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Marketing to Boomers

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Last week, we covered a number of different risk management strategies for advisors serving the boomer population. This week, we’ll look at how to develop the right marketing approach for this influential – and growing – group.  

 “At over 76 million people, baby boomers represent the largest single population growth in US history and have had an enormous impact on every institution in the country, as well as lived through some of the most interesting times in American history,” begins a recent report by AARP “Approaching 65: A Survey of Baby Boomers Turning 65 Years Old.”

Boomers are “generally satisfied with their lives and optimistic about the next third of life.” Seven out of 10 “say they have achieved all or most of what they wanted out of life.”

Not surprisingly, they’re concerned about health and economic issues, and most see themselves as working beyond the traditional age of retirement, at least part of the time – not necessarily because they have to but because they want to. They’re motivated to manage their financial risk by two reasons:

  • NEED: They feel a need for protection. Boomers have already had a lifetime of experience, they have been married, divorced, had a job, lost a job, raised children, lived through rough financial times and been blessed with rewards of hard work.
  • WANT: They want to transfer risk from themselves to an insurance company. They have insured their home, car, income, life, and now they want to “insure” this new phase of their life. Boomers understand the importance of transferring risk and look to highly trained licensed professionals to determine how best to do this.

Marketing to boomers

Keep in mind there is not a typical boomer; however, there are commonalities. It is helpful to understand the similarities and to respect the differences when working with boomers. Here are some key points to consider:

Emotion-driven message 

  • Boomers tend to focus on how a situation makes them feel. Their responses are based on their total life experiences. 

To effectively market to boomers

  • Understand their perspective
  • Account for aging changes
  • Add emotional value, if needed

Other factors affecting marketing  

  • Finances, employment
  • Social structure
  • Health changes

Boomers’ top concerns tend to be outliving their assets, maintaining their independence and their own health and safety issues. 

So …

  • Listen.
  • Ask questions.
  • Be honest and ethical. They prefer the truth, even if the news is not good.
  • Tell a story about the “use” of the product; don’t simply talk about the product.

In other words, build a relationship. You can do this by:

  • Establishing a good first impression in person or on the phone
  • Selling yourself, not a product
  • Paying attention to detail
  • Encouraging questions
  • Being patient
  • Considering the effects and issues of aging
  • Using clear, simple language
  • Not rushing
  • Using the prospect’s name, and
  • Saying thank you

Your key to success: Establishing the need and helping to determine an affordable way to pay for their solutions. 

So, as you look to 2012 and craft a marketing plan that will guide you through the maze of economic, legislative and market changes, you may want to look back to the future and include the baby boomers in your plan. Their entry into this next phase of their lives offers opportunities to grow your business, while also preparing you for the eco-generation — that’s right, providing trusted care for the baby boomers will earn you new business from their kids. So keep falling forward!