Good Essay On Marketing To The Baby Boomer Generation
Following the American Psychological Association’s Guidelines
With today’s market saturated with advertisements, it can be overwhelming to the consumer and sometimes pointless for the marketer. Advertisements often miss their mark because not every advertisement is meant for every person. An ad featuring a scantily clad woman on a beach is obviously meant for a specific age group, and sometimes a specific gender, depending on the context. Meanwhile, an ad featuring a middle-aged woman using an all-purpose cleaning device to save time in order to get a four-course meal on the table before her family returns home for the evening is clearly not meant for children. Each advertisement has its place in a different consumer’s mind and, when constructed correctly, can be used to lure certain consumers to products. Demographics have specific characteristics about themselves that, when studied, allow advertisers to prey upon them. Baby Boomers, for example, can be segregated based on their needs, attitudes, and perceptions as consumers in order to be marketed to more efficiently.
According to Philip Kotler’s, “Reinventing Marketing to Manage the Environmental Imperative,” many demographics including the Baby Boomers, have needs that have shifted with the evolving landscape of the world . Baby Boomers are named as such because they are from a generation when families had many children, sometimes too many to feed. As a result, many of the Baby Boomers have had fewer children and smaller families. They have done so, typically in an attempt to create easier lives for themselves and their children. However, with the ever demanding educational and social landscape, fewer children have not granted the Baby Boomer generation with the extra free time and income they were hoping for. Thus, one of the generations needs is time-saving devices. The Swiffer, for example, is a broom-mop combination that is intended to make cleaning up after family and pets simpler and faster than using both a broom and a mop . The device is directed towards heads of household, or typically mothers, but it is also directed at the Baby Boomer generation who currently have so much on their plate with raising children, working, and taking care of a household, that they need time-saving devices that allow them to shave minutes off of menial daily tasks, allowing them to fit more into an hour or day. Marketers who are aware of a Baby Boomer’s needs will understand they need to advertise items that will save the individual time, allowing them to get more done, and more effectively manage their day.
Attitudes can also effect how companies market to certain demographics. Kaylene C. Williams and Robert A. Page found in, “Marketing to the Generations,” that Baby Boomers have differeing views on newer devices such as smartphones and tablets . Many believe they are the wave of the future, as advertised, while some still believe they are a waste of money. If one grew up without a smartphone or a tablet, one should be able to live their adult life without one. The attitude is generally one of disbelief that overpriced gadgets such as these are a necessity to one’s life. One may thing that an attitude such as this would exclude many Baby Boomers from advertisements for such gadgets but, in fact, they can be used to the marketer’s advantage. Thanks to the invention of apps and a seemingly endless sea of add ons available for every computer, tablet, and smartphone on the market, companies simply need to develop programs relevant to the average Baby Boomer’s life. For example, Apple noticed its sales figures were not as high with the Baby Boomer demographic concerning iPhones when they first emerged on the market . Sales figures remained relatively stable until the emergence of apps, when the company was able to introduce programs that were relevant to the average Baby Boomer’s day. GPS tracking from one phone to another, i.e. keeping track of your child, was especially popular with the Baby Boomers .
Through the emerging app marketplace and other various advertising strategies, advertisers were able to change the perceptions Baby Boomers held about certain items, brands, and materials. They were able to see relevance in items and brands that once appeared useless and trivial to them in their daily lives. The GPS tracking system, specifically, allowed parents the worry free ease of tracking their children in a world that constantly threatened to harm or even steal them. The GPS guidance system allowed for an easier time traveling to unknown destinations, saving time and stress on the road. Baby Boomers who had transititioned into parenthood, or those who liked to travel, began perceiving how much easier their lives could be and how much time and worry that could be saved, if they accepted different items. Marketing and advertising was able to change their perception, thus allowing future marketing schemes to target the ease the item or brand could bring to the individual’s life.
In sum, when concerning the Baby Boomers, marketing was simple. Their attitude toward marketing was generally that they needed something to make their lives easier. They responded to campaigns that advertised this. Future items on the market that did not see high sales from Baby Boomers utilized this method, adopting a marketing campaign that showed how easy life could be if Baby Boomers accepted new technology and devices, i.e. the iPhone and its endless apps. These marketing campaigns effectively changed the perceptions Baby Boomers had and essentially have made them easy targets for advertisers. If a company wants to market to a Baby Boomer, they simply need to make the item relatively reasonably priced, and stress how easy it can make an individual’s life.
Kotler, P. (2011). Reinventing Marketing to Manage the Environmental Imperative. Journal of Marketing, 132-135.
Williams, K. C., & Page, R. A. (2013). Marketing to the Generations. Journal of Behavioral Studies in Business, 56-71.