A lot of marketing focus lately has been squarely on capturing the attention of the millennial generation. Considering their buying power over time, this is a logical strategy. Smart marketers though, and especially those in the convenience store industry, have realized that the parents and grandparents of the up-and-coming generation are still well worth some good old-fashioned marketing dollars.
Baby boomers may be outnumbered by the younger generation, but their buying power is unmatched. In fact, research suggests that roughly half of consumer spending comes from boomers, amounting to around $2 trillion in spending each year. While many millennials were just getting started in their careers when the recession hit, boomers were more established and in a better position to weather the storm. Now, many are either enjoying retirement or still working with an empty nest and a healthy nest egg.
Marketing to Baby Boomers
People of the baby boom generation are natural targets for convenience store operators, and not just for their pocketbooks. Here are some reasons why:
Habits are hard to break. Baby boomers as customers are especially important to convenience stores. Industry experts suggest that this generation visits convenience stores about twice as often as millennials do. In general, baby boomers are creatures of habit and brand loyal. If your store becomes part of their routine, you probably have a customer for life.
Quality over value. While millennials could also be called “the Groupon generation,” baby boomers are not as motivated by daily deals. They’re certainly always on the lookout for a fair price, but they also grew up learning that you get what you pay for. They’re more concerned with quality than price.
Service matters. Next to quality, baby boomers demand good service. Friendly smiles and familiar faces are priceless, and baby boomers know it. To fill this need, focus on providing your staff with customer service training that teaches how to build rapport with customers through consistent and friendly service.
Not tech savvy? Not so fast. While a millennial will win in a tech war against a baby boomer most any day, that does not mean boomers are technologically clueless. The Pew Research Internet Project revealed that between 75 and 80 percent of boomers use the internet, and an increasing number are joining social media and using smartphones.
We Can All Just Get Along
Your marketing strategies don’t have to pit one generation against the other. When you implement a well-rounded approach, you’ll reach both the fresh-into-the-job market hipster and his curmudgeon grandpa. In fact, they’d prefer you to do it that way. More than any other generation, millennials stay connected with the generation ahead of them, with both influencing the buying decisions of the other.