Posted by Steve Parker, Jr. (@sparkerjr)
A recent study reveals that marketers may be undervaluing a key demographic: Boomers. The Baby Boomer generation is generally considered to included anyone born during the post-World War II baby boom 1946-1964. That makes these people about 50-70 years old today. Marketers may think that this demographic is not as Internet-savvy and therefore, it may not be worth spending digital marketing dollars on them. To the contrary, a new Forrester study reveals that Boomers averaged $650 spent online, with Gen X coming in at $581 and Gen Y at $429. Yet most retail businesses spend their money marketing to the 18-49 year old demographic. Even we have said that new moms/women are the new untapped marketing goldmine.
As the Harvard Business Review puts it, “Apart from the fact that those between the ages of 50 and 65 spend twice the amount of money on healthcare than the 18 to 25 year-old set and three times as much money on housing, 50 to 65 year-olds also spend an amazing 78% more money on shopping.” 78% more money. That’s quite a bit that your business could be missing out on.
Here are three ways to find out if you could benefit from a demographic targeting shift in your digital marketing initiatives:
1. Social research gives you the unique opportunity to listen to unsolicited conversation by your audience of followers and sharers. Profiling the people who are talking most about your brand is important, but it’s also important to explore who is actually purchasing and not just sharing. Who is your most valuable audience? It’s probably smart to strike a balance between influencer and converter. If someone talks positively about your brand, that’s great, but if they are purchasing and then sharing, that’s the most powerful. Think about bloggers who do not fit the “mommy blogging” archetype (30-something women with one or two small children), but are of the Boomer generation.
2. Data mining should already be a part of your marketing mix. Perhaps it just needs to be redirected to examine the basics. Using your website data capture enables you to find the demographics of the people who are converting on your website. By mining this data and searching for trends, you can optimize your site to appeal to your most lucrative consumer group.
3. User experience testing can be a great route to optimization. User experience testing essentially does exactly what it says–tests user experience. Different audiences can be segmented in order to test who best interacts with your site and what actions they are most likely to complete. If your target audience is confused by your navigation or does not understand your messaging, it could cause drop off. The best way to optimize your conversion funnel is to conduct tests. Segmenting demographics in these tests could also help you ascertain if you are marketing to your most lucrative audience.
Whether you use these methods or others, it’s important to remember that your most valuable demographics online can change. It is a best practice to constantly test and refine your digital marketing efforts to be sure that you are meeting or exceeding your business goals and improving business intelligence.