Radio's Opportunity With Boomers
April 5, 2011
The radio industry has a golden opportunity right now with the oldest Baby Boomer turning 65 this year -- especially if their formats lend themselves to this generation. Advertisers have almost forgotten the Boomer, but radio has a chance to "wake them up" ... and increase their billing in doing so.
Radio is the only medium that the Boomers were chronologically raised with. While everyone talks about the 50-plus group growing in population and having the most spendable income, they are forgetting one thing: There is no 50-plus market. Fifty-plus means until you are dead. Yet most advertisers and media buyers place everyone who is over 50 years in the same category for marketing purposes.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2008, Boomers were 60% of the 50-plus population. The remaining 40% are people 65 years and older who make up the Forgotten and Senior generations. Each of these generations have a completely different mindset than the Boomer, based upon the social circumstances they were raised with in their youth. So why mix apples and oranges? Concentrate more on the Boomers, the adult teenagers of the 1960s and 1970s. They listen to more radio than the entire population over 65 years of age.
It is a known fact that the Boomers are inheriting more money at a record pace from their Senior parents than any other generation in U.S. history. Additionally, Boomers will remain in the workforce well into their 70s and possibly beyond. Add all of this together and it points to one important fact: Boomers still have the most spendable income in the United States.
Media buyers, advertising agencies and their clients are getting blindsided by using demographic age groups to conduct their market research. The use of demographics alone is the ruination of marketing and advertising. It will keep the advertising community in the Dark Ages forever it they do not start separating the Boomers from the other generations.
If you want to reach the Boomer generation before it is too late, the radio industry is the right media to begin using generational research with Genergraphics instead of demographics. The data would show potential advertisers how to appeal to this generation's mindset without grouping them with the other generations.
If advertisers do not get it right with the Boomers now, they will repeat the same mistake with the other generations after them as they age. Do not worry about alienating other generations with generational messages to the Boomers.
The Boomer's motto for life: "Aging is inevitable, growing up is optional."
The Boomers are not ready to ride off into the sunset yet, but when they do, they will take their radio with them.