Don’t Forget the Baby Boomers!


Nigel Rodgers

Jul 10, 2015


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Over the past few years, marketing companies have been focusing their efforts on attracting the Millennials. The Millennials are the fast-paced, tech-savvy, creative generation born between 1980 and 1999. The Millennials, also known as Generation Y, have the largest generation population and will take up most of the workforce in the next five years. With so much attention on Millennials, the former largest generation, the Baby Boomers, has been placed on the back burner when it comes to marketing. As a hotelier, one cannot overlook this still-important generation group. The Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, are still spending money, and they are even traveling. Actually, in 2015, the Baby Boomers plan to do the most traveling: Boomers are responsible for 80% of travel spending and spend over $150 billion a year on travel. Though Millennials are the future, Baby Boomers still play an important role in travel spending, and hoteliers should work to attract more Boomers to their rooms. There are specific ways to effectively market to Baby Boomers, but first, hoteliers must understand the qualities and needs of this target audience.

According to a recent study, by 2017, 50% of the total U.S. population will be Baby Boomers. With such a large community available, hoteliers should understand what the Baby Boomers want. One of the most important things to remember about Baby Boomers is that they are not "old" and see themselves as being forever young. Baby Boomers can also be just as tech-savvy as Millennials, so don't underestimate their connection to technology. That being said, Boomers still value face-to-face interaction more than other generations. As opposed to their parents, Baby Boomers see travel as a necessity, not a luxury. Boomers are also willing to spend more on luxury and convenience. Another unique attribute to Baby Boomers is their focus on family. Taking family trips and connecting with their loved ones is something they hold dear. Baby Boomers are fans of active relaxation. This means, instead of lounging by a pool to relax, they prefer activities like golfing, hiking, massages, and wine tasting tours. There is also the idea of the "Bucket List" that is unique to Boomers. They are looking for great experiences and memories to create, so risk and adventure are high on their list. Understanding the characteristics of Baby Boomers will help hotels market to them more effectively.

Growing up with the Watergate Scandal and the Vietnam War, Baby Boomers are equipped with a distrust for organizations and institutions. Being authentic in your message is necessary to attract them to your hotels. Don't oversell the luxury of your rooms or the surrounding area of your hotel or use cliches because Baby Boomers will see through them and look elsewhere. Also, Boomers like to associate with people like themselves, so reflect your Baby Boomer-friendly environment in your ads by displaying inclusive photos and copy on your site and social media. Because Boomer's value family, make your hotel copy and social media posts multi-generational. Show them something fun for the 50+ crowd as well as their grandchildren. Although Boomers are tech-savvy, having an easy booking process, and making communication with your hotel simple will woo them into choosing a room in your hotel. According to Hospitality Marketing, one of the most important things to remember is to keep your marketing campaigns simple. Appeal directly to the Boomers' wants and needs and show them what your hotel has to offer without extra fluff and pizazz. Once you understand the Baby Boomers and use your knowledge to market to them effectively, your hotel will benefit from this valuable generation segment.

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