During the holidays I gave myself permission to watch a little “regular” TV. Most of my cable “investment” is for keeping up with international soccer, which never fails to amaze me for the players’ athleticism, individual skills and unmatched teamwork. If you also watch soccer you know that the commercials are jammed into the halftime break and makes it easy to fast-forward through them on the DVR.
While catching up on current commercials it has been quickly apparent that the big-ticket advertising has become increasingly targeted toward the younger guys who don’t shave and women who buy Land Rovers. Surely this demographic group is spending money and I hope they keep it up. They are a rapidly growing economic force and there is no doubt these hard working, independence loving, smart people will run the Baby Boomers’ world at some point… but not quite yet.
The financial facts still favor, at least for the next decade, the Baby Boomers, born between 1946-1964, (I am one of them):
- Total 76 Million Americans
- Have 70% of all disposable income
- 35% still have annual incomes over $100,000
- Will inherit over $15 TRILLION in the next 20 years
- Boomers (and Seniors) own over 70% of all single family homes
- They own 57% of all vacation homes
- They own 58% of all rental property
- They purchase 62% of new cars
- The purchase 61% of luxury vacations
- Their life expectancy is 84.3 years (I’m going for a healthy 100)
For contractors who’s businesses depend on maintaining, servicing and replacing old HVAC and plumbing equipment it’s an easy conclusion that the older homes with older things are very likely to be owned by boomers and seniors. Knowing how to market to them and sell to them is a skill that will be worth a lot of money for a very long time.
Here are some of the relevant and current Baby Boomer characteristics that are worth keeping in mind:
- They are loyal to brands and styles they trust
- They love coupons and loyalty discounts
- 70% browse online before a purchase
- 80% of female boomers will share their experience on social media
- They are highly influenced by online shopping sites
- They are still influenced by media advertising
- The are significantly influenced by sales people
- They buy based on value
- Are suspicious of the lowest price
- They place high value on customer service
If you are a boomer-owned company it’s likely this is not surprising information. What may be occurring to you right now is that your younger CSR’s, technicians and sales people are not as successful relating to your boomer customers as you would like. It may be that they are relating to all of your customers as one demographic, their demographic, and not responding to the different customer service expectations that boomers have from millennials and Gen X’ers. It’s worth considering, and perhaps worth coaching on.
Since Boomers have money and will for the foreseeable future, it may be wise to remember and practice Platinum Sales Rule: “Treat others the way they want to be treated.” or, in simpler terms, “Find out what the customer wants… and offer that to them.”