Interesting Trend for Marketers on the Web - Don’t Discount the Baby Boomers

by Chris Brown on Monday, April 9, 2007

Here’s some food for thought for marketers. The Internet may be one of the best ways to reach the baby boomers.

Granted, everyone knows that Generation Y (or the Millenniums as I recently heard them called) are heavy Internet users. But how many assume that most people over 50 aren’t on the Internet?

(Maybe you say, “who cares”? Only folks 18-35 are really spending money. Or 25 - 40 years old. Maybe each one is spending more than the baby boomers, but the shear number of baby boomers makes it a demographic that is dangerous to ignore. But that’s a different discussion.)

According to the Pew Internet reports (update 2009)

Contrary to the image of Generation Y as the “Net Generation,” internet users in their 20s do not dominate every aspect of online life. Generation X is the most likely group to bank, shop, and look for health information online. Boomers are just as likely as Generation Y to make travel reservations online. And even Silent Generation internet users are competitive when it comes to email (although teens might point out that this is proof that email is for old people).

Couple this with the shear number of baby boomers, marketers really can’t ignore this demographic on the Internet. Some marketers view the baby boomers as a shrinking market, but really the marketers need to find ways to adjust their offerings to match the market, not sell more of what they have been doing in the same way they have always done it.

That’s a manufacturing mentality, not a marketing mentality.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Greg Balanko-Dickson Tuesday, April 10, 2007 at 2:10 pm

My article would have been better titled Shrinking Baby Boomer Workforce: What You Need to Know since the charts I used to illustrate the point were developed to point out the coming workforce changes.

As I stated “Most business people do not think ahead to anticipate what will happen when the baby boomer stops buying their goods or services.” because knowing whether demand for your product or service is on the upside or downside of the baby boomers changing lifestyle as they age.

Just ask Honda Motorcycles America what happened when boomers stopped buying motorcycles.

Chris Brown Wednesday, April 11, 2007 at 10:29 am

You are so right. The tough part is to look ahead and change product offerings to match the future demographic but still remain true to your brand and core product categories.

Suzette Thursday, April 12, 2007 at 6:45 pm

You both make some excellent points. I think that a lot of people don’t realize that boomers represent the largest spending population (27%), that their spending power tops $2 trillion and that boomers over 50 control 70 percent of the nation’s wealth. Clearly, this is nothing to sneer at. I am a writer at Deliver Magazine, where my staff researched and published articles on this topic. You are welcome to read more about it at
Also, we ran an article on what one bank did to attract boomers. You are welcome to read this story at
I hope that this information will be useful to you!


Chris Brown Friday, April 13, 2007 at 9:56 am

Thanks for the info Suzette, I found your article in Deliver quite interesting. I would like to write a blog post about it.

Just wondering if you happen to have a link to where the statistics came from (70% of the wealth for instance.) I love the stats, but like to link to a source if possible.


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