Marketing to baby boomers.

TECHNOLOGY • BUSINESS • CULTURE 05.20.19

Marketers forget about baby boomers or create "old-school campaigns" that don't consider how "tech savvy this generation really is," finds Google. The 55 and over demographic is a "robust consumer base of valuable, easily accessible media users," Forbes reports.

They are adopting "today's on-demand platforms" and voice assistance.

Most baby boomers grew up with only a handful of channels. Program schedules were printed in the weekly TV Guide and bought at the supermarket checkout. Broadcasters dictated programming time and content. Disruption. Boomers can determine time and content now.

They're following the general cord-cutting trend, and even though they now have thousands of on-demand TV channels, many are opting for "today's on-demand platforms like You Tube," according to a Google survey.

Boomers use You Tube to watch recaps and highlights so they aren't "locked into hourlong blocks."

“I don’t like to stay up late, so I routinely go on YouTube to watch the monologues of the late night show,” one viewer said.

To watch video tutorials.

“I use YouTube to get information in a usable format — especially when it comes to techy things that I don't want to ask my daughter to help with,” another said.

Engaging the boomer audience.

Boomers "take their time" to decide, so "be ready and prepared to put in the time to build a rapport," and they "especially focus on reliability." Provide a strong foundation for websites with "reliable customer service reps that respond promptly," according to smallbiztrends.com.

“If you tell your Boomer audience that you are going to release a new blog post each week, do it! When they choose to follow and trust a source, they value consistency. Don’t miss a week and think that it’s no big deal or they won’t notice, because they will!”

Write like you would for you English teacher. Pay attention to grammar and craft relatable stories that knit together the past and present, drawing on wisdom, experience, nostalgia. Boomers look for well-written copy, minus acronyms or slang more suitably for younger generations.

Pre-digital age, they got their information from print and television ads. Online brochures and You Tube customer testimonials "appeal to this target audience."

The increased speed of media consumption has led to "shorter attention spans" in younger audiences, who need "quick jumps" to keep engaged, Forbes wrote. But, Boomers are "used to slower-paced" content that resonates with TV programming and movies they grew up consuming.

"Present straightforward text and facts to engage" and skip "flashy frills." They're a "practical generation" that wants "simplification" but is "ready to indulge in a comfortable well-deserved life."

Voice assistance makes gains.

Voice technology is "is a big advantage" for older adults, Kiplinger . "More than 8 million baby boomers" use smart speakers, MediaPost reports. That's an increase of almost one-third from from 2017, Forbes.

It's "resonating with baby boomers," who say it "empowers" them to get answers and information instantly, according to Google.

"While other audiences were more likely to say they use voice-activated speakers to multitask or do things without a screen, 51% of those 55 years old and over said a top reason for using their voice-activated speaker is 'it empowers me to instantly get answers and information.' " And, they are "more likely than millennials to say they want their voice-activated speakers to deliver information about deals, sales, and promotions."

Those who "own voice-activated speakers" see them as companions.

" 'It becomes a device that isn’t a device anymore. It's an entity in your life that's always behind the scenes for things you need.' I'd call it an 'e-lative' "

Security and Privacy are big concerns.

"Older users are more wary of security risks." Younger generations may have a "false sense of security" because they have been "immersed in technology from a young age," according to Francis Dinha, chief executive officer of OpenVPN, Market Watch wrote.

Americans, see "data privacy as the top priority companies should address, beating issues like poverty and gun violence," Axios reports. A March 2019 Axios-SurveyMonkey poll found "for those 65 and older, 62% say the current situation is a crisis."

"Most boomers (91%)" believe "it’s important to understand privacy policies, compared with 75% of younger users," reports businessjournalism.org. They are more likely to "believe updating security software is very important" and use a different password for every account, according to a Google/Harris Poll Online Security Survey.

Baby boomers and older users grew up when broadcasters dictated programming time and content, now they determine what and when to watch, embracing online platforms like You Tube for entertainment and learning. They're relying on smart speakers in their daily lives as companions and helpers who are always there. They are a strong, tech savvy consumer base that expects straightforward content, reliability and consitency from brands. And they worry about online security and privacy more than other demographics.

Elaine Sarduy is a freelance writer and content developer @Listing Debuts