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Boomer Marketing Assumptions Debunked

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You can’t teach an old dog new tricks … or can you? A new study from Nielsen NeuroFocus debunks some stereotypical marketing practices aimed at reaching men and women over the age of 60.

Nielsen NeuroFocus found that mature brains respond differently to marketing messages than do younger brains. Mature brains also have a broader attention span and are more emotionally balanced. Moreover, the research shows that the older brain retains plasticity, or the ability to change as a result of experience, even at late stages of life.

This is good news for retailers and manufacturers who may have been on the fence about marketing to Baby Boomers. The group continues to wield strong purchasing power and is scheduled to spend more than $7 billion online this year alone. The insights uncovered by NeuroFocus could help brands and marketing executives better understand the most effective way to reach this key demographic.

Some of the insights uncovered:
• Mature brains tend to have better control over their emotions and attend more to positive messages in general, as well as in advertising. Thus, marketers should emphasize the upbeat in messaging, and acknowledge what Boomers will gain, not what they will lose.

• While it’s true that older brains may be slower, they are also shrewder. The Boomer brain doesn’t want to feel old or be treated as old; Boomers want to be spoken to intelligently and be recognized for who they are.

• Although mature brains occasionally struggle with recalling information at the tip of their tongues, they actually have broader attention spans, allowing them to absorb more nuanced messaging. Marketers can help the Boomer brain by creating mnemonic triggers for their brand or product to make them easier to recall.