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9 digital marketing strategies to woo baby boomers

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | Sept. 18, 2014
There are more 77 million baby boomers -- people born between 1946 and 1964 -- in the United States right now. By the end of 2015, Americans 50 and older will represent 45 percent of the population -- and will control approximately 70 percent (some say more) of the wealth.

3. Skip the hard sell. "Most boomers don't want to feel like they are being 'sold' something," says Billy Bauer, marketing director, Royce Leather, which sells leather gifts. Explain what it is you are offering, and the value of your product or service, without being pushy or patronizing. Remember, boomers like "to do their research before making an informed decision," he says. And because older boomers like to ask questions, "make it clear that you are available to answer any questions."

4. Focus on benefits, not just features. "Focus your messaging on how your product or service solves a problem vs. pushing features and specifications," advises Craig Hood, executive vice president of Allegro Medical, an online medical supply store for durable medical equipment and medical supplies. "Boomers are smart, know what they want and are not afraid to pay for it. Tell the story of how your product makes life easier, better or more enjoyable."

5. Make the online sales process easy and secure. Make it easy for baby boomers to find what they need on your site and purchase it with as few clicks as possible — while letting them know that their credit card and personal information is secure. "Make the checkout process quick, not too many pages, with very quick load times," says Kenny Kline, CEO, Slumber Sage, an online sleep and mattress guide.

6. Make it easy to communicate with you. Be sure to include contact information — a phone number, an email address, social media links — on your website and on your marketing materials, where it's easy to find. And respond promptly to people when they reach out to you with a question.

Don't discount the power of the telephone, says Edward Nevraumont, CMO, A Place for Mom, which connects families to senior care. "Even Expedia still does 25 percent of its bookings over the phone. The internet is great for a lot of things (including keeping costs down), but it's almost always worth it to make it easy for someone to pick up the phone and call you to help complete a transaction."

And don't forget about social media. "Facebook is a great way to have a conversation," says Kunkle.

7. Build a referral program. "Boomers are much more likely to come from referrals," says Hood. "Do a great job for your customers and then ask them to spread the word through their personal networks. And make it easy to share a product or service through email, or social media." Also, consider rewarding customers with discounts or perks for referring family members and friends. Boomers love to feel special — and that they are getting a good deal.


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