We hear a lot about the rich, greedy boomers who are spending their kids’ inheritance, as they roll into retirement. We are also told that they are richer and better educated than previous generations. But what does this really mean for marketers and advertisers trying to target these 5.4 million Australians?
Not a lot actually, as the so-called boomer generation is actually a group of cohorts, more usefully sub-segmented by age, gender, education and occupation. In fact, the boomer ‘generation’ is far better understood as two cohorts, the ‘leading edge’ boomers, currently aged between 60 and 69, and the ‘shadow’ boomers currently aged between 51 and 68. In his excellent new book, Advanced Australia: The Politics of Ageing, Federal Labor politician, Mark Butler describes the key difference between these two types of boomers – and, if you are trying to engage with boomers and their needs, it’s worth the read.
Put simply, these two types of boomers are defined by formative experiences in their lives, with older, ‘leading edge’ boomers more likely to have enjoyed economic growth, ongoing employment and home ownership. This group is currently entering retirement, most likely owning their own homes, and discovering the joys and challenges of grandparenting.
The younger, ‘shadow’ boomers hit the labour market during the economic downturn in the 1970s and are probably still working full-time, paying down a mortgage, busy parenting adolescents and young adults as well as caring for elderly parents – much more typical of the ‘sandwich’ generation label.
YourLifeChoices research identifies two very different concepts of retirement for these two groups – the older retirees representing a more traditional, frugal and conservative retirement and the younger boomers with higher aspirations, energy and debt! From a content perspective it means delivering trusted and authoritative information which retirees require, while understanding that those yet to fully transition to retirement are likely to be time poor and concerned about their ability to maintain income in retirement. Marketers need to be clear about which life stage they REALLY want to target and the finer nuances of the likely boomer consume who is at this stage – planning retirement, immediately pre-retirement, already transitioning to retirement, or fully retired. The messaging for each segment is very different as the emotional and financial needs and personal challenges all vary greatly, particularly according to different socio-economic groups as well as gender and geographic location.
So how do you better understand and reach the boomer who is right for your product or service?
YourLifeChoices website conducts eight surveys a year, with an average response rate of 5000+ to 20-40 questions on how and where boomer consumers spend their money. We are happy to share our insights by phone or in-house presentations.
Call us now on 03 9885 4935 or email [email protected] to make a time to share your marketing needs and obtain the information you need to successfully influence the boomer consumer.
Kaye Fallick, Publisher
Kaye has been publishing YourLifeChoices for 15 years and is a frequent media commentator on the boomer cohort. Along the way she has learnt a thing or two and is shocked to find herself now in this demographic.