There is a popular generational theory that a familiar historical context unites people of one generation.
This is certainly evident in marketing, where specific marketing strategies are better suited for different age groups.
This bespoke targeting has become as commonplace as geographical targeting when selling goods and services. There is certainly a strategy for the baby boomer generation too.
This strategy is rooted in the ‘old-school’ way of doin things: face-face, written on paper, and as authentic as possible.
The marketing irony of this ‘good ole days’ pitch comes from the channels peddling it: tech-savvy millennial marketers using automated software and powerful online tools.
So, although Baby Boomers are sold on ‘a handshake is as a good as a contract’, they are sold to by automated mailing SaaS, live analytics producing AI-derived tactical outcomes, and data extracted by APIs built in C#.
Lets take a few steps back and get a bit of a background. The baby boomer generation includes the people born directly after World War II. The term came from post-war citizens who were so happy to be alive and living in a peaceful era, that they just wanted settle down and have a lot of kids.
There was a natural demographic “boom” after WWII and this expression came into common use. The birth rate rose sharply, and the boomer generation grew up in entirely new conditions. From 1946 through1964, about 74 million people were born in the United States. For comparison: the previous Silent Generation totaled around 47 million, while and the age “X” saw 55 million.
This influenced the formation of unique habits, needs, and lifestyles of people.
From here came the concept of baby boomer marketing. This is a separate group of goods and services that are mostly in demand among boomers.
In the post-war period, the population’s purchasing power increased, just like the number of buyers. There were also more jobs, more workforces; money was in active circulation. The economy began to develop and improve its position.
First, let’s present a portrait of a typical baby boomer.
Let’s say our hero’s name is John.
If he was born in the 50s, then he is about 70 years old now. John survived crises, revolutions, earned by honest labor, and bought real estate.
Most likely, John now has a relatively large family: a couple of children, several grandchildren, perhaps, a dog in the backyard. Such a person’s central values are family, a healthy and active lifestyle, and a path to a well-deserved retirement.
People like John are used to a certain way of doing things. Sure – Boomers can still live relatively modern lifestyles (especially in wealthier nations) – however, they weren’t brought up with technology.
They still have biases toward old ways of thinking, and older technologies.
So we see a global phenomenon where as the generation with the most world leaders in both business and politics, Boomers (without necessarily meaning to) are keeping these older technologies alive longer than what they should. This outcome should also to a large extent be expected, because the generational churn is not changing in pace, while technology is developing in observance with Moore’s Law: exponentially.
For example, some consumers still have landlines for, while some tax collecting revenue services from less developed countries can still only accept paper-based tax submissions. This is why disruption is imminent, not just because groundbreaking technologies are either live or just around the corner, but because old tech is stubborn and people can only adapt so fast.
So, let’s take a look at a few case studies of online tools and compare them to a few Boomer substitute services that are still in play.
1. First Example
The first example is for sports fans. IT companies caters to the sports industry to the same extent they do any other major industry. Like within the IT-dominated sports betting scene for example. Christoph Leitner, a Writer and Product Expert from the data extraction website Zenscrape, aided our research, stating that “…as computer programming continues to impact other industries, Java has also continues to provide surprising new and exciting uses.
Data extraction APIs like our own allow sports betting sites to update odds on a live basis. They can even take this a step further and pass their results on to responsible gambling boards to monitor the destructive habits of gambling addicts and help them gamble responsibly…”.
When compared to the inefficiency of manually calculated odds or casinos that don’t use registries to track the activities of banned gamblers, we start to wonder how old practices like these still have any place in society at all.
2. Second Example
Another brief case study takes a look at corporate scheduling.
Why are employees still manually diarizing events?
Apart from making a decent giveaway gift or branded company swag, what use do those on-desk calendars really serve?
There’s a calendar on your phone, and Facebook will let you know when there are birthdays coming up. Outreach Specialist, Jonathan Liebenberg from corporate time tracking and scheduling giants TrackTime24, offers, “…giving your employees the right set of online tools lets you trim the fat. This goes beyond efficiency. I would rather have a more condensed, highly educated team of elite employees armed with up-to-date and relevant digital tools, instead of a large and bureaucratic assembly of workers. Scheduling is no longer a paper-based affair.”
Do you still have a Yellow Pages or a phonebook lying around?
How do you get your reminders?
Is email still your primary form of intra-organizational communication?
Compare the technologies on hand and then ask yourselves these kinds of questions – it may be time to reassess your business’ internal efficiency.
3. Third Example
As stated in the GitHub blog, “The year 2020 has upended nearly every aspect of society.” The service deals with IT solutions that help the boomer generation be socially active and use the Internet as a help.
Many answers to questions can now be found online, including reading the latest news about COVID-19 on the WHO website.
Generational stereotypes and ageist remarks are easy to give into.
But there is substantial evidence to the fact that technologies are moving faster than we could ever hope to adapt.
And it is my own belief that this comes into play, in large part, because of a generational Boomer bias.
Again, we can only be critical of this to a point, because in all likelihood Millennials and Gen Z will have similar biases of their own when they become the prevalent generation.
point is that in a civilization on the brink of a singularity, we need to reassess our methodologies monthly. Learning is lifelong, and something that needs to be seen to every day.