News Column

Boomers Online at a Startling Pace

Feb 18, 2013

Brandpoint By Brandpoint


Even though they're still common, jokes about clueless baby boomers calling their kids to figure out how to use technology are starting to feel outdated.

While today's youngest generations are practically born with tablets, smart-phones and laptops in their hands, studies have found that grandparents are also adopting technology at a startling pace.

Boomers' enthusiasm is growing as fast as the field of new products available. In fact, a 2012 Forrester Research survey found 78 percent are online, and of those, 54 percent own laptops.

Tablet use among boomers is growing, too; 11 percent already own one and another 15 percent plan to buy one soon.

A 2012 survey by Nielsen showed that within five years, about 50 percent of the U.S. population will be 50 or older, and they'll control as much as 70 percent of disposable income.

For this generation, a forward-thinking mindset has always been a common trait, so crossing the digital divide was bound to happen.

Despite their proven purchasing power, many advertisers are leaving these consumers in the lurch. Although boomers account for 49 percent of total sales of consumer packaged goods, Nielsen estimates that less than 5 percent of advertising dollars are targeted toward adults ages 35 to 64.

Overcoming the learning curve as well as the lack of attention from marketers has shown just how much boomers value the latest technology developments. But for those who don't yet have their hands on the latest gadgets, organizations like AARP are making it easier for boomers to get connected.

"AARP's goal is to provide value to its members, and our research has shown that many AARP members are early adopters of technology," says Angela Jones, senior vice president of Business Development and Lifestyle Products for AARP Services. "Through AARP's relationships with retailers and manufacturers, our nearly 38 million members receive discounts on their favorite technology products."

Source: (C) 2013 Dayton Daily News. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved

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