As we settle into Fall, businesses across the country are preparing for the spending bonanza that twitches into life well before Halloween, gathers pace around Thanksgiving, and goes stratospheric in the weeks before Christmas.
How successfully businesses harness this spending spree to their benefit depends largely on who they choose to target, and how they go about reaching them. At this time of year, brands typically focus on the spenders (parents) and the influencers (children). Less attention is given to grandparents - a fact you can turn to your advantage.
After all, these are mostly Baby Boomers we’re talking about. They’ve got the money, time and inclination to spend. There’s 80 million of them in the United States, but despite accounting for only 30% of the population, they have 70% of the disposable income. From a marketing standpoint, Boomers are low-hanging fruit.
Increased life expectancy, coupled with greater wealth per capita than any other demographic, ensures that the current generation of over-60s isn’t planning to slow down their spending any time soon; analysts forecast Boomers’ financial clout to top $15 trillion by 2020.
It’s not just how much they spend - it’s what they spend on. Air fares, restaurant meals, theater and concert tickets - Baby Boomers outspend other demographics on practically every non-essential item. They’re also far more tech savvy than many believe, with 71% spending time online on a daily basis, and an average monthly spend of $650 on technology alone.
So why are only 5% of ad dollars aimed at what is clearly a lucrative market? There’s no good answer to this, but it’s possible that a largely youth-oriented marketing culture has no idea how to communicate with Boomers. This year presents a perfect opportunity for your business to tap into this market and reap the benefits before everybody else catches on.
Unlike parents, who are usually directly influenced by their children to buy the latest toy, grandparents often take the time to conjure up their own ideas for gifts. According to grandparents.com, Boomers spend $52 billion on their grandchildren. Helping them find the right gift for the right child is your way in. Nearly two-thirds of Boomers use Facebook, so focus your initial audience-building efforts on social media. Encourage them to look towards apps and other software, as opposed to traditional toys. If you educate them on what “the kids” are into these days, you can help them delight their grandchildren by getting the right gift without having to ask. Major brownie points from kids and parents.