Having worked in retail measurement, consumer research and media measurement for more than 25 years in Australia and South East Asia, I have a solid understanding of the what and the why of consumer purchase and consumption behaviour. And if by some chance there’s a question I can’t answer, then I can certainly find out. There’s nothing I like more than asking questions and discovering answers (the hidden and the obvious).
While I have a fascination for behaviour across the board, I’m particularly interested in consumers aged 50-70 and the lack of attention given to them by marketers. I sense that there’s an assumption that they’re loyal and therefore not that worthy of attention. But here’s the thing – they’re expectations are just as significant as those of Millennials, Gen X, Gen Y and any other Gen you care to dream up. In fact for some categories, they’re even more important because they are cashed up. The kids have left home, education cost responsibility is over or dwindling, the family home is probably paid off and there’s not much more to do than make sure there’s enough to live on in their final working years. And that means fat wallets.
Think discretionary categories like travel, health and wellness, wine and other premium beverage, beauty, technology, restaurants and hospitality venues, financial services and wealth protection – even jewellery and higher end (dare we call them luxury) purchases that previously had a guilt factor attached to them. It’s time for the this group to give themselves a pat on the back and a bit of reward. Think about new cars even…how many 50-70 years olds buy second hand cars? They don’t – they’re the new car buyer you want to be talking to! And we know what younger groups are increasingly trying to live without owning their own car. If I was in the business of new cars, I’d have a mid to long term view on the total industry but a short term one on maximising value from BoomerConsumers.
The way you appeal to these consumers just isn’t the same as to the other groups. Yet I find it incredibly interesting that if I do the reliable Google Search Millenials brings me 99,200,000 results and Baby Boomers a paltry 22,000,000! Seems to me that a bunch of marketers, researchers ad opinion leaders are failing to place their expensive bets on a group that is more likely to provide a better short term return. I’m not talking elderly here – I’m talking about a group whose health, appearance, experiences and life enjoyment needs have never been greater or more feasible.