Traditional Media Still the Best Way to Reach Boomers, Advertisers Believe

May 25, 2017

TV is, by a large margin, the best way to reach Boomers (born before 1965), according to marketers and agency professionals responding to an Advertiser Perceptions survey. Presented with 10 media categories and asked to identify the best one for reaching and delivering meaningful results from this large generation, fully half (51%) of respondents chose TV, with agencies (59%) more likely to agree than marketers (41%).

Print (10%) was a distant second, followed by digital (7%) and direct mail (7%).

The perception that TV is best makes sense given the wide disparity in TV consumption between Boomers and Millennials. For example, during Q4 2016, the 65+ age group watched more than 3 times more TV on a weekly basis than the 18-24 bracket.

Meanwhile, Baby Boomers surveyed by MarketingCharts were more likely to feel that TV ads influence their purchase decisions than any other paid medium, with direct mail next.

Targeting Gen X and Millennials Requires A More Digital Touch

Advertisers’ perceptions about Generation X are that they are somewhat more digital-friendly than their Boomer counterparts, with only one-quarter believing that TV is the best way to reach this more middle-aged demographic. While that still puts TV at the forefront, it’s closely followed by digital (18%), social (16%) and mobile (15%).

Millennials’ reputation for being comfortable with technology and digitally connected is a quality that advertisers are keen to take advantage of. More than one-third of respondents believe mobile is the way to engage with this age group, followed by social media (31%), digital (11%) and digital video (11%). Only 4% of respondents believe that TV is the best approach to getting the attention of this youthful generation.

That might be an underestimation of TV’s staying power, though: it was only recently, in Q3 2016, that Millennials for the first time spent more time with their smartphones than with traditional TV.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 300 marketers and agency professionals (50/50 split) involved in advertising and media decision-making.


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