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Boomers: The New 50+

Baby Boomers and their retirement has been a hot topic of discussion this year, as the eldest Boomers turn 65 in 2011. Traditionally this life stage has been characterized as a group that is slowing down, starting to travel and playing golf. However, a recent study from Ad Age and the AARP shows that Boomers are uniquely different from previous generations in this age group, with their own identity and needs.

According to the whitepaper titled “50 and Over: What’s Next?” Boomers are not following the traditions of their predecessors. They are getting divorced and remarried, going back to school, and many have children or step children living under the same roof. Additionally, the recent recession has directly impacted many Boomers’ retirement plans as their savings have decreased and their homes have lost value. So what does all this information mean for marketers today?

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Comprising roughly one-quarter of the population, Boomers have some $3 trillion in buying power, yet marketers are seemingly ignoring this population and under-valuing them. The Nielsen Company recently reported that less than five percent of ad dollars are targeted to this audience. Eileen Marcus, senior VP at Fleishman-Hillard, explains in the whitepaper that she sees an enormous business opportunity for those brands that cater to people over 50, particularly when it comes to improving their quality of life. “Make it easier for me to get to the doctor, to buy my food, to understand financial reform and healthcare. If marketers are looking for a key word…it’s going to be simplicity.”

Partnering with a contact center that can create customized campaigns with agents who are trained to understand the complexities of this audience and communicate accordingly is a critical component to engage this group. In addition, having the capability to reach Boomers through multiple channels will allow brands to become fully integrated with this generation.

Specific industry sectors such as finance have done a poor job of marketing to this audience. Of the Boomers that have retired, 31 percent say that they struggle to make ends meet. Meanwhile, of those yet to retire, 36 percent don’t feel they can afford retirement. “Financial marketers are still selling the traditional retirement dream, which is no longer the reality for most Boomers. This generation is asking for authenticity and clarity so they can plan realistically towards retirement. A customized phone campaign with both inbound and outbound capability is the perfect marketing tool to serve these needs and eliminate any confusion or uncertainty for this group.

Healthcare is another key sector that needs to reevaluate how they communicate with Boomers. Though this audience is more active than previous generations, they still face an increasing numbers of ailments, doctor appointments and medications. CVS Caremark, as described in the whitepaper, is a marketing program designed by CVS to provide Boomers with clarity, ease and savings. A key component was creating a program for top pharmacy customers to better serve their needs through three core communication outlets: in-store; online and over the phone. These outlets were selected by CVS as they realized their Boomer consumers have different concerns, priorities and media preferences than non-Boomer customers.

Marketers who are able to understand the nuances of the Boomer generation and discover the best way to communicate their message will be able to capitalize on this growing market. A contact center solution that has multiple capabilities to reach Boomers will be a key component in a successful marketing plan.

We hope you found this month's Dialogue informative.



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