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 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


Younger Boomers Helping Drive Twitter Growth

twitter-chart1Have we finally broken the cylce of early technology adoption always begins with the younger generation? The latest Comscore numbers show strong use of Twitter by younger boomers.



It is the 25-54 year old crowd that is actually driving the growth trend. More specifically, 45-54 year olds are 36 percent more likely than average to visit Twitter, making them the highest indexing age group,.  They are followed by 25-34 year olds, who are 30 percent more likely. 

And even the leading edge boomers seem to be more attracted to twitter than the younger crowd. 

Worldwide visitors to Twitter approached 10 million in February, up an impressive 700+% vs. year ago. The past two months alone have seen worldwide visitors climb more than 5 million visitors. U.S. traffic growth has been just as dramatic, with Twitter reaching 4 million visitors in February, up more than 1,000% from a year ago, according to ComScore.

It’s another reason for companies targeting boomers to take a look at adding Twitter to their marketing mix.

posted by Laura Rossman

Businesses Seeking Boomers Should Add Social Media to Marketing Mix

 More businesses are turning to the Internet to find and engage with baby boomer customers.  Boomers are using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and social networking sites in increasing numbers.  Business leaders will gather at the What’s Next Boomer Business Summit ( on March 19 to find out how to effectively reach baby boomers online.


“Boomers are a natural fit for social networks and technologies. They have the time, the life experience, and—more and more these days—the need for social tools to help them accomplish their own goals.” said Matthew Lees, Vice President, Analyst, Patricia Seybold Group.


“The fact that they’ve been relatively slow to embrace social media underscores more of an opportunity than any innate inability or aversion. But they don’t want to be marketed to. Those organizations that can use social media to engage with, learn from, and support boomers will find especially receptive partners and, consequently, greater business success than those who see social media simply as another marketing channel.”.” Lees added.  Lees will present information at the Summit about boomers online and insight on how to effectively reach them.


Baby boomers are also actively engaged in user generated content such as ratings and reviews. “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.” noted Sam Decker, Chief Marketing Officer of Bazzaarvoice.  Decker will be at the Boomer Summit speaking about boomers and user generated content.

David Weigelt, co-author of Dot Boom, Marketing to Baby Boomers Online through Meaningful Online Engagement will speak about how to connect with boomers online.  The book unites a developmental marketing approach and a new definition of online engagement specific to baby boomer consumers — a combination that provides an actionable framework for connecting with these consumers online.


In the current economy, more businesses are seeking effective ways to reach the 58 million baby boomers online.  The What’s Next Boomer Business Summit ( will include: New research on the new attitudes of baby boomers in this economy; how to market successfully to baby boomers online; search engine and key word strategies that work; how to create online boomer communities that build trust and sales; and, new ways to reach the 44 million caregivers.  


Other speakers include:

Entrepreneurship and social media: Guy Kawasaki, Author, founder Alltop


Networking -Ellen Levy, Vice President Corporate Development & Strategy, LinkedIn


Demographics – Jody Holtzman, Senior V.P., Research & Strategic Analysis, AARP


Money -Sandra Timmermann, Executive Director, MetLife Mature Market Institute


Caregiving – Andy Cohen, Founder & CEO,


Online communities – Elisa Camahort Page, Founder & COO, BlogHer


Boomer women online – Carol Orsborn, PhD, Senior Strategist,


Boomer volunteers – Sarah Christian, Director, Strategic Partnerships, VolunteerMatch


Brain fitness – Jeff Zimman, Co-founder & Chairman, Posit Science


Search engine strategies – Bill Leake, CEO, Apogee Search


Leading edge boomers – Jennifer Keating Magee, CEO, Keating Magee


New research– Steve French, Managing Partner, Natural Marketing Institute


Program, speaker and registration information is available at    Registration is just $325 until March 12.  The Summit is held in conjunction with the Aging in America Conference of the American Society on Aging and the National Council on Aging, March 15-19, 2009..


Attendees include brand managers, corporate strategists, entrepreneurs, non-profit executives, marketing agency executives and publishers responsible for growing their boomer business.


Sponsors include: AARP, Microsoft, Council on Aging Silicon Valley, Wells Fargo, Alltop,, EquityKey, HeartMath, Immersion Active, Keating Magee, LiveWorld, MetLife Mature Market Institute, Myine Electronics, Posit Science, The Stress Institute, Verizon,, VolunteeerMatch, Retirement Living TV, ReadHowYouWant, HipCricket, Life Stages Financial, and Moving Mavins.  Southwest Airlines is the official airline sponsor of the What’s Next Boomer Business Summit.

Can blogs build your boomer business?


Cohubstop-piechart-brporate blogs – can they be a good source of sales leads for your boomer business?


A new study finds blogging to the most important lead-generation source among social media options, followed by StumbleUpon, YouTube, Facebook, De.lic.ious and Digg.


A survey of small to mid-sized BtoB companies by Internet marketing firm HubSpot found three-quarters of those that have tried blogging said their company blogs were “useful,” “important,” or “critical” to their business. Nearly half the companies have a blog, and three-quarters publish content at least weekly.


Blogs provide companies benefits beyond building relationships with customers. A community is built around the content and articles and the content helps drive Search engine optimization, according to experts.


However, another recent survey by Forrester Research showed that consumers rated corporate blogs as the lowest-rated source of reliable information among the 18 categories the firm asked about, including Web portals, print newspapers, radio and personal blogs.


Building online communities, blogging and rating and reviews, will be among the topics covered at the Boomer Business Summit (


You’ll hear from:

Sarah Christian – (

Jenna Woodul – (

Elisa Camahort Page – (

Sam Decker –BazaarVoice (


And more… check out the program at www.boomersummit.comand plan on joining the conversation on the power of blogs and online communities to reach boomers.

Baby Boomers Continue to Expand Online Activities

If you still have doubts about whether baby boomers and seniors are online, just take a look at the recent report from the Pew Research Center.  You’ll see that their activities are as wide ranging as the younger generations.  But there is another noteworthy data point, the differences in how younger and older boomers use the web can be very, very different.  If your business is baby boomers, deciding how you use the Internet to reach these two groups is really important.

For example, younger boomers, ages 45-54 are more likely to watch videos online (49%) than older boomers age 55 to 63 (30%).  But when it comes to looking for health information, 81% of older boomers are researching online compared to 74% of younger boomers.                                                    

Here’s what younger and older boomers are doing diffrently online (first number is younger boomers):   

Use social networking (20% , 9%)

Download podcast ( 19%, 12%)                         

 Get job info (43%, 36%)                                     

  Buy a product online  (68%,72%)                    

 Watch videos online  (49%, 30%)                       

Younger and older  baby boomer online users have some similar online behaviors as well:  use a search engine (905,89%); read blogs (27%, 25%); use email (90%);  travel research and purchase (69%,66%); and research a product (82%, 79%).

At the What’s next Boomer Business Summit (  we’ll be looking at how to use social media to reach boomers, blogging, search strategies and Google adwords to market to baby boomers.  Betsie Gambel, Senior Vice President, Keating Magee  will be presenting research and recommendations on how to reach older boomers.  Bill Leake, Apogee Search, will be talking abou search engine optimization; Sam Decker, chief Marketing Officer, Bazaarvoice will be talking about how ratings and reviews can engage your boomer audience online.   

The Pew Internet research, Generations Online in 2009 is  available at:                                

How do online users breakdown by generation: 

 Generation Y -30%;

Generation X, 23%;

Younger Boomers, 22%,

Older Boomers, 13%, 

Silents -7%,

GI Generation 4%. 


So, the boomers make up a total of 35% of the online users — a market worth pursuing!



Baby boomers are the largest group online



A total of 56.7 million baby boomers are online — the largest population group on the Internet, according to eMarketer.  And their numbers will continue to grow as more seek information and solutions online.  A new report from eMarketer recommends that businesses reach boomers online with special offers, uncluttered websites and ad messages with lots of information.

Unlike younger generations, this group born between 1946 and 1964 looks to the web for information more than entertainment.  Whether it’s buying products or searching for information on retirement or caregiving, they are increasingly reaching out to the Internet.

At the What’s Next Boomer Summit on March 19 in Las Vegas, there will be lots of information about baby boomers, what they are doing online, how to reach them through social media, and search engine optimization.

Are some businesses poised to grow in 2009?

There’s no doubt that the recession is shifting consumer behavior– the headlines every day shout at us about what is and is not happening with shoppers at the local mall.  But for some businesses is there a silver lining in the recessions?  Can your business be a bright spot as consumers spend more time at home, work longer, or feel more financially vulnerable?

A recent study by McKinsey looked back at two previous recessions indicates there might be some bright spots int he economy.  If your business benefits from consumers spending time at home (reading, cooking, watching videos) or is a  necessity or seen as one as consumers feel more vulnerable (insurance).   Okay, we know this recession isn’t like those we have seen before, but it makes sense that there will be some bright spots. 

Not on this list are some of the services that support those who are aging and need assistance or their caregivers.  This is an area where the need continues to grow with the aging population.  and baby boomers who may have left work earlier to provide care, now find that isn’t an option and they need to find services that can provide care for a loved one. 

At the What’s Next Boomer Summit ( there will be lots of research and insight into the growth areas for business serving boomers and seniors.  We’ll also have some brand new research (conducted in January 2009)  from Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) about shifts in boomer attitudes and spending.

McKinsey research shows that during the 1990–91 and 2001–02 downturns, for example, US consumers reprioritized their spending rather than cutting it across the board. Consumer spending dropped in discretionary categories like dining out, personal care products, and charitable donations. But expenditures for groceries, reading materials, and other options that substitute for more expensive ones actually rose. So did outlays on insurance, health care, and, above all, education.