baby boomers

Member Article

Baby Boomers and Digital market

The over 50′s ‘Baby Boomers’ spend more time and money online than any other demographic. Boomers spend more time and money online than any other demographic. Younger boomers (ages 47 to 55) spent an average of 39.3 hours online per month in 2010, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Older boomers (ages 56 to 65) averaged only slightly less, at 36.5 hours. A lot of that time was spent shopping—and buying. Boomers lives are going in many different directions, as empty-nesters, step-parents, grandparents and caregivers. For all of these roles, the internet and digital media are absolutely essential. eMarketer estimates 78.2% of this cohort is online, nearly 60 million adults. Even as their numbers decline, that penetration rate will remain high through 2015. And they control more than $2 trillion in annual spending.

Figures released earlier this year show that one in four of the 39 million people using the internet in the UK are aged over 50. We will see more websites catering for this demographic and brands in this marketplace will be starting to invest more in digital. According to UKOM/Nielsen, older age groups are more likely to visit Twitter than younger age groups. Nielsen has also pointed out that Facebook growth, despite reports earlier this month that its numbers had started to fall, was being driven by the over-50s. Since 2009, the number of 50 to 64 year-olds visiting the site has grown 84%.

Over 50s are more likely to start using social networking sites on their mobiles than their younger counterparts this year, according to new research. Around 400,000 British adults over 50 use social networking sites on the move, a 52% increase on last year, while the number of mobile social networkers under 30 rose by 48%.Over 50s who access blogs, social networking or content sharing sites on their mobiles are also around three times more likely to earn £50,000 or more than other adult mobile-owners. They are also 45% more likely to be educated to degree level.

Boomers also stay connected on the go. eMarketer estimates 86.9% will have a mobile phone this year, and 16.9 million boomers will access the internet from a mobile browser or installed app. In 2015, that number will reach 25.4 million, or nearly 40% of boomer mobile users. This is a market that content providers, game publishers and brand marketers should not pass by.Data released by research company OnePoll showed 6% of readers in the over-55 category–equivalent to 500,000 people–own a digital device to consume literature in comparison to just 5% of those aged 18–24. Irrespective of the measure used, the over-50s demographic is one that no sector, company, brand or marketer can afford to ignore. Not only are there more over-50s in Ireland now than at any point in recent history, it is the one demographic that is projected to grow significantly in number over the coming decades.

Added to this, it is among these consumers that the majority of the wealth – and, thus, spending power – resides.And yet, only around 10% of marketing campaigns specifically target consumers aged 50+. There is a sense that older consumers represent an elusive market, difficult to reach and even more difficult to convert. However, consumer data presented throughout this report indicate that, while there are certainly differences between older and younger consumers, today’s 50+ consumer is by no means an entirely different species. Embracing and using Facebook and Twitter, watching videos on YouTube, and listening to their iPods, Boomers are some of digital media’s biggest users. So a digital media promotions campaign needs to focus on the boomers. Over 50′s power rule!

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Berry Burgess .

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