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Defining: Boomers in the Wild

Boomers in the Wild

The past 15 years have been an uncharted journey. I started learning about the demography of our country and particularly the mature population as I was launching the original Medicare HMO programs.

My grandparents raised me, so speaking to seniors in a relevant, respectful manner was second nature. All the while we were talking to clients about the wave of Boomers who would be moving through the Medicare system. Little did I know I would be working for Ken Dychtwald’s team at Age Wave Impact – the author of the books that informed our client strategies.

Age Wave Impact, and now JWT BOOM, are history. The team at Continuum Crew steadfastly believes in the power of research-informed strategy for engaging mature consumers across all available media. No one does this better than experienced mature market experts.

While seniors and even Ikes, or the Silent Generation, seemed “knowable” for many marketing professionals, the Baby Boomer generation has presented a far greater challenge. Without ongoing research, a thorough understanding of generational influences, life stages, cultural anthropology and developmental psychology, we are a 20 year cohort of endless contradictions. Even knowledge and expertise cannot always explain the hairpin turns taken by the different segments of this population on their way through the aging process.

So when our clients ask, “What are Boomers like?” we stifle a smile. They are both like and unlike generations aging before and after them.

What is surprising to us is that brand and marketing managers forget that the Baby Boomer “boogey man” is everywhere around them every day. Boomers are the people working next to them—in the aisle of the store, in their book club, on their “friends” list. And to know them is to observe them in their natural habitat . . . not just through a mirrored wall in a focus group.

So we dedicate this blog to an anthropological approach to the “pig in the python.”

We are observing Boomers au naturel and interpreting these observations with the help of our research and trend monitoring tools. Join us, and help us, as the journey continues!

Comments

  1. Insightful and well thought through article. Where many marketers attempting to reach “Boomers” fail is forgetting that the entire Boomer generation is neither homogenous and can be segmented even further – some Boomers danced to Elvis, others came of age with The Stones. That’s an entirely different age range and the approach for one will not necessarily connect with the other.

    Another truth about Boomers that appears to be missed is the number that are not waiting for Medicare or Social Security to rescue them, but are starting small businesses in record numbers. The trick to figure out – which segment of the whole is doing so and how to reach them. Make no mistake, not all or even most are looking to become consultants:)

    Good job with this post.