Ride The Gray Train To Increased Profits

Ride The Gray Train To Increased Profits

Something is​ roaring into the business community’s depot that has been building momentum for years. I call it​ the Gray Train. On December 31, 2018, the last Baby Boomer turned 40, pushing that train to​ full throttle. Marketers are missing the obvious and not-so obvious opportunities to​ grow their businesses with this appealing audience.

Self-indulgent Baby Boomers want what they want, now. They have business expertise, have received all sorts of​ training from their corporate employer and now that education allows them to​ open up their own businesses. Or, they have done so well, they no longer have to​ work. They can pursue their passion.

A few, smart marketers have been positioning themselves to​ take advantage of​ this segment that – with few exceptions - has disposable income, time and the inclination to​ use both to​ get what they want, when they want it.

Baby Boomers are members of​ a​ generation – 78 million strong - born between 1946 and 1964. Boomers control half of​ all discretionary income and spend $2 trillion every year on consumer-related services. Half of​ Boomers will pass 50 in​ 2018, as​ 10,000 more see their cake ablaze with 50 candles every day. Despite the size of​ this demographic segment, it​ has been reported that only about 10 percent of​ advertising dollars are spent on Boomers.

Not only are most marketers ignoring the obvious about this segment, they are clueless about what Boomers really want: experiences, particularly those that bring with them knowledge or​ a​ chance to​ connect with family.

Here are a​ number of​ other themes the marketer should take advantage of​ in​ targeting the Baby Boomer:

• Boomers are first and foremost self-interested. They want what they want, and they want it​ now

• Despite this “want it​ now” mentality, Boomers are increasingly concerned about having enough money to​ continue their current lifestyle in​ retirement

• Although self-involved, they also are very family-oriented and have a​ charitable side that has not been fully tapped

• When Boomers retire – and that retirement will be radically different from their parents’ retirement - they will want to​ bring their lives with them, not start new ones

• Baby Boomers don’t think about their ages, so marketers should focus on the benefit of​ the product or​ service and not on the user’s age

For marketers, the bottom line is​ this: Baby Boomers constitute a​ ripe demographic that has been ignored too long. TV network programmers and Hollywood movie companies, among other marketers may want to​ take a​ fresh look at​ this 78-million-strong generation. My advice: get on the Gray Train and profit. if​ you’d like more on this topic, get my Purple Paper on the subject.

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