Don't Count Them Out Just Yet: Australia's Tech Boomers
The speed of technological advancement has forced Baby Boomers to update their attitudes as well as their operating systems. Media owners, publishers and the technology industry as a whole can sometimes overlook a key demographic that deserves more attention: Baby Boomers. Traditionally this group (aged between 55 and 74) has been characterised as users of more traditional communication and media - home phones, print news, email and text messages. However, new research signals that Australian Boomers are keeping pace with changing technology and shouldn’t be overlooked by marketers.
CASHED UP & READY TO EXPLORE:
Baby Boomers are enjoying their financial freedom, and are 16% more likely to feel financially secure than the average Australian. They are 43% more likely to spend on extras, and are reluctant savers. Since 2014, there’s a 10% increase in Boomers who are interested in new ideas and a similar increase in those trying to keep up with technology.
Online, 39% more Boomers are posting comments and reviews, and nowadays one-in-five say that they need to check social media daily. They’re also using the internet more to plan their shopping. Marketers looking to connect and engage with this important demographic group, would certainly benefit from leveraging technology-driven marketing methods to reach this group. And, given their disposable income and increasing willingness to adapt to new ideas and technology, they’re not to be overlooked.
WITH THE TIMES:
Baby Boomers are also adopting new ways to consume media. There has been a significant increase (+31%) in Boomers using streaming service Netflix, from 347,000 in 2017 to 455,000 in 2018. One fifth of the Boomer population are also heavy internet users, spending 20 hours (or more) in a typical week.
Half of this group are also multi-screening - watching TV and using the internet at the same time - a 17% increase from 2016. Digital magazines are also read by one-in-four Boomers, representing 1.28 million Aussie readers. This engagement with modern forms of media highlights that there are now more ways to reach Boomers alongside newspapers, free to air TV and billboards.
LEFT TO THEIR OWN DEVICES:
The change in products Boomers are using is also indicative of how tech-savvy they are becoming. Like the rest of the population, smartphones are increasingly prevalent, - up 9% since 2017 to 4.4 million or 74% of all Boomers. They’re also moving away from desktop ownership (down 4.4% from 2014) and rushing towards laptops and tablets, which both saw a 46% ownership increase since 2014. Smart TV ownership also jumped by a huge 213% between 2014 to 2018. At any given time, 5% of the group are looking to buy a Smart TV.
Since last year, there has been a 25% increase in smartwatch ownership amongst Baby Boomers. While penetration remains low for both smartwatches (4%) and fitness trackers (10%), across the technology arena, Boomers are not only adopting the newest tech, but are interested in buying more.
MARKETING TO THE MODERN BABY BOOMER:
The mature population as a whole is a segment that media publishers and marketers shouldn’t underestimate as an audience. They are increasingly willing to adapt to the new ways of doing things. Understanding their current outlook is incredibly important, as much has changed in recent years they’re increasingly wealthy, willing and working hard to keep up with the pace of technological advancement.