Posts Tagged ‘digital’

Increase Sales And Cash Flow By Marketing To The Echo Boomer Generation

May 13, 2010

by Doug Smith, President, The Woodhaven Group

The echo boomers are coming!  Some say they are already here.

For the last 40 years the baby boomer generation has driven marketing decisions in America.  Those businesses that were able to tap into the boomer’s wants and needs have been successful.

Now those boomers have kids and the total size of that market called echo boomers rivals the size of the baby boomer generation.

Ignore them at your own peril!

Every business should be asking two questions:

  • How will the echo boomer decide what they want to buy?
  • How can our company persuade them to buy our product or service? 

Here are a few observations and conclusions I have about this generation and how to market to them:

  1. They obviously are comfortable with technology and anything digital. We see it with their use of social media, text messaging, PDAs, and past times like online games. We need to keep this in mind when deciding how and where to spend our marketing budget. 
  2. They really do not want to be fooled or misled.  The negative reaction to a bad experience will be immediate in forums and social media sites.  The echo boomer has moved on from “the letter to the editor.”
  3. The echo boomer tends to be well-educated and, I believe, will want to continue to learn throughout their lifetime. Utilizing an education based marketing strategy as it relates to your product or service  will gain your company credibility and earn you the right to ask for the sale at a future time.  A call to action by itself will not be enough.
  4. Later marriages among this group means more independent shopping by both the male and female.  For instance, will there be more single female homeowners?  Absolutely!  And this female will not be going to Dad or a boyfriend for a final decision.  She will have the money and the authority to decide on her own.
  5. Traditional or “old media” such as newspapers, direct mail and TV is giving way to making buying decisions through the Internet.  A smart marketer will find a method to “get in the way” of an echo boomer searching online.  How?  By using relevant timely  information that can be accessed when the echo boomer chooses to access it.  In the years ahead, I believe, some evolving form of social media combined with mobile technology will be the method of choice when this group decides to buy.
  6. Echo boomers like to help other people.  We see it with their participation in organizations like TeachForAmerica, microlending, and various social entrepreneurship groups.  As businesses we need to find a way to tap into these opportunities alongside the echo boomer.  Its good for business and good for society.
  7. Traditional brands are not as important to this group.  The echo boomer wants to know what the brand has done for them recently.  Is it evolving to fit their wants and needs?   Does it have momentum?  Do not bore them with your brand.  Think of Apple as an example.  How does your business compare?
  8. You need echo boomers on your sales and marketing teams.  They understand this demographic better than anyone and how it is changing.  Just reading studies or listening to a seminar speaker is not enough.  You should even consider engaging an ad agency owned and dominated by echo boomers.  

More than ever the consumer is in charge.

The next wave of decision makers will be the echo boomers.  It is critical that your company learns their behavioral characteristics and how they differ from today’s customer.

Is your marketing strategy ready for them?

Your marketshare, profit, and cash flow will be dependent upon it.

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