When it comes to marketing pet products and services, it seems that Millennials are generating all the buzz these days. And while it’s a smart move to focus on this influential segment, marketers should take care not to overlook the largest, most affluent demographic in the U.S.: the Baby Boomers.
As a group, Boomers have always been on the cutting edge socially, economically and professionally. And they’re still powering trends, specifically with regard to what it means to age and retire. Not only are they financially stable, they are educated, active and energetic. And they’re willing to spend on their pets!
Did you know:
- Americans age 50+ control 70% of the U.S. net worth.
- When Baby Boomers entered ’empty-nest’ status in the late 1990’s, they began fueling what has become triple-digit growth in the pet marketplace.
- 73% of boomer women spend $50 or more per month on pet supplies – higher than the national average.
In addition, evidence suggests that Boomers may also be bucking the trend when it comes to the traditional decline of pet parenting at around age 70. That’s why so many assisted living and retirement communities are now becoming pet friendly. So chances are good that Baby Boomers will continue pet spending for at least 20 to 30+ more years!
So what are the best ways to reach this powerful segment of pet parents? The answers may surprise you. That’s because the mediums and strategies are probably not all that different than what you’re using now.
It’s a misconception that people over 50 aren’t spending time online. In fact, a whopping 87% of Boomers use the Internet regularly. Like any other market segment, they expect websites to be user friendly and mobile responsive. Because – that’s right! – boomers own and use smartphones, too!
So much for the idea that boomers don’t “get” Twitter and Facebook. As a matter of fact, 71% of boomers using social networking sites on a daily basis according to a survey by the Michigan Humane Society.
Email marketing is one of the best ways to generate and nurture leads for your business. In a recent survey, 74% of companies said that email marketing returns the highest ROI (source: EConsultancy). So it’s good news for pet marketers that 91% of Boomers are email users.
Despite all the high tech opportunities available today, direct mail still ranks as one of the most effective marketing tools. And this is especially true amongst Boomers. One study found that direct mail had influenced 30% of consumers aged 50-68 to purchase a product or service in the past six months.
Baby Boomers were the first generation to grow up with television. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that they still engage heavily with traditional media sources like radio, TV, newspapers and magazines.
Online Media Outlets
Over half (53%) of Boomers turn to online research to learn about pet products and services. Seek out and partner with sites, either through advertisement or content creation, that cater to a 50+ audience. Some great places to start are Engage:Boomers, Vibrant Nation, Next Avenue and Purple Clover.
When marketing to this segment, be conscious of how you frame your message. Remember, Boomers may be aging, but they don’t consider themselves to be old. They’re independent, active people, so it’s probably best to strike words like “senior” and “golden years.” It is a good idea, however, to integrate age-appropriate visuals in your marketing materials.
The great news is that reaching this demographic doesn’t usually require a whole separate approach. Simply pepper boomer messaging and mindset into your existing marketing strategy to capture these devoted and discerning pet parents.
As an experienced digital influencer, I have a unique understanding of Baby Boomers and can help you increase your reach with this important demographic. Contact me to learn more.