78% of US Baby Boomers Are Online: Are Brands Reaching Them?

The Baby Boomer generation spends more time and money online than any other generation in the US, according to a new report by eMarketer.  Around 78.2% of Baby Boomers are currently online, and this percentage is expected to stay the same through 2015.

Boomers spend more than $2 trillion annually, and a significant amount of their time online is spent shopping and buying.

  • Younger boomers (ages 47 to 55) spent an average of 39.3 hours online per month in 2010
  • Older boomers (ages 56 to 65) averaged 36.5 hours per month
  • Boomers spent an average of about $650 online over a three-month period in 2010 – much higher than the $581 spent online by Generation X (ages 35 to 46) internet users and the $429 spent by millennials (ages 18 to 34).

Advertisers should also market to boomers via mobile.  86.9% of Baby Boomers will have a mobile phone in 2011, and one-quarter of boomers using mobile phones will access the internet from a mobile browser or installed app. In 2015, nearly 40% of boomer mobile users will use the internet via mobile.

eMarketer suggests that marketers should widen their messages to include boomers (median age for this generation is now 55) but to make those efforts ‘ageless’ rather than targeted at an older set. “The win-win is to create an overarching brand message that gives a nod to boomers, but also includes younger adults and even grandchildren,” according to Lisa E. Phillips, author of the report.

The report warns that “Marketers that still see 25- to 54-year-olds as their oldest target market are taking boomers for granted—and risking their brand’s success.”

View the report here: Digital Lives of Boomers: Reaching Them Online