To Reach Boomers, Integrated Media Strategies Are Necessary.

Posted by truecreek on August 4, 2009 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

We’ve posted about this before, but this strong article by Anne Mai Bertelsen really drives home the the point that it is short-sighted to shift too much of your ad budget to the web if you are looking to reach baby boomers.  They just have not adopted these mediums as quickly as younger audiences have.

By Anne Mai Bertelsen.

Earlier this year, Forrester Research released its five year advertising forecast which found that marketers were shifting substantial advertising dollars out of traditional media and into interactive channels such as mobile marketing, display ads, search, social media and email.

iStock_000008888770SmallYet, marketers who rely too heavily on interactive channels, at the expense of traditional channels, risk losing out on the lucrative Boomer segment that are avid multi-media consumers. In fact, unlike other age groups, Boomers consume a daily, balanced diet of media from multiple traditional and interactive sources with traditional media — television, radio, and newspapers — providing their daily “squares.”

While the media has been focused on reporting the demise of traditional media, Boomers have largely been ignoring their prognosticators and continue to use these mediums as their “go to” sources for entertainment, news and exposure to brands.

Consider these statistics:


* Boomers spend, on average, 9.5 hours a day on “screen” time activities — e.g., television, computer, mobile phones, video games — with the largest percentage of time spent on television.

* 77% of Boomer’s daily viewing occurs between 7:30 pm and 11 pm, when they are most likely to watch The Discovery Channel, A&E, the Food Network, ESPN and Fox News.


* 76% listen to the radio — more than any other demographic — with half listening during morning drive-time and their programming preferences vary from oldies to country to talk shows.


* Time spent on print (e.g., newspapers, magazines, books) is highest among Boomers, with younger Boomers (45-54) spending on average 30 minutes a day and older Boomers (55-65) spending up to 100 minutes a day.

* In addition to national papers, 57% read their local daily newspaper regularly and 68% read their weekly community paper.

These traditional sources provide the foundation of Boomers’ awareness and knowledge of brands. They augment their daily traditional media consumption with time online, spending on average two hours a day.

But unlike other age groups, Boomers — who according to The Pew Internet and American Life Project now account for 35% of all Americans online — use the Internet much more heavily to research and purchase products and connect with friends and family than their younger peers. Typically, traditional advertising triggered their online search.

And, Boomers are researching products and services online because their brand loyalty is up for grabs; they are not brand loyal. Refuting a popular marketing truism that older consumers become more brand loyal, a 2008 AARP/Focalyst study found that 61% of Boomers felt “it didn’t pay to be brand loyal.”

A more recent Nielsen analysis of brand spending corroborated that finding: in March 2009, Nielsen reported that only a fifth of Boomers were more brand loyal than their younger cohorts.

As those who target Boomers well know, this segment offers an incredibly wealthy opportunity for marketers:

* 78 million+ members

* Estimated $10 trillion in discretionary assets – transferred to them by their dying parents and grandparents

* $2.3 trillion annual average spend on consumer goods and services

But, only if marketers shift some of their advertising dollars back to traditional media, creating an integrated media plan, to engage Boomers.

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