Monday Memo: 'Better Be Nice to the Boomers' | TALKERS magazine : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

Monday Memo: ‘Better Be Nice to the Boomers’

| September 14, 2020

By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Until those darn Millennials came along, Baby Boomers – now 56 to 74 years old – were the most-populous generation in history. My Dad marched home from World War II and he and Mom had seven of us. Unlike Millennials, Boomers have a lifelong AM/FM listening habit.

Fish where they swim.

In the next two decades 65 million Americans will hit The Big Seven-Oh, which used to be old. Boomers used to smoke weed when their parents weren’t looking; and many still do, when their grandchildren aren’t. Their soundtrack was The Beatles, Motown, The Beach Boys, and other acts now difficult to find on AM/FM radio.

And beginning 26 months ago, when the first Boomers turned 70½, something started which will never stop: “RMD,” the Required Minimum Distribution they must withdraw from IRA accounts. Money that’s been squirreled-away, earning interest, for decades, is now forced into the retail economy.

That alone is a sales meeting, a brainstorm we do at client stations. When we get-on-a-roll, reps are hollering-out prospects. Once, a seller ran out of the room, jumped on the phone, and came back with an order! Try it. On YouTube, search “Grey Is Gold: How Radio Advertising Can Score With The Biggest Spenders.

Boomer$ DO Digital.

From eMarketer’s report “Better Be Nice to the Boomers: They’re the Ones with Money amid the COVID-19 Recession:”

  • “With more than half of total US household wealth and above-average incomes, they’re better able than younger cohorts to survive the pandemic’s financial blows. Many are already retired — hence not at the mercy of a bad job market.”
  • “About six in 10” are digital shoppers, more so during the pandemic, though “some of this is likely to stick post-pandemic.” And the report notes that Boomers “look forward to returning to physical stores, where they prefer to do their buying.”  This spells opportunity for existing retailers who sell online.  They’re familiar and trusted…and needy…
  • Example: restaurants that did take-out-only, and are now re-opening reconfigured dining areas. During the worst of the shutdown, we aired promos urging “Tip generously, they’re hungry too!” and it was downright heartwarming that so many loyal customers did.

RIP 25-54.

In that YouTube video, you’ll hear Michael Harrison debrief Saga/Portland GM Phil Zachary about the burgeoning 55+ opportunity.

Stay safe.

Holland Cooke ( is a media consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of the E-book “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books (click the banner on this page).  And he hosts “The Big Picture” TV show Friday nights at 7ET on RT America.  Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke

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Category: Advice