People over age 40 participate heavily in word-of-mouth and value personal recommendations and expert opinions, but they have not embraced social networking or blogs despite being heavy users of other online services, according to a ThirdAge/JWT Boom study.
Below, some findings from the study, which surveyed 1,800 boomers:
Social Networking, Their Own Way
Boomers want to connect and interact with others in their communities around shared interests and common issues, but they use more traditional web communications tools, such as email, to keep in touch. For example:
Asked whether they visited any sites to connect and engage with others – i.e., social networking sites (MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) – or might in the future…
Among the 53% who said they had not visited such sites:
Boomers also expressed “little or no interest” in the following activities:
Embracing Online Marketing… Selectively
Boomers participate in trusted online communities and share opinions about brands. They’re also open to traditional marketing and e-marketing, as long as the message is coming from a source or brand they know and trust.
Cautious Trust of Websites
Respondents were most likely to trust a Web site’s content if the site corresponded to a trusted brand or featured credible expertise.
Other Survey Findings:
Boomers alone account for 78 million people in the US and control more than 83% of consumer spending. Some 40% of the US population is over 45, with 50% market growth projected in the next 15 years. Boomer spending is expected to surpass $4.6 trillion by 2015.
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