According to the experts, 10,000 members of the Baby Boomer generation are turning 65 every day. Having arrived at what is traditionally considered the age of retirement, this generation continues to defy expectations. As a recent study published by G5 reveals, Boomers are different. If tl:dr is your reaction to long reports, don’t worry. We've read it and pulled out the 3 crucial things you need to know in order to reach those born between 1946 and 1964. Be warned, assumptions are about to be crushed!
A Golden Workforce
Boomers aren’t retiring at the same rate as their parents. In 1996, 21.9% of people aged 65-69 were part of the workforce. By 2016, 29% of Boomers remained working by choice. And experts expect that percentage will to continue to grow. By staying active in their careers, this generation doesn’t think about retirement and what comes next in the same way as previous generations. No matter where they work, they like being surrounded by younger colleagues. And some of them might have to work. The Motley Fool also notes 59% of Boomers are still supporting their adult children aged 18-39.
The most common myth we hear is that Boomers are digitally illiterate. But a Pew Research Center survey finds 65% of adults age 50-64 (the youngest Boomers) use Facebook, 68% use YouTube and 41% of seniors 65 years or older are on Facebook. This generation embraces technology, with 7 out of 10 owning a smartphone and more than 66% owning a laptop, desktop or tablet. It's time to ditch the myth that seniors are clueless about digital technology.
You want to reach them? Use social media like everyone else. Boomers aren’t just using Facebook or Pinterest or Instagram to just keep tabs on family. They may be using social media to stay abreast of social changes, grow their networks, or indulge in new activities. These platforms also provide social communities for those who are considered “elder orphans,” or people with no family available for their caregiving because they never married or never had children. Experts suggest 22% of Boomers fall into this category.
Searching for Answers
Today, we all live with a smartphone in our hands, seniors included. According to the G5 study, as soon as we have a question, 59% of us use a mobile device to find the answer. Even more startling: more than 40% of adults simply ask a voice-assistant device, like Siri or Alexa, to answer our questions. Interestingly, we’re also clicking more frequently on PPC ads, up 56% year-over-year. In response to our evolving usage, search engines like Google are providing more and more nuanced and local results. For example, if you use a search engine to find “Italian restaurants,” your results will be peppered with local answers, even if you didn’t specify “near me” as part of your spoken (or unspoken) query.
Need yet another reason to focus on digital? The G5 report also cites 2017 industry research from Enquire showing senior living communities typically get 35 new leads per month on average. Of these, 9 leads are from web forms (a trackable KPI), which is an increase of 177% over the same metric in 2015.
Technology has turned everyone into a digital native who expects immediate answers to each question raised in the micro-moments of our customer journeys. Whether you’re wondering about the need for a redesign of your website (is it really using a mobile-friendly design?), if a blog would help you attract more leads, or how to bring your “A” game to social media, you need an expert partner with the right resources and the right answers. Ask Maribeth how our senior living team can help you find the solutions you’re looking for.