by: Dick Stroud

What a strange headline in Advertising Age. The tag line explains: “Marketer Spies Goldmine in the Often-Overlooked Baby-Boomer Consumer”.

As I discussed in my blog posting about the Unilever’s latest research, this big daddy of the cpg business, is taking an interest in the Boomer generation.

Here are some quotes from the Advertising Age article.

When Unilever researchers started looking into the shopping patterns of baby boomers, many of its younger marketing executives wondered why. After all, the average baby boomer seems more likely to have a hearing aid tucked in his or her ear than an iPod earbud.

The median age of baby boomers -- born between 1946 and 1964 -- is now roughly 52, well past marketing's conventional threshold of demographic relevance. The oldest of the cohort are four years from traditional retirement age.

"When we first started launching this project internally, we received e-mails from some of our younger colleagues asking, 'Who cares about these people?'" said Mike Twitty, senior group research manager-shopper insights for Unilever. "They talked as if boomers were already over the hill and not very important.

Their contention was that they don't buy a lot of our products. It was just that knee-jerk reaction that does not reflect the data." The reason Unilever researchers launched the boomer project was to show its own marketing executives that "you've got to continue to think about this target," said Eileen Kozin, director-consumer futures. "It's a huge target, and they're not going away. They're still going to be influential as they get older, and they've got the money to spend." Many boomers are actually early adopters of new technology and switchers to new brands, Ms. Kozin said. "Younger people may be more excited and write about it," she said. "But boomers have the money to spend on it."

OK, did you get that last quote? It is worth repeating - "But boomers have the money to spend".

Now if Unilever gets the message how comes so many of industry minnows are still floundering around in the evaporating pools of youth spending. Because they are dumb – that’s why.

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