We are living in fascinating times – said every philosopher ever….
But seriously, from a marketing standpoint, the past couple decades have arguably seen more change and development than in the rest of human history. The dawn of the internet and the age of constant connectedness have definitely overshadowed key advancements like the printing press and radio. Perhaps the biggest marketing observation is that the four major generations today all approach brand messaging and informational content in their own unique way. At the top of this list is, of course, the Baby Boomers.
While they are known for many things, both good and bad, easily the most prominent is that they ushered in the mass advancement of technology around the turn of the millennium. But the question remains: What are the best strategies for marketing to them in this day and age?
In this installment of This Week in Marketing, Sam and I go straight to the source and pick the brain of Erica Sell, owner of Harmony Home Medical in San Diego. HHM is a medical supply store specializing in wheelchairs, ramps, walkers, power chairs, stair lifts, and more. The bulk of Erica’s customers fall into the Baby Boomer generation and are shopping for their parents, as well as conducting some preemptive research for their future selves.
We kick off segment one by discussing Erica’s background, her company, and a brief history about the supplies she offers and the industry as a whole.
Segment two is all about the context of the Baby Boomer generation and why it’s absolutely vital to have a solid marketing plan for this age group. We discuss some of the major differences in psychology between Baby Boomers and younger generations, as well as some ways companies can use these ideologies to their advantage. I chime in with a few stats to illustrate the importance of reaching this demographic and the power they hold over the market. Spoiler: Baby Boomers control around 70% of the disposable income in the United States! Erica then gives us some key advice on conducting market research for this age group and building relationships to establish trust. She gives us some real-life insight on how she organizes and executes her in-person events and expos.
In the third segment, we talk about the different channels out there today and how Baby Boomers respond to them. One of the common threads that is present in Baby Boomers these days is that they love the video. Erica talks about how her instructional YouTube videos have been getting great traction and provides some advice on how to make videos ultra-sharable – even on a shoestring budget. Another interesting stat I found is that Baby Boomers are more likely to share content than ANY other generation!
Here is one of Erica’s videos where she demonstrates how to use the Rollz Motion 2-1 Transporter:
The last segment is a continuation of our discussion on channels. Erica talks about how important email marketing is and making sure a website is designed with lead generation in mind. Above everything else, Erica credits speedy responses to inquiries as one of her most valuable weapons in gaining clients. Always remember, consumers these days (regardless of their generation) have access to all kinds of options at the click of a button. If you can’t provide answers quickly, they will find someone who can. Baby Boomers love it when companies are on the ball and make things happen quickly!
See the full episode here!
About the Guest
Erica launched Harmony Home Medical in 2008. As her mother is a PT and her father a doctor, she grew up around the health industry. Erica has a plethora of prior experience that led her to start HHM. She is a certified Assistive Technology Professional (ATP), as well as a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist.
About The Hosts:
Sam Wheeler is the VP of Communications at the AMA San Diego and a lover of all things marketing. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has worked on marketing projects for companies in Asia, Central America, and North America.
Kevin Svec is a chief content strategist at E2M. He spends his days researching and helping businesses produce compelling content that resonates with audiences of all interest levels. When he’s not rock climbing or hanging out at one of San Diego’s many beaches, Kevin is writing for Impulsive Wanderlust, a travel and leisure website he founded.