Two years ago when my grandmother exclaimed, “I just really need an iPhone!” I giggled. How could an 88 year old woman NEED an iPhone? Well, little did we know, she did! She used it valiantly to play her favorite game of bridge, communicate with her friends, order Amazon items and always be up to date on the weather.
We all thought that it would be a phase and something she wouldn’t REALLY use or know how to. Boy, were we wrong! Between staying connected to her grand children, using it for medical emergencies, directions, information and online shopping… it transformed how she interacted with the world.
Last week Google released this statistic in an analytics conversation:
“The 50+ audience is much more tech savvy than a lot of marketers give it credit for. Most people don’t realize how multichannel and multi-device this audience is.” —Barbara Shipley, SVP of brand integration at AARP
Why did this happen? Didn’t we think that only young, hipsters under 50 used cutting edge technology? Well… let’s consider technology’s timeline, how corporate America and other industries’ early adoption and affordability’s engagement has enabled the masses.
In the 80s, car phones were posh and only for the upper class who could afford the luxury. Then in the 90s, people’s employers provided them with a car phone or pagers for professional purposes. As the 2000s approached, the need for communication in a global economy focused on urban growth spurts. And then, digital networks across the country exploded exponentially as 2010 encroached; and thus, the smart phone was born. By 2015, hundreds of millions of smartphones became a cultural access device for toddlers at age 3 through elderly Americans.
The way we see it, the baby boomer market is perhaps the most untapped from a digital marketing perspective. Some have written them off, considering multiple generations to be technologically illiterate when in all actuality, their professional backgrounds and personal lives have adapted to technological changes out of necessity. Case and point: email, a digital calendar, family members on Facebook, or online holiday shopping.
The American Baby Boomer generation is now in their mid 50s and early 60s, becoming grandparents and retiring. For those lucky enough to retire, they carry some disposable income. Now, millions of Americans in this demographic and beyond use a smartphone, tablet, laptop, streaming devices and traditional media to stay in touch and make purchasing decisions.
As a marketer, we may have just opened Pandora’s box to focus on a new segment: 62+. So much time and energy has been focused on the 35-55 age demographic. They are saturated by their work, their children and the million marketing messages they process every day. But, what people seem to fail to remember is that those people who they marketed to 10 years ago are now aging, approaching their 50s, 60s, 70s+. They are the consumers who built the original American marketing infrastructure based on their purchase behavior, strategic engagement and ultimate conversions. With this in mind, zero in on your real potential customer, digitally. Americans who are 55+ are no longer only acting on marketing messages conveyed by traditional media.
Ready to soar into digital marketing to the Boomers and beyond? Work with us, Digital Tulip! We will craft a seamless, strategic marketing and targeting plan to execute communications campaigns so that your organization can capitalize on some of the most loyal brand supporters in American history, successfully integrating conversions by using alternative mediums, efficiently and effectively.
So, when your grandma FaceTimes from her iPhone, be sure to think beyond her ‘trendy and cool’ sophistication, because this tech savvy generation is digital marketing’s future.