Baby Boomers Show More Trust in Print Advertising than Online Ads.

Reaching Baby Boomers through Print Advertising

Couple reading newspaper - Baby Boomers Trust Print

Because Baby Boomers are such a  large diverse group it means advertising to them can get costly. Advertisers need to know about the variety of opportunities there is to reach baby boomers more effectively through traditional media. What advertising do Baby Boomers trust the most? Baby Boomers show trust in print advertising because it has proved to be a reliable source of information for them for many years.

The Baby Boomer generation, those individuals who were born between 1946 to 1964,  are now the largest group of consumer spenders. The Baby Boomers   “account for nearly $230 billion in sales for consumer packaged goods or 49% of total sales overall.  In contrast, they are only targeted by a very small percentage of advertising totally at less than 5%.  This is absurd!

While traditionally this generation is comprised of a very loyal consumer bunch, there is some difficulty in effectively targeting and advertising to baby boomers, Baby Boomers show trust in print advertising because it is a vetted source of information they believe they can trust.   “ Consumers over age 50 have 2.5 times the discretionary spending power of the coveted 18-to-34 age group. Yet ads aimed at boomers still seem to miss the mark.”  Additionally, while Baby Boomers are very active shoppers online, like most other people, they are more likely to trust ads found in other types of media over online ads.

The challenge of marketing to Baby Boomers

The boomers represent a large group of people with such diverse interests.  Because of this, it requires a lot more thought to effectively market to them. These trailblazers don’t like to think of themselves as easily characterized.  Baby Boomers like to think of themselves as individuals who are forever young.  Each generation is living longer than the one before and baby boomers are capitalizing on this.  They are active and they feel younger than previous generations did. Better yet, they have money to spend while they age.“ While Boomers can be a high potential, under-leveraged opportunity, targeting them will require brand spend. All marketing budgets have limits and no smart marketer wants to spread them too thinly across two or more target markets. Identify one or several small, high potency segments that will deliver a high ROI for a limited, highly targeted spend. ” (Nielson)


Marketing approaches for Baby Boomers

  1. “We understand you.” This means it is helpful to focus your messaging. The focus should be on how your product or service solves a problem for them. Show them how your product or service can make their life easier.
  2. Prefer a custom package.  Look for something that is tailored to them and their needs. The baby boomers love to have information presented to them in terms of categories and options. However, they do not want to spend a ton of time figuring out what features and specifications they need. They expect it to be done for them.
  3. Boomers are one of the largest generations ever which spawned a ton of competition. Because of this, It is good to take the time to explain how doing business with your organization can give them a competitive or positive advantage.
  4. Focus on customer service. Show them that you are willing to go the extra mile and cater to their needs.
  5. Show them the Facts. They will look for statistics, charts, graphs. Questions should be answered thoroughly with simple straight forward  facts with which to make a decision
  6. Show them your Credentials. The baby boomers are the first-ever generation of MBA holders. They appreciate titles and respect them as well as evidence of your expertise.

For advertisers who are looking to diversify their advertising campaigns and increase their ROI, this is good news. Traditional forms of advertising like newspapers and magazines have a big appeal among the boomers and are a great way to improve the ROI of an advertising campaign.


What advertising do Baby Boomers trust the most? 

With any audience it is important to appeal to their values, that’s why Baby Boomers show more trust in print advertising than online ads.  Newspapers and magazines offer an uncluttered way for ads to be seen. Studies also show that print ads display more of the information that consumers need in order to react and buy.  Additionally, campaigns that include print have been found to have a more positive impact on purchasing behavior than those that do not. By creating campaigns that include a variety of media including print, your marketing efforts are more likely to attract this generation of high earners. 76% of adults age 55 or older are newspaper readers.

Baby Boomers show trust in print advertising, because reading print, because it is something they have always done, Baby boomers still typically plot out time to read traditional printed publications on a regular basis. For many of them, it has always been part of their regular routine. Being able to see the same ads repeated in their favorite publications is a great way that advertisers can solidify themselves as a reputable brand with a baby boomer.

Forbes says that ” Placing ads in publications such as specialty magazines can effectively reach niche audiences that may be more difficult to target online.”  Printed news is seen as being much more credible than online advertising and is the perfect venue to reach boomers. Baby boomers have always read print publications and newspapers, so it still remains a habit.  They trust what it has to say.  In fact ” Baby Boomers devote 2.87 hours per week to reading newspapers and magazines. ” ( marketwired)


Baby Boomer Magazines; What publications do Baby Boomers read the most?

For advertisers who are trying to capitalize on reaching this active market, it is important to make sure and place advertising in publications where they are actively looking. As baby boomers age they are going to have increasingly more time to devote to hobbies and interests that younger groups are not able to focus on. ( Fun Fact: Boomers are the most common Harley Buyers ! ) For this reason, placing advertising in niche publications that target this lucrative demographic.


Top magazines for Baby Boomers  are Niche and Specialty Publications

Niche publications or those that focus on appealing to those interested in specific hobbies or interests like Fitness, leisure activities. Boomers still often Regularly read popular publications Like Enquirer and Globe as well.  Publications like these offer advertisers an easy way to reach the ideal audience for their product or service.  Audiences that subscribe to a magazine about their favorite hobbies or topics are typically very loyal readers who will spend upwards of an hour and a half enjoying each issue.  The newspaper readership of publications consists of loyal subscribers who are affluent high earners.  They also have ample time to spend enjoying their favorite past times and hobbies.  Baby boomers are active individuals who still enjoy traveling and have more time to spend on leisure activities that they participated in during their youth.


Nationwide Publications

Boomers are avid readers of news, they pride themselves on staying up to date with politics and current events. This makes nationwide publications like USA Today very attractive reads for baby boomers who like to keep up to date with what is going on in the world today. For many people, not just baby boomers the extra levels that an article has to go through in order to get published lends quite a bit more credit-ability to the opinions and facts contained within.

Baby Boomers also appreciate the appeal of being able to pick up and take a newspaper or magazine with them when they are on the go. This allows them to stay current on politics and news. Baby Boomer’s magazines are still part of their regular day to day activities. Over 63% of the print demographic readership of publications like  (USA TODAY + USA TODAY Local Edition are made up of individuals ages 50+.  Nationwide publications like this give small to medium-sized business owners an affordable way to reach broader areas and audiences that they might otherwise be able to. Print advertising also gives advertisers and an affordable way to reach a group of affluent and high-income individuals that are not often directly marketed to.


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