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4 Tips For Connecting With Baby Boomer Music Fans

1While a lot of energy and market research in the music industry is poured into how to connect with and sell to millennials and even Gen X-ers, it's important not to discount Baby Boomers, who remain a very much financially viable demographic.

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Guest post by Bill Leigh of Eventbrite

Baby Boomers came of age with rock and roll, the summer of love, classic soul, disco, and early punk and metal. Now in their mid-50s to early 70s, this group — which includes most of millennials’ moms and dads — are a vital (and overlooked) generation for live music.

We’ve looked at marketing to music-minded millennials and Generation X fans, but what about baby boomer music fans? It may seem natural to focus on younger generations when marketing concerts and music festivals, but baby boomers are not to be discounted.

After all, one of this year’s top-grossing tours is Jeff Lynne’s ELO, a group that counts baby boomers as its core audience.  If you’ve got a show or a festival lineup featuring acts from the 1960s, ’70s, and even ’80s, baby boomers are your target audience.

Here are four ways to reach baby boomer music fans.

1. Offer VIP prices

3Ticket prices may be on the rise, but that’s not an issue for the baby boom generation. In the U.S., baby boomers control 70% of all disposable income. That means they’re able and willing to shell out hundreds of dollars for tickets see classic artists from their youth. Just take a look at those three-figure ticket prices for Jeff Lynne’s ELO.

What you can do:

2. Use technology, including social media

It’s a common misconception that baby boomers don’t use technology, but that’s far from the truth. Boomers may not be digital natives like millennials, but just because they grew up with rotary phones instead of mobile phones doesn’t mean they don’t use the latest tech.

According to a Google study, the internet is the top source of information for baby boomers, outpacing print and television by a substantial margin. 75% of baby boomers have active Facebook accounts, and 21% are on Instagram.

However, the way they use technology is different from their kids. Boomers are 19% more likely to share content online than any other generation, just different content: They’re more likely to share political content and less likely to share memes.

What you can do:

  • Make sure you have a Facebook page for your venue or festival and include a steady stream of sharing-ready content
  • Baby boomers love video, especially on YouTube, so make video a key part of your steady content plan
  • Baby boomers are more likely to click through to your website or search for more information after seeing a social media post, so make sure you have a ticketing page with all the info they need, while at the same time selling tickets directly on social media

3. Don’t call them “seniors”

… or “aged” or “elderly.” Baby boomers don’t need to be reminded of their age, so avoid these anti-buzzwords. They’re more interested in fulfilling experiences on their “bucket list,” which may include seeing their favorite artists and reliving their musical youth. That said, there are still steps you can take to make your marketing more engaging for this audience.

What you can do:

  • Don’t use small fonts that may be hard for boomers to read in your ads, marketing materials, and social media posts
  • Slower paced video with lots of information will do better than fast-paced videos with lots of visuals

4. Remember: They’re still the “me” generation

The group once dubbed the “me” generation is still as interested in self-fulfillment and self-realization as ever. You can resonate with those ideas by using second-person statements in your marketing and associating your show or festival with dream fulfillment.

Along with this focus on self comes a lack of brand loyalty. Less than half of boomers are decidedly loyal to brands, but once they find a brand they like, they’ll stick with it. You can use that to your advantage.

What you can do:

  • Emphasize the experience they’ll have at your show or festival, helping them imagine themselves there
  • Build trust and repeat business with simple messages that showcase the benefits and highlights of your venue or festival

For the latest on marketing across the generations, check out the 2018 Music Marketing Handbook: The Five Essential Elements.

Bill Leigh is a writer at Eventbrite, where he focuses on helping create successful live music events. He is also the former Editor-in-Chief of Bass Player magazine. When he’s not working, he splits his time between “dad mode” and “rocker mode.”

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