Retiring Baby Boomers are a huge demographic that is only going to get bigger over time, eventually growing to about 78 million. The majority are facing retirement (or job loss) with less than adequate savings. Consequently, they are very interested in starting a home business, and this presents a major opportunity for Internet marketing services and consultants.
Boomers are comfortable with the Internet. They do online shopping and regularly utilize search engines. The majority are acquainted with social network sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. They may use text messaging, but probably do not Tweet.
Baby Boomers do not need to be sold on the idea of starting an Internet business. They comprehend the merits of having a 24/7 worldwide audience for products and services. They may not understand how Websites are created, but they believe having an Internet-based business can replace or supplement their income. And they like the thought of working out of a home office with a flexible schedule that allows them to enjoy outside activities.
The key to success with retiring Boomers is to recognize that their Internet skill levels create distinct markets, each with different requirements:
Some Boomers are knowledgeable about Internet marketing. These prospective clients may be looking for technical assistance to launch a Website, blog, or just help in refining their marketing strategy. This group presents an excellent opportunity for Internet marketing consultants who are technically inclined or have access to technical resources.
A larger group of retiring Baby Boomers consists of those who want to leverage their career experience to create an online business. They are not concerned about the nuts and bolts underlying the Internet; they just want to focus on the business aspects. To them, the Internet’s main purpose is to generate sales leads. These Boomers represent an opportunity for both Internet marketing consulting and ongoing outsourced marketing.
The majority of Boomers are looking for “canned” online businesses to supplement their retirement income. Turnkey solutions are attractive to this group. This group presents a huge opportunity for ethical marketing and business consultants, Internet business critics who evaluate opportunities, and those who have – or can develop – profitable “rubber stamp” businesses for licensing to eager Boomers. Credibility is a major sales issue – valid success stories and testimonials are essential to overcoming skepticism. And remember that these Boomers require hand-holding to get up and running. So, be certain that the Internet aspects of the business are “idiot proof” and minimize support requirements by including lots of online tutorials.
A tsunami of retiring Baby Boomers is on the horizon. Most will not have the financial resources to fully retire and are searching for supplemental income. Of these, the majority will pursue Internet businesses. Hence, the demand for consulting assistance and turnkey businesses will explode. Understanding their needs and formulating answers accordingly is necessary for Internet consultants to successfully address this growing market.
There is concern among retiring Boomers that their Internet marketing ignorance will lead them into “get rich quick” schemes which drain their financial resources. Maintaining high ethical standards and delivering real value is therefore critical, as it is easy for Internet marketing consultants and services to burn their reputation among Boomers. A focus on “win-win” solutions with obvious payoffs is required to win clients. For those who adapt their services to the characteristics of this emerging Boomer market, however, the outlook is bright indeed.