Six reasons why older consumers deserve attention in 2015 – and why not to obsess over Millennials

From health to technology to travel and giving back. Savvy marketers will look beyond today’s headlines and leverage the trends that unlock the unrivalled spending power only Boomers can provide.

This summary from a tongue in cheek article in HuffPo written by a senior chap from AARP – (so it is US focussed but the principles apply to most developed economies).

1. Boomers will spend more money than the Kardashians

Retail sales are estimated to rise 4.2% this year, making 2015 the biggest spending year since the recession. This won’t happen without a heavy lift from Boomers, who, along with their elders, control more than half of all U.S. consumer expenditures and continue to subsidise much of the spending done by their Millennial offspring.

2. Boomers will develop major cases of “smartphone thumb”

41 million Boomers now own smartphones, an increase of 53% in the last two years. Look for another double-digit growth year in smartphone ownership, along with a huge leap in the use of smartphones to research products, determine store locations, get discounts, and shop online.

3. Boomers will suffer hardcore jet lag

According to recent research, nearly half of Boomers plan to travel more in 2015 than they did last year. With the U.S. dollar being at a four-year high, we can expect this to be the year that many Boomers travel to places they’ve always dreamt of getting to “someday.”

4. Boomers will cheat more on their primary care physicians

Boomers will take the lead in engaging cutting-edge services that enable them to monitor, understand, and treat health conditions. They’ve already embraced health apps and websites for education and prescription refilling, as well as wearable devices that track steps and sleep patterns. In 2015, Apple Watch will hit the market, enabling advanced personalised health tracking. We will also see a rise in tele-health companies that provide low-cost access to online diagnosis and treatment of common ailments from medical professionals.

5. Boomers will dominate the Oscars

See my earlier post on this.

Hollywood has lined up a steady stream of major releases for Boomer audiences, including “Black or White” (Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer), “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” (Richard Gere, Bill Nighy), “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” (Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher), “Ant-Man”” (Michael Douglas), Tomorrow Land” (George Clooney, Hugh Laurie), “Ted 2” (Liam Neeson), and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (Robert Downey, Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Ruffalo).

Veteran music acts are among the year’s most anticipated tours, including Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks, U2, The Eagles, Billy Joel, Cher, Rod Stewart, Chicago, Elton John, and Fleetwood Mac.

6. Boomers’ alarm clocks will picket for a day off

Recent Gallup research indicates that some of the oldest Boomers (age 67+) are retiring sooner than expected. This is likely due to an improved economy that has restored significant value to homes and investment portfolios. Volunteer organisations are benefitting, with nearly 1 million more Boomers volunteering this year than the year before. Expect this trend to continue.