Want to Reach Baby Boomers? Print Is the Way — Plus, 4 Print Marketing Tips
In a world that seems dominated by all things Millennial, Baby Boomers shouldn’t be disregarded as heavyweight consumers. This generational cohort represents 54% of American wealth by household. Plus, Boomers’ annual spend reaches more than $548 billion, outpacing members of Generation X by a whopping $200 billion.
And you know what’s really interesting? Boomers are keeping print very much alive, because it’s their preferred method of media consumption — even though they aren’t ignoring technology.
According to the Pew Research Center, print newspapers are still the second most popular way for adults 65-plus to consume their news, and research from Kantar indicates that skeptical adults tend to trust print more than other news sources. Marketers need to take notice of this, if they’re trying to woo the lucrative Boomer marketplace who are looking for trusted news and information sources. If you’re not considering a print ad buy in addition to your digital purchases, you’re missing out.
Harnessing Print’s Potential
True, print has declined, even though the Association of Magazine Media noted the launch of no fewer than 134 printed publications as recently as 2017. However, print’s overall appeal remains steady among Boomers and those knee-deep in the publishing industry, in general. Just peek into any doctor’s waiting room, and you’ll be greeted by stacks of well-thumbed magazines. In hotels, information-hungry guests scour free major city newspapers. These signs show that print isn’t going away any time soon.
To be sure, many marketers worry about tracking print ads and other materials, because it’s trickier than gathering data from digital campaigns. Yet, it’s not an insurmountable issue. Vanity URLs, phone numbers, and discount codes can help determine a print piece’s traction. These tools allow marketing teams to easily pinpoint how well print performs for them among Boomers and other audiences.
How to Get Print Marketing Right When Reaching Out to Boomers
Of course, print advertising possesses its own nuances, necessitating some dos and don’ts. Consequently, marketers need to practice a few techniques to get printed promotions toward Boomers right:
Speak Like a Boomer
A Millennial-style digital ad can’t simply be slapped into a newspaper format and sent to print. Marketers must speak like Boomers in order to appeal to them. The Boomer generation doesn’t respond well to hashtags or colloquialisms, so leave those behind — in favor of plain language. Slang should be cautiously employed in Boomer advertising, as it can cause a piece to seem inappropriate or disconnected.
Large-print books have become bestsellers in the Boomer category, because eyesight changes as people get older. Knowing this, your ads should use logos and text that will likely be bigger than web-based typography. Even images need to be evaluated to ensure they provide optimal consumer viewing experiences.
If You Partner, Do So With Print-Knowledgeable People
Some agencies have never dabbled in print. If your company wants to partner with a vendor or agency in order to succeed with print ads for Boomers, find partners with reputations for understanding this group of customers and particular type of placement. Ask for specific examples, and request numbers to substantiate ROI. Ideally, the partners should be able to provide contemporary case studies on print medium deliverables, not ones from a decade or more ago.
Expect a Different Response Than Digital
Print is not a frequency medium. Therefore, how and when you get results is critical to analyzing campaign performance. An ad may run on a Tuesday, but its responses may accrue into the weekend. Have a plan for charting these incoming returns and interpret the data for Boomer-targeted pieces.
Print Marketing to Boomers Can Be a Boon
Print may not seem like an in-vogue choice, but its reach into the Boomer market can’t be denied. If you’re longing to entice Boomers and their innate spending power, you need to get comfortable with print as a medium. Your older customers will appreciate the nod, and you’ll appreciate the profits.