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Industry Buzz: Marketing to Baby Boomers


As a result of the abundance of information available concerning the importance of health and fitness, it’s no surprise that baby boomers are among one of the fastest growing segments in the health club industry.

But, if you decide to target this segment, what’s the best way to go about doing so.

Offline media is the way to go, but not because older adults are inept when it comes to technology. On the contrary, this segment does use tools such as social media — they just don’t want to be sold on it.

According to Dan S. Kennedy and Chip Kessler in their book No B.S. Guide to Marketing to Leading-Edge Boomers and Seniors, “The majority of seniors and many leading-edge boomers has been driven to social media to stay in touch with their adult kids, grandkids and distant friends. They do not go to the internet to find services and professional assistance, and they’re resistant to having their data harvested and obviously used to direct advertising messages to them.”

So, traditional forms of marketing such as mailers and advertisements may be a better route.

But, word of mouth is best. According to Kennedy and Kessler, word of mouth is one of the best ways to get segments of any age to buy.

Though, hopefully the words that don’t come out are “senior,” “elder,” or “old.” Last year, NPR revealed those are a few of the most despised terms help by baby boomers. Instead, “older adults” or “older people” are much more preferred, so take note in your marketing.

In addition, keep in mind that baby boomers are brand loyal, but aren’t inflexible. According to Digital Surgeons, “Boomers are loyal to products and services they value and they’re willing to pay a premium for it. Marketers should work to incentivize such loyalty. Create a holistic approach with other departments that ensures your brand provides the highest quality products and services, as well as the highest quality ROI on your customer relationships.”

What have you found to be the most effective way to market to older adults?

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

  • 1


  1. Ida August 20, 2015

    You make a huge mistake when you try and market to baby boomers by using photographs of senior citizens.

    Baby boomers are people born as late as 1964 and are at the height of their earning capacity.

  2. Debra atkinson August 20, 2015

    On the contrary: newspaper, direct mail and TV may all still work but 85 percent will go online First to search, get familiar, find out if they like and trust. Boomers are 51-70 and most still working behind a computer. The silent generation is not online in as great numbers but the boomers absolutely are.

  3. Leonardo September 2, 2015

    Despite the fact they don’t want to be sold on social medias, it’s still a good means of driving people – whenever they have been born – to your business. And there – bottom line – is where you really have to sell to them. And then maybe the approach you have to use with them might be a little different from the approach with other generations.


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