Thursday, October 8, 2015


The world of commerce is heading into the Fall furlong, and there’s no turning back. Halloween paraphernalia adorns storefronts and malls, and Christmas Creep is already underway. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, most businesses will have started pushing seasonal sales and promotions, before the spending bonanza goes full tilt in the weeks before December 25th.

How well marketers grab their share of the spree depends on whom they target and how they go about doing it. Typically, end-of-year marketing focuses on parents (the spenders) and children (the influencers). As apparently wise as this emphasis may be, it ignores an important and financially powerful demographic: Baby Boomers. 

Whether they have scores of grandchildren or are childless, Boomers have the money, and the time and inclination to spend it. They account for 30% of the population, but hold 70% of the disposable income (according to Greater wealth per capita than any other demographic, coupled with increased life expectancy suggests the over-60s aren’t planning to stop spending any time soon. Some forecasters predict the Boomers’ financial clout to top $15 trillion by the decade’s end.

But it’s not just how much money they spend that should pique the attention of savvy marketers - it’s what they spend it on. Air travel. Hotels. Restaurants. Theater and concert tickets. Technology. Cars. The list of non-essential purchases made by Boomers goes on, and they regularly outspend other demographics on all of them. They’re also a good deal more tech savvy than you might think: 71% a spend time online daily, and the average monthly spend on technology is $650.

From a marketing perspective, this is low hanging fruit. So why are only 5% of ad dollars targeted towards such a lucrative market? In part, a youth-obsessed marketing culture has led to a lack of understanding of how to communicate with Boomers. But if you create an appealing offer and communicate it on platforms visible to grandparents and other Boomers, you could start generating some serious revenues before your competitors catch on.

Unlike parents - who usually face the direct, hounding influence of their kids’ pleas for new toys - grandparent have the luxury of taking their own time and initiative to find the right gift. According to, Boomers spend $52 billion on their grandkids. If your online and mobile marketing efforts have yet to spare a thought for this lucrative demographic, it’s time to rethink.