Grandparent Market – Where the Money is for Marketers?

Grandparents.  70 million of them in the US.  They buy $2 trillion worth of goods and services annually.  High levels of income and eduction. And they spend alot of money on their grandchildren.  And a whole lot of them are baby boomers!

The new report from grandparents.com takes a comprehensive look at the grandparent market — who they are, how they spend their money — and why marketers should pay attention.

Here are some of the facts:

  1. Three in every ten adults are grandparents.
  2. Medican age of a first time grandparent is 50 for women and 54 for men.
  3. By 2010, more than half of grandparent’s will be baby boomers.
  4. By 2010, households headed by 55-64 year olds will earn the highest average income, surpassing that of families headed by 45-54 year olds for the first time.
  5. Grandparent spending on grandchildren has grown an average of 7.6% per year since 2000.
  6. Grandparents make 45% of the nation’s cash contributions to nonprofit organizations and account for 42% of all consumer spending on gifts.

If you attended the Boomer summit in Las Vegas you might have had a chance to hear Jerry Shereshewsky talk about this market.  This is new research and well worth a read if this is your target market.

Find the report here

posted by Laura Rossman

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Baby Boomers in Europe use Social Media

We know baby boomers in the US are increasing using social media –FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, to name a few.  And the same trend is going on in Europe according to a new report from Forrester Research.

Forrester’s Blog says, “For example, more than one-third of European online consumers ages 43 to 63 already read social media such as blogs and forums on a regular basis, and around one-tenth are already uploading their own content — such as videos and music — onto the Web. Overall, 47% of Younger Boomers (online adults ages 43 to 52) now engage with social media on a regular basis, and 41% of Older Boomers (those ages 53 to 63) do. Boomers in the different European countries exhibit different behaviors, just as their younger compatriots do – for example, 69% of Dutch 43- to 52-year-olds (and 60% of 53- 63-year-olds) use social media on a regular basis, whilst only around a third of German Boomers do. ”  More stats on the Forrester  interactive marekting blog.

More evidence that social media is a tool that boomer and senior marketers should pay attention to.

Baby Boomer Women Growing Networks Online and Offline

For women 50 plus, social networks are continuing to expand – not contract .Defying the stereotypes of increasing marginalization as they age, not only are their networks growing, they are growing online. That’s the conclusion of a new white paper released by VibrantNation.com.  

 

The study found:

  • The personal networks of women 50+ are large and growing.
  • They are in personal contact with at least 46 people each month.
  • 65% share information online with others in their network.
  • They are comfortable relying on referrals from strangers online if the source is knowledgeable/experienced.  They rely on references on websites like Amazon.com (70%), Ebay (54%) and Tripadvisor (27%).

 

It also found that Vibrant Women are open to trying new brands and experiences and motivated by a variety of psycho-social factors including:

  • Financial status –even with the recession, Vibrant Women continue to have discretionary income.
  • Life stage transitions 9such as last chilled leaving home, starting a business, losing a parent or spouse)
  • Physical changes (menopause, aging, surviving breast cancer)
  • New family roles (grandparent, caregiver)
  • Social Awareness (travel, volunteer work) 

The study is base on a survey of 1,000 boomer women with household incomes greater than $75,000.

http://www.vibrantnation.com/assets/1079/VN_White_Paper_Release.pdf

 

Baby Boomer Word for 2009 – Recalibration

Recalibration— that’s the theme for consumers in 2009 as consumers reset the scales after a decade of dualities, highs and lows, according to Steve French, Managing Partner, Natural Marketing Institute (NMI).

Consumers are designing the “Middle Way” defined as a lifestyle approach grounded in comfort, safety, sustainability and moderation.  and boomers are leading the charge!

For marketers, it is important to understand how boomer paradigms are shifting, said French at the opening session of the What’s Next Boomer Business Summit.  Here’s how attitudes are shifting:

From consumption to sustainability

From possessions to purpose

From retirement to employment

From trading up to trading off

From perceived value to real value

The findings were based upon research conducted in January and are par of NMI’s Healthy Aging Boomer Database.(www.nmisolutions.com)

“Boomers are being forced to look in the mirror and they want to change the reflection that is looking back,” French said. “they are trading off or even down:  successful “down market” products will make benefits tangible and relevant.”

Oldest Baby Boomers and Youngest Differ on Money Issues

How Boomers Differ in Concerns About Money

How Boomers Differ in Concerns About Money

    
Oldest boomers and the youngest boomers differ in their concerns about retirement
The biggest concerns of younger boomers are outliving retirement money and having to work full or part-time.  among the older boomers, the biggest concerns are affording health care and staying productive and useful.  amazingly, a quarter of the older boomers surveyed by MetLife Mature Market Institute said they have no concerns about retirement.
This is just one of the findings of a new report from the MetLife Mature Market Institute (MMMI) called Boomer Bookends:  Insights into the Oldest and Youngest Boomers.  Sandra Timmermann, Director of the MMMI, will join us at the What’s Next Boomer Summit to talk about boomers and money (www.boomersummit.com).
The report compares the leading edge boomers (born in 1946) with the trailing edge boomers (those born in 1964).  Other differences among the oldest (1946) and youngest (1964) boomers:
The youngest boomers disassociate themselves with the term “boomer” and would rather consider themselves Generation X.
The youngest say they will consider themselves old at 71.  Oldest boomers say old is 78.
As part of this trend survey, some of the respondents from last year’s survey were recontacted.  Seventy-one percent of this small group who planned to retire fully at age 62 did not.  of those, 26% reported the current economic situation as the reason.  One in five said they need more money or income.
Read more about the survey results.

Baby Boomer Women Will Drive the Use of Social Media

forrester-research-on-social-mediaThere has been a flurry of blog postings lately on the wonder of baby boomers using social media and social networking.  It seems to stem from an updated report from Forrester Researcher Jeremiah Owyang . 

It’s no surprise to us and probably many of you who will be attending the Boomer Summit , March 19.   We’ve been posting other research on the increased use of social media by this demographic, especially some of the data coming out of the Pew Research Center.

We haven’t seen data broken down by gender, but believe that boomer women will drive the growth of social media in this demographic.  Why?  Social media is about relationships and women, as they age, rely heavily on their networks.  And in the current economy, women have face increasing pressures.  So they want to reach out to others to share stories and talk about  caregiving, adult children returning home, financially supporting their parents and their children, worrying about their job or lack of job,  sharing joys of grandparenting and successes and ways to keep the family closer as the life we expected increasingly feels like it is unraveling.

Sam Decker recently noted on his blog that Boomers make up of 35% of the Internet population.  He said, while it’s true that Millenials (the 13-24 generation) share content at double the rate of  baby boomers (56%), 31% of Baby Boomers share their own user generated content. This could be in the form of reviews, blog posts, comments, discussion forums, etc.  Sam,  CMO of Bazzaarvoice, will be at the Boomer Summit talking about about user generated content.

Carol Orsborn from VibrantNation.com  will talk about the use of social media by women; Andy Cohen from Caring.com  will share how marketers are using niche sites to reach boomer women caregivers; and Jerry Shereshewsky from Grandparents.com will talk about how  the  market of 70 million grandparents are using the Internet to share stories and buy for their grandchildren.

Baby Boomers Slower to Adopt Twitter

Boomers Finding Their Way to Twitter

Boomers Finding Their Way to Twitter

Twitter is  primarily a younger person’s tool.  But then again, so was Facebook. 

A new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project provides a great glimpse at the Twitter user.The median age of a Twitter user is 31, users are urban, more ethnically and racially diverse than the population and are more mobile in how they consumer news and information.   They are significant users of blog content.

It’s a way of communicating that boomers are just discovering.  Just 5% of 45 to 54 year olds said they use Twitter; 4% of 55-64 year olds and 2% of those 65 and older.

Twitter allows users to send messages, known as “tweets” from a computer or mobile device.  Users of the service are asked to post messages of no more than 140 characters and those message are delivered to others who have signed up to receive them such as family, friend and colleagues.

Where should this fit into your marekting strategy if your target marekt is boomers?  Probably not at the top, but keep any eye on it.  Hear more about social media strategies among baby boomers at the What’s Next Boomer Summit (www.boomersummit.com). 

Speakers include:  Guy Kawasaki, author and entrepreneur on outmarekting your competition Ellen Levy from LinkedIn on using the service to build your network and your brand; Joe Cannella on how to use Google to reach boomers; David Weigelt tfrom Immersion Active and author of Dot Boom on how to create successful Internet strategies to reach boomers.

Find the report on Twitter usage here:

 http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP%20Twitter%20Memo%20FINAL.pdf