish the day-to-day successes. Kathy’s clients include practices with annual revenues well over $10 million and with annual marketing budgets up to $900,000. In addition, Kathy is an accomplished speaker, appearing at countless national, local and state healthcare associations. Kathy is a member of the American Marketing Association and The Direct Marketing Association.



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