Over 55s are ‘early adopters’ but don’t bother with ads

boomerTo many they are the smug generation, sitting on high value properties and fat pensions, with a love of old tech, but more than one third (35%) of UK Baby Boomers see themselves as “early adopters”, snapping up new products way ahead of the general population.

So says a new study by marketing agency Five by Five, which surveyed 1,000 over-55s across the UK on their attitudes to product launches and found that despite this craving for new products more than half (51%) of them actively dislike advertising.

While 56% of Boomers still rely on traditional channels like TV, print and radio to inform them, they are no laggards. Four in ten (39%) cite digital media as their main source of information, especially online reviews, which bridge the gap between modern technology and old-school, word-of-mouth.

Life events – including having a medical procedure, retiring, moving house and an adult child moving out – also play a significant role in Boomers’ purchase decisions.

Matching those life events against the top five product/service launches in the UK, the poll found that retirement led to increased interest in car launches (28%), as well as changing mobile provider (29%). On the opposite end of the scale, just 7% of retirees took notice when a financial product or service was launched.

Five by Five client services director George Roberts said that despite perceptions of being out-of-touch, Boomers have an important role to play in driving the adoption of new products as most have lived through numerous innovation cycles and have significant spending power. In fact, one in five UK Boomers are millionaires.

Roberts added: “They’re still a hungry audience once a launch has been established. As long as marketers choose the appropriate channels, get their timing right and, if possible, identify a relevant life event, they would be wise to factor Boomers into their launches. They’re more than just an age demographic, and these findings further prompt arguments for marketers to reconsider traditional demographic segmentation.”

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