The Baby Boomers are no longer America’s largest demographic. They were recently eclipsed by the Millennials – in numbers. However, their economic clout still reigns, and, as the older-end of the Baby Boomers settle into their 70s, their economic impact continues to reverberate throughout the economy. In fact, the Baby Boomers own 63% of the U.S. financial assets.
Healthcare costs, assisted living communities, and medical devices are just a few examples of economic drivers for the older-span. For those boomers in their late 50s and 60s, many are hitting their retirement, and whether this means they relocate or start to tap into their retirement funds, the shift impacts everything from workplaces to our investment system.
If you are in product development, healthcare, real estate, investments, or even technology, Baby Boomer market research should be high on your radar. This population’s habits are rapidly shifting as they retire, face declining health, and relocate to retire.
Here at InterQ, we’ve been heavily immersed in Baby Boomer market research, and the insights that we’re gleaning from this population are vastly different from the habits we see in Millennials and Gen Xers. If your products or services are used by anyone born between 1946 and 1964, consider the following three reasons to invest in market research with Baby Boomers.
Baby Boomer market research uncovers what surveys can’t
The Baby Boomer generation, because of their economic impact, is one of the most-researched cohorts in modern history. However, the driver of this research is statistical findings. While stats tell us a lot, they’re only one side of a hand. The other side is qualitative research – what we uncover when we customize a study and observe how Baby Boomers actually use your specific product or service in real life.
Qualitative research can take various forms: If we’re studying a product concept or branding campaign, we’ll likely employ focus groups. For an individualized product or technology, we favor one-on-one in-depth interviews. For longitudinal usage, to see how effective products are when used in real-life, we use ethnographic studies, which combine in-person observation and mobile ethnography recordings. Our goal, with each method employed, is to get feedback that is far richer than what a survey alone can tell us. These insights will, in turn, help you determine how to adjust your product to best serve this age demographic.
Baby Boomer market research includes quantitative trends
Don’t let our previous statement about surveys or quantitative research paint us as researchers who aren’t concerned about numbers; we’re quite keen on what statistics tell us. We almost always include quantitative research along with our qualitative studies. This may include us pulling secondary research, from national databases such as MRI or Scarborough, or we may write a custom survey and deploy it to the target Baby Boomer demographic. Regardless of the method, our end goal is to show the market opportunity – the qualitative research provides specific feedback on your product or service, and the quantitative research shows the market size.
Baby Boomer market research uncovers differences in age ranges within the demographic
When we do market research, we don’t look at one cohort as a homogenous unit. Baby Boomers, though they are lumped together, are still very different in terms of product and service adaptation. For example, a 70-year-old is going to use an iPhone app very different from a 55-year-old. In our qualitative studies, we can uncover these exact differences, which will result in how the product is designed, and, ultimately, marketed.
Baby Boomers are selective in our competitive economy; a huge range of products and services are being developed for them, yet many miss the mark because they lack the tailored insights that drive product development. To ensure you’re on track, ensure that you invest in Baby Boomer market research before you release to the market.