Is your marketing approach keeping up with them?
Baby Boomers have been changing the game their entire lives. As they enter their senior years, there isn’t a single aspect of modern life that hasn’t felt their impact. So it comes as no surprise that senior living and senior living marketing need to adapt to appeal to this generation. Here are 5 ways marketing to Baby Boomers demands a new approach.
Age is Just a Number
Studies have found that as people age, a significant number feel like they are as much as 20 years younger than their chronological age. This phenomenon becomes more pronounced when they hit middle age. A recently published study indicates feeling younger than you are has a number of positive health benefits. So it’s no surprise that Baby Boomers don’t look or act like stereotypical grandparents. They might tell you 70 is the new 60.
Does your copy suggest it’s time to slow down and smell the roses because you offer maintenance-free living? Instead, your Baby Boomer marketing strategy should be to show them how you’ll take care of household chores so they can catch Madonna, Springsteen, Axl Rose or Billy Joel & Stevie Nicks in concert. Before you reject that as ridiculous, just remember these stars are Baby Boomers themselves!
Here’s a trick question: what do Jeff Bezos, Erin Brockovich, Bill Gates and Ellen Ochoa have in common? You guessed it! They’re all Boomers. And they forged new paths that we take for granted today. Like these more famous members, Boomers are accustomed to being in charge so they can achieve their life’s purpose. They’ve lived active lives. And when they look ahead, they’re focused on what’s next.
This generation isn’t going to be content with shuffleboard, bingo or arts and crafts as an outlet for their energies. They want choices. Each wants to be the king or queen of their own castle. Your Baby Boomer marketing strategy should highlight the many ways your community helps residents live their best life by showing the new paths they can explore.
Breaking the Mold
Speaking of community, social scientists often note Boomers were the first gen to group up in the suburbs. Which is one reason they value community. They watched Armstrong take the first steps on the moon together with friends and family. As young professionals, they were considered YUPPIES and DINKS. Today, 91% of Boomers are on social media, with Facebook being their favorite platform.
While nostalgia might appeal to some, most Boomers are looking for new experiences not retirement homes. Take a look at your marketing images. Do they highlight lovely but empty dining rooms or residents passive listening to a lecture? Boomers are looking for new avenues for a purposeful life. Mary Steenburgen is now an Oscar-nominated songwriter! Tweak your Baby Boomer marketing strategy to showcase the exciting opportunities your community offers them.
A (Health) Reality Check
When Boomers were born, the average lifespan was 63 years. But today, this generation can expect to live to 79 years. But while they’re living longer, they aren’t healthier. Obesity, hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol are increasingly serious health threats for this cohort. But their Peter Pan mentality means they aren’t looking for a future that includes a care-based housing model. On the other hand, their ever-increasing reliance on prescriptions is necessary to manage their chronic conditions.
This presents a conundrum for marketing teams. How do you sell an active lifestyle to a consumer who feels 50 and but hasn’t modified their lifestyle, exercise habits and nutrition to improve their health? The example of Caroline Kennedy (a Boomer), who recently swam 1.2 kilometers to recreate her father’s heroic WWII effort to save his crew might be more inspiring than another shot of pool aerobics!
Life is Complicated
Divorce, multiple marriages, LGBTQ+ couples, multi racial identities and a host of other factors have made the definition of family more complex today. Boomers grew up watching sitcoms like Father Knows Best and Leave It To Beaver and came of age with reliable birth control (The Pill). Eighty-seven percent chose to marry while others like Oprah and Stedman, Kurt and Goldie chose to cohabitate. One in five never had children, while George Clooney became a father at the age of 56 and De Niro just welcomed his 7th baby at age 79. His oldest is 51.
Family is complicated. Do your marketing materials still rely on images of nuclear families and cute grandchildren? Are you reaching out to solo agers,? Would your community welcome Boomer parents with school age children?
As with any generation, Baby Boomers aren’t all the same. They’re as different as Cher and Katie Couric, who are both Boomers. That’s why you need Sabal Group as your data partner. We can find you the right audience for your Baby Boomer marketing campaigns. Reach out to Maribeth today to learn how she can help you deliver a winning marketing strategy.