Marketing to Baby Boomers in the Digital Age.

BoomerBaby Boomers in recent years are becoming more social media-savvy, and they’ll be able to put their money towards whatever’s trending.  According Nielsen marketing, in less than five years, 50 percent of the U.S. Population will be over the age of 50.Baby Boomers, not only control 70 percent of the nation’s disposable income, but they also stand to inherit $15 trillion in the next 20 years.  On average, Seniors and Baby Boomers (defined in the report as those ages 45 or older) spend 19 hours a week online, but they spend 16 hours watching television.  Their online usage also far outpaces time spent listening to the radio and reading newspapers/magazines.

boomer-time-spent-online-ipsos-google-2013AARP has access to some of the most comprehensive and insightful data about seniors and baby boomers. Their challenge is how to organize such data in an impactful way that would provide value to its members.

boomers-information-ipsos-google-2013Information Gathering

  • The Internet is the top source for gathering information on topics of interest for Baby Boomers and seniors, outpacing television and print media by a substantial margin.
  • News and weather is the most popular type of information accessed by Boomers and seniors online (66% accessed in the past month), followed by shopping (57%), coupons/discounts/daily deals (45%), food information (44%), and games (43%).
    Online Video

Online Video

  • 54% of Boomers/seniors watch online video, compared with 65% of the general population.
    YouTube is the most popular video site (used by 82% of Boomers/seniors), followed by Facebook (43%), Netflix (23%), and Hulu (23%).
  • The top motivations for viewing online videos include being entertained (63% of respondents), watching funny videos (51%), relaxing (44%), and staying up to date with the latest news (40%).

Social Networks

  • Facebook is the most used social network, with membership on par with that of the general population
  • Common activities seniors and Boomers engage in on social networks include following groups/organizations (55%), boomers-mobile-large-ipsos-google-2013posting/watching videos (40%), supporting causes (26%), and joining groups (23%)
  • Social networking sites are used by the majority of Boomers (71%) and seniors (59%) daily.


  • Mobile usage is still developing among Boomers and seniors: 29% use a smartphone regularly (compared with 48% of the general population), and 19% regularly use a tablet (compared with 25% of the general population).
  • Those who use mobile devices engage in a variety of activities, including looking for information, making purchases, and visiting websites of interest.

The best bets for getting Baby Boomers interested in your content is to create blogs or videos is to make that process dead simple. Don’t introduce overly complex sign up forms or processes.

Five Simple Secrets to reach Baby Boomers:

  • A growing number of older adults are taking advantage of the web right now.  Don’t ignore them.
  • As our society and the web mature, we need to make sure we are building it to empower everyone, not just the young and tech-savvy.
  • New technologies and web services will need to be intuitive and easy to use but not insulting.
  • Accessibility has to be built into the planning processes for new projects from the beginning, including consideration of design, text size and physical usability.
  • Once new products and services are ready for public consumption, education is key to make sure seniors don’t fall behind and become victims of a “digital divide.”

The Baby Boomer generation isn’t just big, it’s made up of people who think, and act differently than previous generations.  Baby Boomers challenge us to rethink how we use the web and challenge us how we engage older people with newer technologies.




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