The tools in your marketing bag

Baby boomers have had it pretty good. They've grown up in one of the most affluent periods in history, and have been the healthiest and wealthiest generation so far. So what are the most effective marketing tools you can use to target this new audience?

Shifting your marketing focus to the baby boomer crowd may seem daunting, but starting this past January when 10,000 baby boomers each day began turning 65 they officially became your target demographic. This rate of aging will continue for the next 19 years - that's nearly 70 million potential customers!

Before we talk about the best ways to approach and market to the baby boomer demographic, here's a quick reminder of some of the factors they'll be evaluating when selecting a long-term care facility:

Amenities have come to define the baby boomers. They've invented them, and now they want to enjoy them. Many are looking for facilities that offer a broad range of choices, from active lifestyle options to more passive entertainment and endeavors. Boomers also want a well-tended and attractive facility. The objective is to make their world as convenient – and laden with options - as possible.

Baby boomers, like their parents before them, want to meet new people and interact with friends. Facilities should be designed with this in mind.

Quality of Care
The baby boomers are the generation of second (and third) medical opinions. They embraced elective surgeries to extend their health and fitness beyond any previous generation. Coupled with the rise of the internet, they tend to be better informed about medical issues. Many of them placed their own parents into long-term care facilities, and likely are more familiar with those things that would enhance care. They'll be evaluating staff-to-resident ratios, on-site medical care & facilities, and looking for a more robust understanding of the facility’s level – and consistency – of care.

So how do you target your facility's marketing towards this demographic group? What are the most effective tools?

•    Direct Mail
Marketing experts are reporting mixed results with direct mail pieces sent to baby boomers. Some point to lower response rates, while others remind us that the first thing boomers still do upon arriving home is sift through the mail.

Properly executed, direct marketing remains a valuable tool. Remember that as we age our decisions become more intuition and emotions-based. Direct mail pieces should be designed to elicit a strong, positive emotional response. It is important to try to establish a relationship or positive rapport very quickly with the baby boomer audience.

•    Presentations and Meetings
During facility presentations or meetings with boomers, tell them a good story. Traditional marketing materials either sell or factually inform the reader or listener. With boomers, these communication styles tend not to work as well as a story highlighting some of their critical ‘pain points.’ Stories arouse emotions; a personal story or experience creates better connections.

Be prepared to provide baby boomers with lots of important facts, but make sure any objective information is linked to - and reinforces - those positive emotional responses you are seeking to generate. There is an incredible amount of information available to boomers on the Internet so be prepared to dispel any common misconceptions they may have.

•    Use the Web…They Do!
82% of adults over 50 use the internet to research health and wellness issues. Boomers love information…they’re the most well-informed generation ever. They gave us the Internet, and they know how to use it to find stats and information. Open up new marketing channels by building an informative and easy-to-navigate website, creating a social media presence, and beginning to use email and mobile marketing tools. Boomers are the fastest growing segment on social media and you need to be where they are.

When marketing to boomers, you'll need to increase the marketing channels you use in order to reach a broader audience.  Whether it's direct mail marketing, facility presentations, email or social media marketing, make sure you are addressing their pain points in a way that's both empathetic and informative.

How has the baby boomer generation impacted your business?