Technology and social media are ways to reach the younger generations. Right? Not so fast. Baby boomers might be the real target. The latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that baby boomers have fully embraced technology. They are the biggest spenders on technology according to Forrester Research’s annual benchmark tech study.
Think about the boomers you know. The typical boomer has a desktop computer at work, a laptop at home, are on facebook, have a smartphone, have multiple accounts on the internet, DVRs their favorite television shows and is wishing for an iPad. If they don’t already have one.
“It’s actually a myth that baby boomers aren’t into technology. They represent 24% of the population, but they consume 40% (in total dollars spent) of it”, stated Patricia McDonough, senior VP-analysis at Nielsen and reported by Beth Snyder Bulik in Ad Age.
Baby boomers are not early adapters but they certainly pile on. Ten years ago only 25% of boomers went online daily. Today 70% go surfing everyday. And examine these stats about baby boomers:
- 47% use social media
- One in five use social media every day
- A full 66% use their cell phone for texting
- 91% use email
- 88% use search engines
- 78% use the internet to research health information
- 74% get news from the internet
Baby boomers are aging and have become huge users of health services and that will grow tremendously as they age. To healthcare marketers they are a huge and critical target audience and if we think they can only be reached by traditional media we are making a critical mistake. Technology and social media have been embraced by boomers and have become a very common and pervasive part of their lives. Technology, new media and social networking are effective ways to reach, communicate and even build relationships with those 45-64 ears old.
Boomers are the greatest spending generation. And they spend their money and their time on technology. It would be a huge disconnect for healthcare marketers to assume otherwise.