14 Things You Need to Know About Baby Boomers

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Funeral service is lucky.

Why, you ask?

Well, there are many reasons why it’s a good time to be a funeral director (if you’re innovative and open to change, of course).

But most importantly, we’re lucky because we get to market our products and service to the best generation out there: the Baby Boomers.

Boomers are the wealthiest, most powerful generation there is, but marketing our services to them  is tricky. They expect a much different experience than the families you’re used to serving. And thanks to the Internet, everything from the way Boomers find your funeral home to the way they make purchasing decisions has changed.

Feeling overwhelmed by all of the change going on?

Fear no more! These 14 insights we’ve made over the last decade will help you understand how Baby Boomers view you, what they expect from your services, and how to market to them!

#1 Baby Boomers like to learn new technologies.

While Baby Boomers aren’t exactly “early adopters” to new technologies, they’re definitely into (and excited about) them. In fact, this AARP study shows that consumers  in their fifties have the highest intent to purchase consumer electronics among any age group. Not only that, but once Boomers do purchase these new technologies, they actively share them with others.

What does this mean for you? In my opinion, it means that you shouldn’t be afraid to try offering new things at your funeral home (ie. new technologies, a new website). If you can show Baby Boomers that these new products or services fit their needs, they’ll be over the moon about them.

#2 Baby Boomers seek simplicity.

When it comes down to it, the one thing Baby Boomers want more than anything else in products and services is simplicity. One study reports that Boomers get frustrated the most when there are “too many features”. That means you’ll need to offer Boomers simplicity in everything you do – including your funeral home website, price list, funeral service options, etc.

#3 Baby Boomers aren’t price shoppers.

If you think being a low-cost provider will help you stand out among Baby Boomers, you’re wrong. Half of Baby Boomers admit that value is more important to them than price. In fact, they’re willing to pay more if they seek value in a product or service.

#4 Baby Boomers are spending money.

With more than $3.2 trillion in annual spending power (which accounts for 70% of our nation’s disposal income), it’s safe to say Baby Boomers are spending money. In fact, Boomers are outspending all other generations – particularly when it comes to tangible goods. Consider this when it comes to offering your families pricing packages – adding small tangible items such as copies of a tribute video or keepsakes could be seen as valuable to them.

#5 Baby Boomers research online before making a decision.

Currently, 97% of consumers turn to the web to find a reputable product or service. That means Baby Boomers are taking control of how they find your funeral home, and when they want to consume information about you. In order to give them what they need when they’re researching your firm, you’ll need a website that addresses all of their questions. For more help on this topic, check out this blog post which explains 18 questions your funeral home website must answer.

 

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Here is an example of a review someone wrote about a funeral home on Yelp. Writing reviews is becoming more and more popular among Baby Boomers.

 

#6 Baby Boomers are interested in health and wellness.

According to this study, 80% of Boomers often research health and wellness information online. This means that writing content about health and wellness for your blog or newsletter, or posting related content on health or hospice websites might grab their attention.

 

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Here is an example of a top site for Baby Boomers: Huffington Post Health Post 50

 

#7 Baby Boomers are social-savvy.

Not only are Boomers social savvy, but they’re also the fastest growing group on social networks like Facebook. With 65% of of Boomers on social media, they make up an impressive one-fifth of U.S. social media users. That means if your funeral home isn’t on social media yet, you could be missing out on a huge branding and revenue opportunity!

#8 Baby Boomers are proud to be grandparents.

Since many Baby Boomers are grandparents, they are attracted to marketing and advertising that portrays them as just that. Show Boomers how your products or services can help them better their family and the lives of their grandchildren and you’ll truly connect with them in a meaningful way.

#9 Baby Boomers want to feel empowered.

According to marketing CEO Brent Green, Baby Boomers enjoy experiences that make them feel empowered, inspiring them to “be the best they can be”. This means that including inspiring messages of hope and healing in your marketing will truly draw them in. A good example of this is Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation’s website (below). With bright colors and uplifting messages, their website inspires their visitors to want to celebrate life.

 

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#10 Baby Boomers are interested in talking about death.

Surprisingly enough, Baby Boomers aren’t scared to talk about their end-of-life options. In fact, in this study funded by the Funeral Service Foundation, many Boomers said they have an extreme interest in talking about death. According to this study, “many interviewees hugged their interviewer because they finally had a chance to talk about how they want their end-of-life to be”.

#11 Baby Boomers want control of their “stairway to heaven”.

As with everything else in their lives, Baby Boomers want complete control of their final sendoff. Baby Boomers see their funeral as their “crowning performance” so it’s important that they get it right. In order to make sure their life is on display in a way that truly represents them, they’ll want to take part in the planning of it, which leads me to my next point…

#12 Baby Boomers want to pre-plan their funeral.

Many Boomers want to pre-plan their funeral, which will more than likely lead to a huge increase in pre-need revenue for firms across the country. In fact, some funeral homes have reported a 10.2% increase in their pre-need revenue, with their average pre-need consumer being age 63.

#13 Baby Boomers want some sort of personalization.

This one should come as no surprise to you. You’ve got to expect the generation that’s often coined as the “Me generation” or the “Born to be wild generation” to want a wild funeral that truly reflects them. That’s where personalization comes in. In fact, recent studies have shown that 62% of those wanting a funeral service prefer some sort of personalization.

Need some ideas for personalization at your funeral home ? Check out this post from Molly Keating over at O’Connor Mortuary or this post on what makes a perfect personalized service by Kristan McNames at Grace Funeral & Cremation Services.

#14 They’re looking for products that address their needs.

While Baby Boomers aren’t necessarily shopaholics, they do get excited when they find  products that directly address their needs. Once you nail down your product messaging that clearly states the benefits for Baby Boomers, expect them to come knocking down your funeral home’s doors!

Now go forth!

Now that we know what Boomers are looking for, let’s start serving them better!

So, are you ready to embrace change and start attracting today’s families?

Then don’t wait another moment – go forth and start offering these Baby Boomers a funeral service they’ll never forget!

Are we missing any important insights on Baby Boomers? Share yours in the comments below!

 

Rochelle Rietow

funeralOne

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  1. Paul Beran

    Bravo!! I love this post. It’s so-o-o true. Would you like a sneak peek into the future?

  2. peggymlewis

    I would put #13 higher on the list. Boomers reject the idea of “one size fits all” services. They see no point in having a funeral/memorial that does not express what was important to them in their lives. A “good” funeral acknowledges grief and sorrow, (with or without religious prayers, psalms, etc); focuses on what this person brought to the world and to the people who loved him/her; and can end with an uplifting recognition of the impermanence and a commitment to live life fully. People will cry a bit; laugh even more; and walked away feeling they really honored that individual.

  3. Krystal

    Hi Peggy,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I 100% agree – this is the #1 thing FD’s should know about Baby Boomers. I’m looking forward to seeing how the Boomer’s taste for personalization shapes the future of the funeral profession even more…

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  6. Marcus

    I completely agree with #7. Most people think that baby boomer are crappy old persons who doesn’t know a thing about the social networking sites. Which is absolutely wrong, we are as social-savvy as you are. We chat, find old friends in facebook, tweets and retweets and order baby boomer products online. We are not scared of or run away from technology.

  7. Terry Reed

    Great article! But I’d put #10 at the top of the list. People want person-to-person contact. We really lack this in rural and Bush Alaska. I’d like to fly from village to village, with a public presentation that’d include videos, brochures, etc. I honestly am not sure but I don’t think anyone is doing that but … it works. I did it for a private program in SE Alaska. We were extremely successful; we got the results we needed and wanted, and more!! Direct to the public “sales” ….consultancy, whatevah …. works well in Alaska. Funeral plans would be easy, and just as successful. Timing the clinics is paramount! Almost any winter week is great! With nothing much to do, people will pack the gym to to learn, to listen, to plan, to see and be seen. 🙂 The entire family will show up, too! Yeah, it’s odd up here. But then, there is a saying about us, about that trait: The odds are good, but the goods are odd ! Only in Alaska …. ;-D

  8. Glenn H.

    Very good research here on a variety of helpful insights about Boomers. Who would have thought Boomers would love talking about the many aspects of their own deaths? I heard some of the advice here from a woman who directs a cancer clinic. Her presentation to our Rotary Club reminded us there’s paperwork as well as decisions large and small to be ready. Once people begin thinking of their own funeral they do come up with ideas about music etc. which come up more and more as we attend more funerals of friends and relatives.Ther