Thus, we should continue to engage them with that active lifestyle in mind. For these individuals, quality-of-life issues are essential. Whether it's health care decisions, lifestyle choices or consumer purchases, these Boomers are making decisions based upon what's essential for maintaining their quality of life.
When I started working on the concept of The Healthy Aging brand over 15 years ago, no one wanted to talk about growing older. Finally, Baby Boomers are starting to see they need good information -- and not just stuff about how decrepit they are or will be. They want to know, "how can I actively pursue my next 50 years?"
This is no longer the iron-poor, tired-blood generation that can be fit into a stereotype for mass marketing campaigns. These are decision-makers that set their own agendas. They are engaged in social media. They love to conduct their own research and share their opinions. They are starting businesses. So whether you publish a magazine targeting this audience as I do or have a consumer product, financial instrument or other content that you want to market, make sure you're cognizant that this group can still think for itself.
An essential element is to fashion a dialogue that is real to them. This is an audience that has been marketed to for decades. They can see through the hard sell; thus, a sophisticated approach is necessary. It's an audience that also grew up with brand loyalty. They are still willing to experiment, but once they find something that works and benefits them, they will continue to remain loyal.
If it's an active lifestyle concept you're pitching, make it reflect this generation's need for experiential engagement. For years when people have thought about aging, the focus has been on physical fitness. However, Boomers are also focused on their mental wellness, the importance of social support systems and financial well-being.
These Boomers are seeking content, ideas, inspiration and critical information in the areas of physical, mental and financial health as a means to take greater responsibility for their own way of life. They are engaged online in researching these topics. It's not how the medication, vitamin or herbal supplement benefits them; it's how their lives are enhanced by taking them. Boomers want to see how others of their generation are staying fit and living active lifestyles. On-air commercials, editorial content and online video should all reflect this. Boomers must be showcased, offering others inspirational models for success.
Boomers have also discovered Facebook. They are using it not only to stay in touch with family members and friends by sharing their photos and experiences, but are looking to engage with brands as well. Those brands that speak directly to their needs will be the ones Boomers embrace.
Marketers have been salivating for years, waiting for the Baby Boomer generation to come of age. The generation weaned on television programming and commercials, magazines, department stores, family medical practitioners, nightly newscasts and weekly news magazines is now a niche market. Just like other niche markets, they can be targeted directly. Unlike the past, when older Americans were all about retirement and disengaging from the market, Baby Boomers are all about growing the market. How advertisers, marketers and publishers engage them will determine how big of a market share they will reap from this coveted audience.
|Carolyn Worthington is publisher of "Healthy Aging Magazine" and producer of Healthy Aging online.|