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Madison Avenue New York City

Baby Boomers vs. Madison Avenue

| Sande Caplin |

With the Holiday season just behind us and the popularity of social networking, I gained a great insight to the “Family Perspective” or more importantly the coming of age of the Baby Boomers. Look around at the holiday pictures posted. It’s no longer the Norman Rockwell painting of years gone by but a brighter picture that the economy and Madison Avenue has failed to realize.

The average Grandparent is no longer the silver haired patriarch or matriarch but a viable part of society that marketing is ignoring. It appears through television ads that the only pitch being targeted at the older generation are items like Hover-round, Life Alert and depends. What the Hell are they thinking? Boomers of retirement age are not just sitting back baking cookies and tending to the garden. We are out there on a daily basis living life, playing tennis, going to concerts, taking classes and enjoying life more than any other age group. Yet it seems the marketing gurus have failed to embrace this segment. The average Boomer thinks of themselves as 15- 20 years younger than they are and age is unimportant, Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger, 71 and 70 respectively are still our idols and represent, at least in my case, the way I feel.

Business owners take heed and look around it’s tough to survive out there and are you ignoring an obvious demographic that could easily be reached? 10,000 Baby Boomers per day reach retirement age an are a group not to be ignored. Take a look at these facts and decide.

    Boomers have more discretionary income than any other age group
    Control 70% of the total Net Worth of American households
    Own 80% of all money in Savings and Loan institutions
    Watch TV more than any other age group
    Account for 40 % of all consumer demand
    Are not brand loyal and when they want it they want it NOW
    74% of Boomers use the Internet and 69% use it on a daily basis
    Boomers account for 2.4 Trillion in annual income and spend 2 Trillion per year on goods and services
    Spend 7 Billion in online purchases
    Baby Boomers are 26 % of the overall population yet 40% of the economy
    Spend 500 million annually on Vacation travel and account for 80% of all leisure travel
    Boomers are the largest growth segment in academia and continue their education by taking both academic and personal interest classes such as photography and cooking

With the discretionary income of the Boomers and the active lifestyles we desire it’s time to put the marketing efforts into this long ignored demographic. Business owners look around at the market in front of you, available to you daily. Your Gravy Train could be the Gray Train. Maybe something will change by the time I get back from Jet Skiing.

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