Online Marketing that Reaches Baby Boomers

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

Older man sitting at desk looking off to the side while holding an iPad in handAround this time last year, tech-loving Millennials overtook the Baby Boomer Generation. At 75.4 million, Millennials (generally 1981 to 1994) became America’s largest generation, unseating Boomers at 74.9 million (1946 to 1964). [Pew Research] But online Boomer marketing is neither down nor out.

Millennials—who are a tough marketing challenge—seem to have dominated the spotlight lately. But folks over the age of 60-something haven’t disappeared. Although Boomers are slowly giving it up to natural attrition, they remain a formidable and not-to-be-neglected consumer group.

Boomers have a commanding wallet, controlling about 70 percent of expendable dollars. [Nielsen] Retired? Sidelined? Nope. Most Boomers think of themselves as “forever young.” They remain active and they like to work. In some instances, they need or want a continuing income stream. What’s more, this group tends to be living longer than previous generations.

Online Boomer marketing and the digital connection…

Elderly man wearing a sideways baseball cap making a funny faceThere’s a classic faux pas that you have probably seen in an advertisement. It’s where a millennial-age graphic arts person publishes the image of an extremely old person to represent the boomer audience. Inevitably, their idea of "an old person" is wrong. People in this demographic group are not nearly as “wrinkled-and-worn” as the stereotype dictates.

The self-image that Boomers hold—realistic or not—isn’t nearly as severe as younger people imagine. Often, this mischaracterization says that Boomers and digital media never meet. By definition, Millennials were born to the digital age. But older consumers and prospective patients appreciate and use the power of the Internet. Over 82 percent search online for information. [McKinsey]

Traditional media—such as television and newspapers—continue to appeal to the mature audience. Perhaps surprisingly, Boomers and seniors are more digitally connected than ever before. The Internet is “the top source for gathering information on topics of interest, outpacing TV and print media by a substantial margin,” according to Google.

Looking for medical/healthcare information is one of the top three reasons (66 percent) that seniors use the Internet. Using email (95 percent) and product research (66 percent) are the other reasons. [Google]

Socially savvy seniors…

The pervasive nature of social media, along with ubiquitous mobile devices, allow Americans over the age of 65 to connect and interact daily. Within the next two or three years, research estimates predict that over 30 million senior consumers will be online. [eMarketer]

Google also reports that the Internet is the number one source of information and that health topics are significant to (60 percent) Boomers/Seniors. Online search drives both online and offline action.

Reaching Baby Boomers Online…

Although Millennials command attention for their unique marketing challenges, the Baby Boomer audience is still significant in size and spending power. Nearly 80 percent of Boomers:

  • are highly connected and use the Internet daily
  • may require a mix of online and traditional/offline media
  • actively use social media and networking platforms

Successful marketing to the viable and still-important Boomer group is often complex and difficult. While Boomers are technically capable, they appreciate and embrace the personal intimacy of broadcast and print media, which Millennials are moving away from.

Fortunately, Healthcare Success has strong credentials in healthcare marketing that reaches Boomers as well as Millennials. Let’s discuss the ways we can help you with the proper mix and producing the strongest results.

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