Boomers Really Do Have All the Money – Are You Targeting Them this Holiday Season???

As we get into the holiday season, retailers and other B2C companies are gearing up to grab their share of the discretionary spending that washes through our economy between now and early January. (And this year looks to be a decent year for spending!)

Baby Boomer Grandparents

Baby Boomers are spending a lot of their generational wealth on their grandchildren. (Image source: Squidoo)

And who has the most money to spend discretionarily? Baby Boomers! Here are some data points I keep handy when talking about with clients about whom to target:

Consumers ages 47 – 66 (Baby Boomers) Facts: 

  • Dominate 119 out of 123 CPG categories
  • 40% of customers paying for wireless service
  • 41% own Apple computers
  • 53% are on Facebook
  • 40% most likely to use an iPhone
  • Over age 50 spend $7 billion online annually
  • Purchase 62.5% of new cars
  • Purchase 80% of luxury travel
  • 70% show up to vote in elections
  • Boomers spend more money each month on technology than Gen X or Gen Y – an average of $650 per month
  • Spend most on health care
  • Spend most on pharmaceuticals
  • One in 7 boomers care for a parent or family member
  • 71% of Boomers go online every day
  • 66% of Boomers send text messages

Find more on this data on MediaPost.

For the holidays in particular, the key point to factor into your holiday promotions is “Gifts for Baby Boomer Grandchildren”. Talk about a source of discretionary spending!

“The new crop of baby boomer grandparents is also doing more with, and for, their grandchildren, opening up their purses and wallets, and spending a collective total of $35 billion a year on their grandkids. On average, they spend $500 a year on grandchildren, up from $320 in 1992.” (ABC News)

Do you think such sums of money are a worthwhile target for your business? If so, inject some messaging in your marketing that makes clear that your offerings solve the ‘gifts for grandkids challenge’ for Baby Boomer grandparents:

  • Educate them on the latest trends for each age group, which allows them to look savvy without having to ask. This is particularly true for Baby Boomers, who really do want to appear “with it.”
  • Suggest which products or services fit a typical gift budget of $25-$100.
  • If appropriate, position your product or service as having educational or developmental value for young people, which could allow the grandparent to feel they are materially contributing to the positive development of the child. This is more appropriate for Boomers with younger grandchildren, but could provide a supporting message for tech products for teenaged grandchildren.

In sum, be there to help, and to make them look good/with-it/smart while expressing their love through gifts.


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