Embracing the Boomers

Shirley Thom Blog

76 Million Strong Nationwide

The 18 years covering 1946-1964 produced the largest population surge in U.S. history. Yes, Boomers are aging (ages 51-69), but according to U.S. News and World Report, they still control 70% of all disposable income in the United States.

Their influence is significant and growing

As you would expect, they remain civic minded and they’re proactive on health issues, from diet and exercise to choosing a specialty doctor. They continue to invest in their futures, because they anticipate experiencing a long and active lifestyle. Political issues and candidates, health care advisories, and smart investment ads will attract their attention. But there are some categories and percentages that may surprise you.

Digitally savvy, 83% conduct online research before they buy
  • 93% are still driving, up from the 84% who had drivers’ licenses in 1983
  • 70% plan to take an overnight vacation in the next 12 months
  • 55% of all consumer packaged goods are sold to Boomers
  • 55% remain loyal to brands they like

The oldest Boomers are buying the most cars

Boomers have replaced their children as the Number One market for autos. “The propensity to buy a car at age 25 is roughly a quarter of what it is at age 65,” said John Morel, market researcher for Honda.

Not to be outdone, even consumers age 75 and above are buying cars at a higher rate than 18-24 and 25-34 year olds.


A  new study by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, found that the 55-64 age group has replaced the 35-44 age group as the most likely age to buy a car. They grew up in an era when cars defined them.  Cars were the ultimate status symbol.

“After I retired, I didn’t have anything else to do, so I went out and bought new cars.-Dave Rodham”

“Last year Dave Rodham bought two Ford Mustangs – a red one because it looked cool, and a white one with a big V-8 engine because it sounded cool. Rodham is 63 and retired.” – Bloomberg Business

Many businesses and so-called marketing experts discount the influence of Baby Boomers, and that is a serious tactical mistake. Boomers are accustomed to exchanging new ideas and sampling new products, and they are expected to live longer than any previous generation.  Marketing dollars allocated to this vibrant, knowledgeable, well-heeled population is money well spent.

Again, to quote U.S. News and World Report, “Boomers are informed decision makers and motivated planners who are embracing a long, active and thriving future.” As marketers, why wouldn’t you embrace these people?