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Marketing to Boomers - Canada - August 2016

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Published Date : Aug 2016

Category :

Advertising and Marketing

No. of Pages : N/A

At age 51-70, Boomers are currently the largest generation in the Canadian population and growing. There is a certain level of comfort with getting older as older Boomers find ways to deal with the symptoms of aging head on. As a segment, they feel disconnected and are misjudged for being inactive online. Moving into retirement, the majority of Boomers seek stability in their lifestyles.

Table of Content


What you need to know

Executive Summary

The issues
Boomers feel disconnected from other generations
Figure 1: How Boomers see themselves, June 2016
Boomers are more tech savvy than they get credit for
Figure 2: Use of online services, June 2016
Younger Boomers may need help preparing for the future
Figure 3: Attitudes towards retirement preparation, June 2016
Boosting brain power of Boomers
Figure 4: Attitudes towards the signs of aging, by gender, June 2016
Like Millennials, Boomers value experiences over things
Boomers and Millennials – Not as different as they appear
What it means

The Market – What You Need to Know

Boomers are the largest generation of the Canadian population
Boomers are staying in the workforce longer
Debt is a greater burden for today’s Boomers than ever before

Market Factors

Boomers make up one quarter of the population
Figure 5: Canadian population, by generation share, 2015
The Boomer population is on the rise
Figure 6: Population aged 0 to 14 years and 65 years and older, as of July 1, 1995 to 2035*
Health considerations of an aging population
Weight management is a priority
Figure 7: Body mass index, self-reported rate of being overweight or obese among Canadian adults, 2010-14
Growth of elderly population will put greater strain on the healthcare system
Growth of Boomer population will buoy industries
Boomers currently make up nearly a third of the workforce
Figure 8: Canada’s labour force survey estimates, by generation, 2015
Boomers are retiring with more debt
Economic factors
Debt and Boomers

Key Trends – What You Need to Know

Brands increasing exposure of Boomers
Questioning the need to inflate the artificial generation gap
Retirement stage may be less rosy
Boomers could use more tech support

What’s Working?

Marketers featuring Boomers
Engaging one cup at a time – Tim Hortons
Figure 9: Tim Hortons True Stores TV Commercial, “Dad’s Place”, 2016
Fashion brands showcasing Boomer women
Addressing physical effects of aging with real people – Depend Fit-Flex Underwear
Figure 10: Depend Real Stories TV Commercial, “How Kimberly got Back Out There”, 2016
Figure 11: Depend Real Stories TV Commercial, “How Sloan became Dad of the Year Again”, 2016

What’s Struggling?

Marketing to Millennials is creating a generation gap
There are common interests
A new take on marketing to Boomers
Boomers are carrying greater debt load into retirement

What’s Next?

Technology to support seniors
Fighting the mental signs of aging with virtual reality
Video conferencing keeps hospitals free and seniors at home
Keeping an eye on senior health with the IoT (Internet of Things)

The Consumer – What You Need to Know

Boomers feel misunderstood by other generations
There is comfort with aging, though help would be welcome
Three quarters use search engines as a pre-purchase touchpoint
Boomers are more tech savvy than they likely get credit for
Looking ahead, not many want to change their lifestyle

How Boomers Perceive Themselves and Their Generation

Boomers value responsibility
Figure 12: How Boomers see themselves, June 2016
Valued characteristics echo societal norms
Figure 13: How Boomers see themselves, by gender, June 2016
Marketing efforts should appeal to these characteristics
Figure 14: P&G TV Commercial, “Thank you, Mom”, 2016
Figure 15: Gillette TV Commercial, “This Father’s day, go ask Dad”, 2016
There is a sense of comradery with other Boomers
Women feel aligned, less so for younger Boomer men
Figure 16: How Boomers see other Boomers, by gender, June 2016
Marketing efforts need to balance togetherness and individuality
Boomers feel misunderstood
Not getting credit for the positives
Figure 17: The perception of Boomers, June 2016
Boomer men are most likely to feel disconnected
Figure 18: Correspondence analysis – Boomer perceptions, June 2016

Boomers on Aging

Older Boomers are more comfortable with aging
Figure 19: Attitude towards getting older, June 2016
Younger Boomers need help getting better prepared
Boomer women are actively addressing the signs of aging
Figure 20: Attitudes towards the signs of aging, by gender, June 2016
Using technology to address mental aging for Boomer women

Pre-purchase Touchpoints

Three quarters are turning to search engines
Figure 21: Sources of information, June 2016
Boomers seek pricing and product information online
Figure 22: Internet use for research, June 2016
Boomer behaviour reflects that of younger generations
Women’s quest for deals leads them to use print resources
Attention please! Men aged 51-60 continue to be early adopters
Figure 23: Internet use for research, Younger Boomer men vs overall population, June 2016

Boomers on Technology

Boomers are active online
Figure 24: Use of online services, June 2016
Men aged 51-60 are ahead of the average Canadian on managing finances and buying electronics online
Opportunities abound for online retailers of clothing
Boomers are polarized on the impact of technology
Figure 25: Attitude towards getting technology, by age, June 2016
Boomers are essentially on par in using alternative services
Figure 26: Use of alternative services, June 2016
The influence of having children at home
Catering to seniors may yield gains
Onboarding is an opportunity

Looking Forward – Retirement

Boomers feel they are on track for retirement
Figure 27: Attitudes towards retirement preparation, June 2016
A work in progress for younger Boomers
Looking ahead, most Younger Boomers strive for stability in lifestyle
Figure 28: Attitudes towards retirement living, Boomers aged 51-60, June 2016
Experiences before things resonates with Boomers too

Canadian vs American Boomers

Canadian media need to do more to connect with Boomers
Canadian Boomers more likely to feel disconnected
Figure 29: How Boomers see themselves, Canadian Boomers vs US Boomers, June 2016
Figure 30: How Boomers feel they are seen by others, Canadian Boomers vs US Boomers, June 2016
Use of technology may be a factor
Figure 31: Use of online services, Canadian Boomers vs US Boomers, June 2016
Canadian companies need to provide more options and resources

Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

Data sources
Consumer survey data
Consumer qualitative research
Correspondence methodology
Abbreviations and terms

List of Table


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