Boomer Doom! Marketers Alienating 46% Of Australia’s Disposable Income

Boomer Doom! Marketers Alienating 46% Of Australia’s Disposable Income

New research has revealed Australian marketing is missing the mark and could be alienating Boomers – the age group holding almost half (46%) of the country’s disposable income and the highest spenders on leisure activities including entertainment, auto, health and travel and most other categories.

According to research commissioned by CarsGuide Media, Boomers (people aged between 55 – 75) are misunderstood or overlooked in favour of younger age groups, such as Millennials and Generation X.

Titled “Redefining Top of the Range” the report found that Boomers represent 25% of the Australian economy and control half of the country’s private wealth (50%). Not only are they economically influential, but they are also the fastest-growing proportion of the Australian population with the number of people over 65 due to double by 2050.

CarsGuide Media is calling on brands to reconsider and rebalance their marketing investment approach by recognising and stopping any ageism bias at play.

“Our research clearly shows that Boomers are a key audience segment that feel overlooked and alienated,” said Shannon Fitzpatrick, director of commercial partnerships at CarsGuide Media.

“Too often they are cross targeted by advertising designed to engage Millennials or are grouped into a more elderly category of buyer. On the contrary, Boomers are active, working and wealthy as a generation and need to be targeted as a new audience by marketers.

“94% of surveyed Boomers hate the way advertising targets them, so there’s a huge opportunity for companies to grow if they can get marketing to Boomers right. They are also largely ignored when it comes to advertising, only 4.7% of ads in Australia feature someone over the age of 55. Success with engaging this group starts with negating any ageism bias in marketing strategies as well as pivoting strategies to engage this key audience.”

The CarsGuide Media report focuses on Boomer car buying behaviour. The findings show that as an audience this age group is cash rich, decisive and a group that influences multiple generations.

According to the report, one in five (21%) Boomers purchase a new vehicle in less than a month making the return on marketing activity significant. Due to their affluence, they are also more inclined to purchase new models upfront. Four in five (82%) paid cash for the last vehicle they bought, making them a valuable proposition to brands who do not need to extend credit.

Boomers also have a profound influence on other generations of society. They impact the car buying decisions of their friends, children and parents. Particularly first car buyers as two in five (43%) are financially assisted by the Bank of Mum and Dad — further extending the impact of this lucrative and fast acting audience. This is also a group that will spend a significant amount of money on their next vehicle. The average price of a new car bought by this audience is $40,645 and one in four will pay over $50,000.

While these are automotive examples of Boomers’ buying trends, this purchasing behaviour is also relevant to other industries making them a key target audience for brands.

Fitzpatrick said: “Not only are Boomers ready to buy, they are confident when it comes time to do so. Brands cannot afford to be slow and so we’re encouraging Australian companies to constantly have content in the market to support the rapid buying trends of this important demographic.”

Boomers are not swayed by traditional advertising. In fact, only 9% of survey respondents said they discovered a brand via advertising in traditional media. Instead, Boomers are drawn to verified information and so they seek out quality, impartial media environments ahead of any purchasing decision. The report shows that 82% of those surveyed visit a car review website before purchasing and 86% do further online research.

Recognising this, CarsGuide, the leading automotive editorial website in the country, offers premium editorial to assist Boomers with making a qualified decision. The reviews are impartial, thorough and address the key concerns of the Boomer audience – namely reliability and comfort – and they speak to the interests of this age group. In fact, AdventureGuide engages a high proportion of this audience who are drawn to the platform both for impartial reviews and for inspiration for their next road trip destination. Currently, 34% of CarsGuide’s audience is aged over 55 showcasing the success of these strategies in engaging this demographic.

There has also been a recognition of new technologies that deliver meaningful content experiences. 40% of Boomers consider video to be an important research tool pre-purchase and so the CarsGuide team have worked to deliver quality video assets with trusted and impartial presenters. A great example of this is a recent 4WD School for the Ford Everest produced by CarsGuide Media’s in-house branded content division, CarsGuide Labs. Here Bruce McMahon, an identifiable Boomer with decades of experience, offers 4×4 advice to a younger generation. In this instance, Bruce is both offering experienced counsel to viewers who are genuinely engaged in both the content and the activity of teaching the next generation valuable skills when it comes to safe driving.

It is this preference for vetted advice that sets this audience apart. For example, despite 2.8 million Australian Facebook accounts belonging to people over 55, our research showed only 6% of Boomers use social media for research. They are not interested in content that is served to them. They would rather seek out quality content that speaks to their concerns and interests while maintaining the highest editorial standards.

Fitzpatrick said: “Boomers are a rebel generation that doesn’t want to fit into a category or conform to a generational ideal, so instead of featuring a BoomerGuide, we create content that resonates with them. We stay away from ageist remarks and focus on their interests and their specific customer journey.”

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