Do Marketers Understand the Aging Population Shift?

CMO Magazine has a good article about the aging baby boomers and, more importantly, the money they have to spend.

On New Year's Day, the first baby boomer turned 59. By 2020, the 65-and-over segment will rise from 40 million today to more than 54 million. Boomers are becoming more affluent every year and now control more than 77 percent of U.S. wealth, while the 18- to 34-year-old set is getting statistically poorer, with unemployment and single-parent families both on the rise.
Why, then, are so many marketers still enamored with the younger segment? Ken Dychtwald, for one, doesn't understand. "Boomers have more than a few extra birthdays under their belts," says Dychtwald, president and CEO of Age Wave, a research firm that focuses on the graying workforce. "But they also have a few extra raises."

For many, that translates to a deeper pool of discretionary income, with spending power in the neighborhood of $750 billion, says Brent Green, president of Brent Green & Associates, a marketing communications consultancy, and author of Marketing to Leading-Edge Baby Boomers: Perceptions, Principles, Practices, Predictions. Not only do boomers have the money, he says, but many are more eager to spend than they have been at any other point in their lives. As the nest empties, these consumers are staring down the midlife crises that gripped their parents, turning anxiety into opportunity.

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