“Know your audience” is marketing 101, and this maxim applies just as much to travel and tour companies as any other business. Why? Because your audience will determine not only how you market your offerings, but where you market them.
These days, social media and email marketing are where many, many businesses are focusing their efforts. But if these are the only places you advertise your tour company, you’re missing out on a huge potential audience: older people. Specifically, the Baby Boomer generation.
People who fall into this age bracket are either retired or approaching retirement age, and for many of them, this means they finally have the time and flexibility to travel. Which means you definitely want to target them in your marketing strategy.
So, how can you reach Baby Boomers? To answer that question, it helps to first understand who they are and what they care about.
The Baby Boomer generation was born roughly between 1946 and 1964. That means many of them were well into their 30s, 40s, and even 50s when the internet started becoming mainstream in the 1990s.
So even though we’re more than two decades into the “digital age,” there are plenty of older adults who don’t spend much time on the internet. They still prefer media such as television, radio, and good old-fashioned print ads and flyers. Which is exactly where you should be positioning yourself so they can find you.
Here are some of the marketing channels you should consider when marketing to seniors.
Even with the advent of ad-free streaming sites and subscription services, like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max, cable television still has a place in the world. And so do commercials.
If you want to connect with Baby Boomers so you’re top of mind when they’re planning their next vacation, consider booking some ad time on broadcast television. Afternoon and evening are still popular times for people to be tuning in, and you’ll likely get quite a few eyeballs on your ads if you run them during these time slots.
Many Baby Boomers spend a lot of time in their cars, and radio ads are an effective way to reach them. A radio advertisement that spells out your offering in a catchy way (along with your contact information) could be a great way to pull in new leads and increase your bookings.
Even in 2021, snail mail is still an effective way to reach your audience. Studies show it may even be experiencing a pandemic-related surge in popularity, since after so many months of sheltering at home and connecting through Zoom calls, people are tired of staring at their screens all day. A well-designed brochure or flyer that depicts your tour offerings in an attractive way may just be the thing to catch your prospects’ eyes and have them reaching out to you to book a tour.
Although many Baby Boomers aren’t avid users of online platforms, there are plenty who are! So it’s worthwhile to keep them in mind when planning your social media strategy. Facebook in particular tends to be popular among the Baby Boomer generation, and a well-placed ad there could be a valuable source of leads.
Once you’ve identified the different marketing channels you can use to reach Baby Boomers, it’s time to think about the content of your campaigns. What appeals to younger people won’t necessarily appeal to those in their 50s and 60s and beyond. That’s why it’s important to be intentional about how you attract Baby Boomers to your tours and activities.
Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind in terms of content when marketing to seniors.
Language matters in your ad campaigns and marketing collateral. Slang and social media jargon may very well alienate seniors, who either aren’t familiar with the terms or simply don’t resonate with them. When marketing to older people, a straightforward approach that spells out your offering and its benefits often works best.
Different age groups have different ideas about what constitutes a good time. Bar hopping and bungee jumping may be what 20-somethings go crazy for, whereas a wine tasting and walking tour may be more in line with a Baby Boomer’s ideal day. Consider which of your offerings will appeal most to the older generation (or better yet, gear some of your tours specifically toward them) and highlight them in your marketing campaigns.
Before the internet, people booked their travel over the phone or in person at a travel agency. As a result, Baby Boomers usually prefer speaking with a person in real time when planning out their trips. Make it easy for them to get in touch by providing a phone number and, when appropriate, the location of your office.
Even for the most tech-savvy people, poorly designed websites that are buggy and hard to navigate are a total turn-off. This is an even bigger obstacle for senior citizens, who don’t spend much time on the internet and aren’t totally comfortable with entering their payment information online.
To avoid the dreaded “cart abandonment,” it’s critically important to make the booking process as smooth and pain-free as possible. A booking system like Junglebee can be helpful, since it guides customers step by step through the booking process.
Baby Boomers are an important market for tour operators to capitalize on, so if you aren’t targeting them in your marketing efforts, now is the time to start!
Reach out to us to find out more about how Junglebee can help you market to seniors and increase your overall bookings.