Effective Strategies to Attract Baby Boomers


Thad King

May 6, 2024


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Until the mid-20th Century, marketing was not aimed at teenagers and young adults. It wasn’t until after World War II that brands began to look to teens and young adults as the penultimate target demographic.

Prior to World War II, adults and families were the most important target demographics for marketers, as people in these demographics had disposable income. Parents, particularly women, were responsible for making household purchasing decisions, and working adults were often the only people with money in the United States.

After World War II, teenagers and young adults began earning more for several reasons, but the result was a shift in target audiences for many industries looking for market products and services. The so-called “Baby Boom generation” in America grew up during a time of great opportunity and prosperity, and this demographic is still important to marketers today.

What is the Baby Boom Generation?

Baby Boomer couple

The Baby Boom generation, often referred to as “Baby Boomers”, is generally considered to be made up of people born between 1946 and 1964. This generation was born into a post-Word War II society, and they helped shape many aspects of culture, business, and technology seen today.

Aside from Millennials, or people born between 1981 and 1996, the Baby Boomers are the largest generation in the United States; however, that title is slowly shifting to Generation Z, or people born in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Nonetheless, Baby Boomers still make up a very large percentage of America’s population, and it would be wise for business owners to develop strategies to market to Baby Boomers.

Why Target Baby Boomers?

There are a number of reasons why the Baby Boomer generation is an attractive demographic. If still working, Baby Boomers tend to be in leadership positions that generally pay higher wages. Baby Boomers sometimes have access to pensions, Social Security income, and retirement investments if they retire. In either scenario, this can mean access to disposable income, potentially making it easier to close sales with Baby Boomers.

The Baby Boomer generation also tends to maintain greater brand loyalty. Once they find a product or service that works, they tend to stick with it for the long term. Part of this can be attributed to the generation’s understanding of value, but Baby Boomers were also raised to focus on building relationships. This focus on relationships can sometimes spill over into relationships with brands, products, and services, meaning this generation may be more inclined to stick with something they know and trust.

Understand Where Baby Boomers Spend Time Online

Regarding digital marketing and Baby Boomers, it’s important to understand where they spend their time online. The Internet is a fantastic tool for almost any type of marketing strategy, but the use of Internet technologies doesn’t change the core philosophy of marketing: Know your customer.

Internet marketing can potentially reach billions of people, but if you don’t know your target market and how that market finds products and services and makes purchasing decisions, no amount of technology will make a difference.

A Comparison of How Generations Use Social Media

Boomer using her mobile phone

To drive this point home, think about social media marketing. Currently, the younger generation uses TikTok and Discord to share content. Before TikTok, Twitter (now X), and Facebook were where younger people congregated on social media. Before that, Myspace was the place to be.

Today, the Baby Boomer generation certainly uses social media platforms like TikTok, but they are more likely to be found using LinkedIn, a platform designed for professional networking. You can improve your LinkedIn marketing strategy to reach Baby Boomers by understanding what they want to get out of using LinkedIn, namely, forming connections with like-minded professionals.

Baby Boomers on LinkedIn often have worked hard to attain status and like to receive recognition for their achievements. Since LinkedIn is the perfect platform to accomplish these goals, business owners seeking to market to Baby Boomers should consider this when developing LinkedIn outreach strategies and social media content.

Do Baby Boomers Consume Online Video Content?

Conversely, Baby Boomers tend to invest more time in the videos they watch, both on social media and platforms like YouTube. The fast-paced, short-form videos popular today among younger buyers may not be as persuasive among Baby Boomers.

In general, Baby Boomers want to gain something valuable from watching videos instead of merely consuming mindless entertainment. Of course, short-form ads are still powerful, considering the Baby Boom generation is used to commercial breaks in television shows, but the content of online video often needs to offer something of value in order to be effective with this generation.

Think About the Mindset of the Baby Boomer

Another important aspect of marketing for Baby Boomers is understanding their mindset. Because Baby Boomers are older and are either in retirement or are close to retirement, their goals in life may be vastly different from those of someone in their 20s.

While not applicable to all Baby Boomers, most retirees want to slow down and enjoy life. These people have spent decades working hard and building a life, and they usually focus on spending more time doing what they love.

For some, this means spending more time with family. For others, it means spending time on hobbies or traveling. To tailor your marketing to different types of Baby Boomers, you need to know the subset of this generation that your products and services speak to.

For example, if you sell athletic shoes, your marketing materials can address the desire for a longer, healthier life. If you sell B2B products and services, you can market to Baby Boomers in the workforce by showcasing how your solutions allow customers to save time that can be better spent with friends, family, and loved ones.

Mistakes to Avoid When Marketing to the Baby Boom Generation

If you plan to personalize your marketing when targeting Baby Boomers, there are plenty of steps you can take to get things right, but there are also a number of things you can do to derail your efforts. Below are some mistakes to avoid when developing marketing strategies for Baby Boomers:

Placing a Focus on Age

Cute baby boomers taking a selfie

Although Baby Boomers are older, they’re still human. This demographic understands that it comprises older people, but many Baby Boomers are young at heart and have a young mindset. With life expectancy ranging into the 80s and 90s, there’s no reason to think that Baby Boomers don’t have plenty more life left in them. For this reason, you’re encouraged to avoid emphasizing things for “old people” when developing your marketing for the Baby Boom generation.

This isn’t to say that age isn’t a factor when targeting Baby Boomers with marketing materials. This generation is at a point in their lives when certain things matter more to them than in their younger years, and this should not get lost when developing marketing strategies for the Baby Boom generation.

Using Technical Jargon

Technical jargon is often a bad idea in any type of marketing message, but it can be especially detrimental when Baby Boomers are your target market. Although this generation brought computer advancements and digital innovations to the world, some Baby Boomers may feel a bit overwhelmed by the rapid changes in digital technology the world has experienced in recent decades.

Instead of using technical terms and expecting your audience to “get it,” you’re encouraged to explain concepts in everyday terms that anyone can understand. In doing this, however, avoid talking down to your audience.

Baby Boomers Are Just Like You and Me

Multi-generational photo of a family

Marketing to the Baby Boom generation isn’t much different from marketing to any other demographic. There are some unique factors to consider, but at the end of the day, knowing what your ideal customer wants is the key to success.

You’re encouraged to research your customers to compile and analyze data. You can also partner with a digital marketing agency to work with experts to understand various buyer personas. Marketing agency professionals can help you refine your messaging and branding to speak to your audience's unique needs, desires, and pain points, regardless of generation or age.

Contact E-Marketing Associates for Expert Guidance to Refine Your Marketing Approach

E-Marketing Associates provides digital marketing solutions to meet customers where they are on the buyer journey. Our team creates personalized marketing strategies that speak to customers' needs, and we can help you market to Baby Boomers or customers of any generation. We also provide access to reputation management software and a range of other solutions to ensure your brand presents the right message to increase sales on the web.

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