Research firm eMarketer has some advice when it comes to boomers, which is one of radio’s biggest and most loyal listening demographics: Be nice to them, because right now they’re the ones who have money.
“While all generations have taken a financial hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, boomers are better positioned than younger cohorts to keep spending amid the recession,” eMarketer writes. “Marketers must make the most of boomers, which necessitates being up to date on their digital and consumer behavior.”
While every group has endured at least some financial pain during the pandemic, boomers (those ages 56 to 74, by eMarketer’s definition) are in better financial shape than their younger cohorts. And that knowledge — along with an understanding of how their contemporary behavior is shifting — is valuable for marketers who are in pursuit of solvent consumers.
Among the reasons for their relative financial viability: As a group, they have above-average incomes, and many of them are retired, which means they’re not beholden to a trying job market. Boomers also claim a disproportionate share of total U.S. household wealth.
Digital is also an emerging factor in their lives, but the trend is perhaps not as dramatic as many might think. “They’ve increased their usage of social media and digital video,” eMarketer says. “Some have had no choice but to try telemedicine. But boomers’ increases in digital usage build from a below-average base. They under-index for using smartphones and social media and have been slow to adopt smart speakers and wearables.”
About 60% of boomers are already digital buyers, with that aspect of their consumer behavior undeniably driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns. It’s also true that older Americans have proven more vulnerable to COVID-19 than their younger counterparts.
While many boomers express an interest in returning to stores, where they prefer to do their buying, the research firm says at least some of their digital shopping tendencies will likely stick around even after the pandemic is over.
Findings from eMarketer are from a new research report entitled “Better Be Nice to the Boomers: They’re the Ones with Money amid the COVID-19 Recession.”