Which generation do you think is the hardest to reach with marketing content?
Is it Gen Z, hiding out on TikTok and exploring virtual worlds like Roblox? Or Millennials who many other generations think are busy with “quiet quitting?”
While the two generations above are incredibly unique, it’s neither. The data we recently found might just surprise you.
According to our most recent survey of 1,200+ marketers, it turns out Baby Boomers (age 55+) are the hardest to reach:
Because Boomers are the oldest generation, and might even have more purchasing power than others, you’d think we’d know them — and where to market to them — pretty well by now. Right?
The truth is, while marketers find it challenging to understand and engage younger ever-evolving generations, Boomers are the clear outlier.
Why? It all goes back to how Boomers like to discover and purchase products, which stands out like a sore thumb compared to other generations.
How Boomers’ Shopping Habits are Different
You might think Boomers are the hardest to reach because they’re not always on the internet, but our survey of over 1,000 consumers shows that more than two-thirds of Boomers use social media. On top of that, searching online is one of the most common ways they discover new products.
So what exactly is it that makes the 65+ audience so hard to reach? In a nutshell, most marketing efforts targeting either Gen Z, Millennials, or Gen X will likely reach all three generations to some extent – while leaving boomers in the dark.
For example, marketers can effectively reach the three younger generations by advertising on social media, streaming services, and on YouTube — but this would do a terrible job of reaching Boomers, shown in yellow below.
Just 17% of Boomers have discovered a product on social media in the past 3 months. This drops to 13% for streaming services like Netflix, and goes down to 8% for YouTube ads. In comparison, these are among the best channels for reaching Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X.
So where can you actually reach the elusive Baby Boomers?
The Top 3 Marketing Channels to Reach Boomers
Television Ads Drive Boomer Product Discovery
More than any other generation, Boomers prefer to discover new products through television ads, which is also where they discover new products most often
Online Search is Second Best, but Boomers Do It Differently
Online search is second-best for reaching Baby Boomers. While this channel is also a top product discovery channel across generations, Boomers are searching differently.
All other generations heavily favor their phones for online shopping, while most Boomers are using their computers.
Boomers Prefer Retail Shopping More Than Any Other Generation
Another common and highly preferred product discovery channel for Boomers is in retail stores. 44% of Boomers have found new products in stores in the past 3 months, and 37% of them say it is their preferred method. Both numbers are the highest of any other generation.
Keeping Up With Consumer Trends
Boomers might be the most unique, but each generation has its own way of engaging with brands and their content.
To keep you updated on how each generation’s shopping habits change over time, we’ll be running our consumer trends survey twice a year. For a more detailed breakdown of Boomers’ shopping habits, along with every other generation, check out our full Consumer Trends Report.