Tag Archives: baby boomers

Millennials And Boomers: Two Sides Of The Same Marketing Coin

 

Millennials and Boomers. Two demographics separated by an ocean of time and the icebergs of Generation X. No way in this or any galaxy far away they could be similar.

Think again. Beyond the reality that both groups have a population nearing 77 million, they are oddly very similar. In fact, think hard again since Millennials and Boomers are two powerful consumer groups (as will be shown) whom deciphering could be a millennium boom for marketers.

As a company that manages both Millennial and Boomer panels for online research, we’ve noticed their similarities, and we are not alone.

 

Social Media and Technology

 

 

For starters, it’s no secret that Millennials are the sultans of social media. Yet qSample’s primary research reveals that Boomers are becoming extremely passionate about their Facebook or LinkedIn accounts. They may not dig Snapchat like Millennials, but more than 27 million Boomers possess a social media account (and other data claims that 65% of Boomers have a Facebook account). When it comes to smartphones, Millennials win this game, as approximately 85% own a mobile device (only 47% of Baby Boomers own a smartphone, but they’re catching up).

 

diblert comic strip

 

Someone who has extensively analyzed both Millennials and Boomers is Sara Bamossy, a strategic planning director for Saatchi & Saatchi LA. She explains, “Both generations value technology. Sure there’s been a delay in Boomers adapting, but they are.”

The difference, according to Bamossy, is that Boomers are more careful and less organic when it comes to technology, but in the end just as embracing.

 

Social Issues and Transformation

 

 

Where Millennials and Boomers truly connect is in their altruism. Yes, both generations are lambasted for being egotistical, hence the titles of the “Me” and “Selfie” generations. That’s more of a myth, though. Our research has shown that Baby Boomers are extremely socially-conscious. As an illustration, 89% of Baby Boomers want to improve energy dependence while 84% feel it’s important to use green energy. As we’ve also reported, Millennials are just as socially-conscious, to the point it deeply influences their buying decisions.

Here is more information on Boomers and green technology:

boomers & green4

Beyond our data, here are some other similarities between Millennials and Boomers:

–  Both are deeply informed by the opinions of their family and friends (unlike Gen Xers, who just don’t care).
–  Both are loyal to the brands of their parents or family.
–  Both tend to be frugal, enjoying the thrill of bargain hunting and showrooming.

As for politics and civics, Millennials and Boomers are somewhat different (beyond the fact that one demographic looks like Bernie Sanders while the other supports him). This chart from the National Conference of Citizenship offers their differences when it comes to civic engagement:

 

millennial baby boomer political engagement

 

Why The Similarities?

 

 

One could draw parallels of Millennials and Boomers from the societal events in their respective times:

–  Both grew up in strong economic times (the 50s for Boomers, early 2000s for Millennials).
–  Both grew up during questionable wars and shadowy enemies (Vietnam War/Communism for Boomers, the Iraq War/Terrorism for Millennials).
–  Both face seemingly corrupt governments and financial institutions (too many to mention here).
–  Both, for some reason, possess nicknames that originate with the counterculture movement of underground Jazz and drugs, the beatnik worlds of Kerouac and Ginsberg (Hippy for Boomers and Hipster for Millennials). Yet both have a strong tendency to act more like Yuppies when it comes to careers.

These reasons are just speculation. In the end, this is subject for anthropologists and social scientists. When it comes to marketing research, what is most relevant is that both Millennials and Boomers are powerful consumer blocs. Boomers annually spend $3 trillion in the U.S. alone, while Millennials spend $600 million (but some estimates have them matching Boomers within the next decade). Both groups dominate 70% of disposable income.

 

Conclusion

 

 

Perhaps it would be wise for qualitative researchers to find out why Boomers and Millennials are similar in their spending habits. This would go a long way in streamlining marketing efforts, provide rich Venn Diagrams that could save budgets in advertising campaigns.

Hopefully, as the world caters to the dollars of Millennials and Boomers, someone will leave Gen Xers with some crumbs, like a few Nirvana albums or plaid shirts.

 

All About Millennials

Download this infographic.

Embed Our Infographic On Your Site!

Baby Boomers Love Social Media And Tech (Video & Infographic)

Elderly couple using smartphone for a selfie

One of the enemies of market research could easily be conventional wisdom. Perception becomes reality often in the public flow, but that reality is far removed from accurate data. That is how we got the Edsel, Pepsi Clear, Robin Thicke and other poorly-researched products that at one point just seemed…conventionally wise?

At qSample, our research has combatted conventional wisdom for the betterment of clients. Our research showed, before its release, that the Apple Watch would flounder. It also revealed that Millennials are an economic yet altruistic force, today’s college students are not that stressed out, and Ivy League graduates are quite idealistic.

No, we don’t have a preference for the younger generation. Our many specialty panels prove this. As a matter of fact, this week we move into the golden years and focus on baby boomers. Since they make up 42% of the adult population, market researchers should evermore pay heed to their consumer needs.

When it comes to embracing these modern times, baby boomers are far from Sophia in Golden Girls. Here are some examples:

 47% own a smartphone
–  72% have broadband in their homes
  27.4 million engage in some form of social media
  They prefer LinkedIn the most, with Facebook coming in second (don’t even worry about this, Snapchat)
 82% research wellness and health information online

Baby boomers are also very socially-conscious. But talk is cheap and conventional wisdom is seductive, so we the skinny on baby boomers in both video and infographic.

Enjoy, and let us know if you need one of our specialty panels for that accurate data needed in your market research or Robin Thicke playlist. Here is the video:

And here is the infographic:

http://blog.qsample.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Baby-Boomers-Go-Green-1-Final.png, http://blog.qsample.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/4-Senses-of-Buying-Decisions-3-1.png

what makes consumers buy green products graphic

Download this infographic.

Embed Our Infographic On Your Site!

Say Hello, Not Goodbye, To Your Golden Years

A survey conducted by BoomerOpinions this month revealed some fascinating findings about retirement prospects for the baby boomer generation.

Sixty percent of the nearly 400 baby boomers surveyed thought it was realistic they could retire within the next ten years. However, 25% of respondents expressed doubts about their imminent retirement prospects.

In a New York Times article entitled, Goodbye Golden Years, Harvard economist Edward Glaeser cited statistics sure to elicit fear in those of us hoping to retire at some point during the next ten years. He suggested that, “Retirement seems out of the question for increasing numbers of Americans who are saddled with debt and whose savings evaporated during the recent bust.”

Our parents’ generation, the so-called “Silent Generation” (those born during the great depression and WWII) enjoyed a retirement scenario unprecedented in our history, and one that, as this data indicates, may not be available to all of us. But, don’t despair. Did we ever really envision playing golf four days a week? (OK, so maybe one or two days a week.)

I can’t imagine not being productive, not contributing, not making my own money. Participants in the BoomerOpinions.com poll were asked the following question:

“If you had the opportunity to change your occupation at this point in your life, how likely would you be to do so?”

Forty-six percent responded positively, saying they were quite likely to do so. I found this data amazing and affirming. I’m one of those Lady Boomers trying her hand at various creative entrepreneurial endeavors so it was nice to know my aspirations had company.

Glaeser went on to argue that America needs more entrepreneurship. Baby Boomer can be the leaders in this entrepreneurship as they seek to reinvent themselves, as this data suggests they are willing to do.

West Palm Beach, a retiree haven, has the highest self-employment rate of any metropolitan area in the nation, consistent with other areas in the country attracting older Americans. Self-employment makes sense because it allows for more control over working hours and conditions. And our generation loves control.

Many of us have spent years waking up at 6:00 am to be at a job we found depleting. If we are not going to be able to kick back, drive a golf cart and play bridge all day, lets envision a different kind of retirement for ourselves.

Here are a few suggestions:

Develop an exercise plan; join a YMCA or other gym; walk or ride a bike. We are going to need to stay healthy for this next phase, and exercise is a critical component. Make sure your employment endeavors can accommodate your exercise schedule, so you don’t have to be going to the gym at 5:30 in the morning.

Choose an enterprise that fits your circadian rhythm (internal clock) one that allows you to arise and go to bed at a time best suited for you.

Delve into your psyche through journaling or quiet reflections; explore what you have a passion for. You may want to undergo a personality assessment to discover a field that suits you.
Make it fun. We are the generation who invented rock and roll. We like to have fun. Now is your chance…Here’s to meeting the new you.

For more information about BoomerOpinions, please go to boomers.micropanel.com.

by Liz Kitchens

Liz Kitchens has years of professional experience conducting research and focus groups with the boomer generation. She is a frequent writer and blogs for a number of web sites, such as Boomer Café, Vibrant Nation, Skirt.com and Growing Bolder. She specializes in issues related to women of the Baby Boomer generation – women she refers to as Lady Boomers.