Note: This blog is part of a series for marketers which describes the characteristics, values and preferences of various generations.
The last generation analyzed in this blog series are the Baby Boomers. Individuals in this generation were born between 1946 and 1964. According the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2015 there were 75.4 million baby boomers making them one of the largest generations in U.S. history. Baby Boomers were born after World War II when the United States experienced a sharp rise in birth rates. They grew up as technology, like television, was emerging.
Baby Boomers place high importance on careers, money, hard work, recognition and prestige. According to Value Options, they value individual choice, community involvement, prosperity, ownership, self-actualizing, and health and wellness.
Baby Boomers use both new and old technology. Their most used form of communication is a cell phone followed by broadband at home, a smartphone and tablet. Additionally, they prefer email more than text. They are likely to use the Internet for email, search engines, hobbies, directions and health information. To effective influence this audience, your marketing or public relations strategy should include carefully selected online, broadcast and print communication channels.
Of all the social media sites, Baby Boomers can best be reached via Facebook with 52 percent of the younger boomers and 46 percent of the older boomers on Facebook. They are just beginning to warm up to other social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram.
According to WordStream, “The Boomers are the most likely to misunderstand Facebook remarketing ads clogging up their Newsfeeds but still are receptive to direct marketing and sales tactics; they like to talk to real people.” Although Baby Boomers are beginning to use technology and social media platforms more, they still prefer face-to-face communication more than any other form of communication. They tend to be wary of the impacts these gadgets and platforms have on society (Pew Research Study).
Public relations professionals should use social media platforms to build trust with Baby Boomers by being transparent and factual in their communications. Content targeted to this generation must be clear, simple and concise or they will quickly become skeptical of the organization’s authenticity. Facebook is the best platform to reach Boomers because they are just beginning to become engaged with networking sites such as Twitter and Instagram. Old media, more specifically television, tends to be the most viewed/used form of media.