Boomers: coming out of the marketer’s blind spot

Jul 15, 2021

In previous years, when younger generations’ spending power was in tip top shape, brands were able to ignore consumers aged 60 years and over, branding them as elderly and pushing them to the side in favour of mass market campaigns targeting young fresh faces of the young nouveau riche. But 2021 is changing everything. And I speak with confidence when I say that 2021/22 is the year the Baby Boomer has come formally out of the marketers blind spot.

With job insecurity, mortgage overreach and credit-induced financial stress, modern professional is not predicted to be able to spend the way they have in the past (even with the help of Afterpay) and marketers have had to take a second look for where the market for their products and services might come from in the year(s) ahead. 

The over-60s are looking pretty interesting to marketers right now.   We see key brands taking active steps to integrate them in mass market and niche campaigns and here’s why.  

Read more: Download ‘The Starts at 60 Boomer Guide – 2021/22’ now.

60 is not elderly, not anymore.  It was, 40 years ago when the average lifespan was 73 years but the average life expectancy of a 60 year old today says they have 25.7 more years to life to the ripe old age of 88 years old! And it is growing at 4.13% per year.   

People aged 60 and over make up the largest share of consumer spending in the economy. Nielsen data shows that this group buys 64% of all cars, 55% of all travel and 50% of all alcohol. And their online purchasing in 2020 skyrocketed

This tribe will only get bigger: between now and 2050, the number of people aged 65-84 is expected to more than double.  

The modern, rising Boomer is increasingly digital savvy, spending two hours more each week online than any other generation. 

They spend about $40 BN more online than millennials and generation X each year. 

And, their switching rates are rising, even more rapidly since Covid began.  Our own survey data on banking, telecommunications and retail loyalty shows that consumers over 60 are willing to shift their spending to providers who they perceive better tailor to their needs.  

 


“With job insecurity, mortgage overreach and credit-induced financial stress, modern professional is not predicted to be able to spend the way they have in the past (even with the help of Afterpay) and marketers have had to take a second look for where the market for their products and services might come from in the year(s) ahead.” 

Rebecca Wilson, CEO Starts at 60 


 

Where are the opportunities for brands? 

What will the over-60 do with their time? 

If they have 25 years of life to live, many of which are out of full time workforce, they require some good entertainment options.   This generation is streaming, watching more sports, movies and tv series than you’d believe. And they’re the core audiences behind the theatre, arts and literary sectors. After all, who has more time and money?  A young professional or a groovy Boomer? 

Where will they travel to? 

Before Covid this generation made up more than 60% of leisure travel spending and were the lion’s share of outbound leisure travellers from Australia.  They have planned to travel prolifically through their 60s and Covid is getting in their way, creating pent up demand among a cohort that sees travel as the most important item on their bucket list.    

Where will they live? 

Their children have flown the nest giving them an opportunity to right-size the home, free up capital that can be used to create a better lifestyle and move somewhere that will work for them in these years ahead.   Which products will win this race?  

How will they generate an income?

They have money and assets that they need to use them to generate an income they can live off for 25+ years.   interest rates at all time lows, cash won’t work hard enough for today’s 60 year old’s appetite for income.  An opportunity lies here to bring this generation products and services that drive income growth and provide them with financial security

Where will they shop?

Retailers have blatantly and obviously neglected this consumer in recent years, but fact is, they wear clothes, shoes, make-up and underwear just like other generations.  One thing is different about over-60s – they expect and are willing to pay for better quality, more comfort and good service. 

What will they drive? 

The Baby Boomer buys more than 64% of new cars and quite often, those cars reflect their newfound sense of identity and anticipated freedoms.  Car makers are slowly catching on, offering premium, safe and functional cars that suit their confident, ambitious and lifestyle-seeking self-image. 

What will they eat?

Cooking for one or two means the trolley size is smaller but the goals of longevity and good health mean the average spend per person is much higher.  Modern Boomers are seeing food as part of their health and entertainment budgets, selecting high quality whole foods and increasingly, visiting supermarkets as frequently as every second day. 

Starts at 60 is addressing all these areas, in partnership with brands who solve the Baby Boomer’s problems.  We are your door to this rapidly changing, ready-to-spend generation. Ask us.

Download ‘The Starts at 60 Boomer Guide – 2021/22’ now.

About the author: Rebecca is Australia’s #1 Baby Boomer influencer. A marketer, writer and entrepreneur with decades of experience in making things happen, she has worked tirelessly and faithfully for the over-60s community since founding Starts at 60 nine years ago.

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