4 minute read
With Father’s Day right around the corner, many of us are thinking about the father figures in our lives. We all know that dads are an interesting breed, but what does it take to sell to dads?
Today many retailers are focused on attracting millennial shoppers, but let’s not overlook the significance of the baby boomer generation. While boomers represent a smaller portion of the overall population compared to millennials, they still represent a significant portion of overall buying power. In fact, according to a Nielsen’s report baby boomers represent 50% of the nation’s disposable income.
With that in mind, here are 8 tips to help you sell to dad.
Focus on referrals
Compared to other demographics, baby boomers tend to be more persuaded by referrals than ad copy. Research by Forrester found that 49% of people aged 66 and over rely on emails from friends and family to link them to sites, compared to just 28% for younger shoppers.
Jim Gilmartin, President of Coming of Age, an agency that specializes in marketing to boomers notes that it makes sense that as someone gets older they become more cautious with advertising claims. “You get smarter, that’s what it boils down to.”
Touch over tech
Before you go trying to impress baby boomer shoppers with online reviews and influencers, know that they prefer touch over tech. While online reviews and comments are an important part of attracting many online shoppers, baby boomers are more persuaded by actually holding a product or talking to a person. This may be a challenge if you only sell online, however being readily available on the phone is a good alternative that will help build rapport and make customers feel more comfortable. Some online retailers have found creative ways to let customers touch a product before buying, such as Warby Parker’s try on at home program, where they send a customer 5 pairs of glasses and let them choose their favorites and send the rest back.
Make it easy for them to get in touch with you. Having clear and easily found contact information that boomers can reach out to for help or to answer questions will go a long way to capturing the sale. Be sure to include your phone number on your website. Many of the baby boomers who shop online would rather call in and have someone help them than navigate an online checkout by themselves.
Be design considerate
Your site design is another area where you can cater to boomer shoppers. For example, many boomers use mobile for product research, but this means your mobile UX should facilitate that by using large fonts and a simple design. There are a number of text resizing tools that retailers can easily add to their site that allow shoppers to increase (or decrease) the font size on a website.
Adding a text resizer to your website can be as easy as enabling a plugin. For example, WordPress has a plugin, aptly named font-resizer, that retailers can easily add to their site.
Print isn’t dead…
While print advertising tends to be less effective for marketing to younger consumers, it is still a viable strategy for connecting with baby boomer consumers. Data from Business Insider found that 38% of boomers use print media for product info.
A second interesting takeaway from the study is how baby boomers respond equally well to offers sent to their mobile devices. Baby boomers are not typically associated with being heavily engaged in mcommerce, but this statistic suggests otherwise.
…But don’t ignore social media
Don’t overlook the value of social media. 82% of boomers belong to at least one social media network, so consider how you can use them to keep in touch with customers. Now you probably won’t find too many of your 50+ customers using Snapchat, but Facebook is quite common among many boomers. Data from SproutSocial shows that 71% of Snapchat users are under the age of 25, whereas 56% of people 65 and over have a Facebook account.
Just don’t call them “old”
“Our generation is trying to hang onto our youth and we’re fighting it all the way”, said Sue Kruskopf, a boomer and CEO of the ad agency KC. “The language is changing, but the products are changing too.”
This means you should avoid language that makes readers feel over the hill – like “mature” or “aged” – and instead focus on more positive copy such as “you still got it.”
Patricia David, VP of Marketing for AARP, has researched this topic and found that “grown-ups” was the only aged-related phrase that baby boomers weren’t entirely put off by. But perhaps it would be wisest to ignore age all together.
Know who you’re selling to
While some generalizations about demographics are useful, not all boomers are alike, so don’t go casting a net that’s too wide. By being too general, retailers risk watering down their message and not resonating with the group most likely to make a purchase.
Fortunately for retailers, you can use personal and transactional data to paint a fairly accurate picture of customers. From there you can better tailor your messaging and ad copy to best connect with the boomer market you target.
P.S. Enjoy this post? You’ll love Connecting with Millennials Through Event-Driven Marketing