Selling To Baby Boomers? Power Charge Your Sales By Segmenting This Huge Group

Mar 27 22:00 2002 Joanne Fritz, Ph.D. Print This Article

To get a handle on the Baby Boom market, try using the “cohort” ... to segment this huge group. The Baby Boom covers 17 years, from 1946 to 1963. ... on when baby boomers were born, there

To get a handle on the Baby Boom market,Guest Posting try using the
“cohort” principle to segment this huge group. The Baby
Boom covers 17 years, from 1946 to 1963. Depending on when
baby boomers were born, there are specific external
influences and events that helped shape them. Assuming that
our peak formative years are 18-24...when what is going on
around us will have the greatest effect on who we are,
there are a number of cohorts within the baby boom
generation. Here are three examples:

Boomers born in ‘46 would have been in their peak formative
years between ‘64 and ‘71. They would have been affected by
Vietnam, the LBJ years, Berkeley’s free speech movement,
riots in Watts and Detroit, seeing the first man on the
moon, Woodstock, and using the first hand held calculator,
among other things.

If born in 1955, boomers would hit peak influence between
‘73 and ‘80, being influenced by getting out of Vietnam,
Roe vs Wade, Nixon’s resignation, Iranian hostages, Love
Canal, 3 mile Island, and the first Apple computer.

Boomers born in 1963 would experience peak influence
between ‘81 and ‘88 when they would live with Ronald
Reagan’s presidency, see the Bell System break-up,
experience the Challenger explosion, and celebrate the fall
of the Berlin Wall.

In addition, each of these groups is in a different life
phase. The leading edge of the Boomers is approaching 60
today. They are the new "mature market." But, they are very
different from people now in their 60s and beyond. That
generation lived through World War II. The people ahead of
them lived through the depression.

Baby Boomers born in 1946 were the "flower" children of the
60's. And whether they protested the Vietnam War or not,
they were deeply marked by those years. They are likely to
be skeptical and idealistic at the same time; to be less
moved by patriotic themes; and deeply concerned about
social injustice.

The middle boomers are pushing 50. They are at their peak
earning years, sending their children to college, and
starting to think about saving for retirement. Less
idealistic than the first group, they are interested in
security, are more likely to be Republicans, and view
institutions with skepticism.

The late boomers are approaching 40. They are raising
families, making their mark at work, and buying family size
cars. Thoroughly imbued with the computer culture, they may
be seeking personal freedom by bailing out of corporate
jobs to become free agents or to start a business. They
know what an IPO is and how to invest online.

Each of these cohorts is very different from the others. As
marketers, we must use different approaches depending on
whether our customers are the leading edge of boomers, the
middle boomers, or the late boomers. We need to use images
and words that resonate with each segment’s life experience
and with the life passage they are in.

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About Article Author

Joanne Fritz, Ph.D.
Joanne Fritz, Ph.D.

Joanne Fritz, Ph.D., publishes which provides information
about working and earning during retirement; and, which brings demographic
and marketing information about the mature market to
businesses. Joanne can be contacted at

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