There was a time when seniors were portrayed on television and in the movies as people who sat in rocking chairs, read newspapers, watched the news on tv and generally lived a quiet, sedentary life.

Seniors or Baby Boomers today are a different breed, giving life to age-defying phrases such as “50 is the new 40” and setting records for things other than age, such as pull-ups, power lifting and the 100-yard dash.

They are also large users of the internet, smartphones and other technology. So when it comes to reaching them with a marketing campaign, the old ways may not be nearly as effective as taking a new approach, based on this “new attitude”, maybe.

In 2016, the Pew Research Center reported that only to a slightly lesser degree, the majority of older Americans are using the internet, just like younger generations are. While the Millennial demographic (ages 18-34) shows a whopping 97 percent internet usage rate, Younger Boomers (ages 51-59) aren’t all that far behind with an astounding 83 percent internet usage rate. For Older Boomers (ages 60-69) the rate remains high at 76 percent and even the “Silent” group (ages 70-87) came in with a 61 percent internet usage rate.

Other technology also is being utilized by older demographics to an astounding degree, with eMarketer reporting that the majority of Baby Boomers are also the proud owners of smartphones. And those smartphones are not being used just for making calls. Email, catching up on the news, shopping, gameplay, getting directions and surfing the internet were all activities enjoyed by the majority of older smartphone owners.

But that is not all they are doing. They are also seeking out health and fitness information, with approximately 47 percent of survey respondents ages 50-59 doing so. Respondents ages 60-69 came in at a 31 percent rating for seeking such information on smartphones. Even older respondents, ages 70 and up, were seeking health and fitness info at a rate of about 22 percent, or almost one-quarter of the group.

According to NetworkWorld, older adults are also just as addicted to their devices as younger people, coming in with a 52 percent rating of being guilty of using their device during meals.

For hospitals, this translates to a need for change when it comes to marketing to this tech-using demographic. Advertising and marketing on mobile devices are an inexpensive, fast and effective means of targeting the Baby Boomer demographic.

Some key information on how to reach this demographic may be found in a report from INC. that noted Baby Boomers are the largest content consumers of any group when it comes to digital content. Like other age groups, they also prefer brevity and notably are large consumers of videos and images. Across all demographics, the evening hours of 8 p.m to midnight were the sweet spot of content consumption. Knowing how, when and what type of content is most likely to reach the targeted Baby Boomer audience can give a hospital a clear advantage when it comes to their marketing campaign.

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