Marketers Spending More on Digital Ads Targeting Boomers

March 1, 2019

Digital advertisers may be recognizing the spending power held by older generations: audience targeting for Boomers (ages 65+ years) increased by 25% year-over-year in the January-October 2018 period, with spending growing faster on this demographic than on several others, according to new data [press release] released by Lotame.

A recent study by Epsilon found that while Millennials make more total transactions than Boomers, the older age group spends more per transaction. Given Boomers’ high spending power, it would make sense that US marketers are increasing their targeting of these age groups.

Even so, digital advertisers are far from abandoning the coveted Millennial demographic, with spending on audience data for ages 25-34 up by 32%.

Targeting younger Gen Xers, those age 35-44 years, increased by 29% during the period of analysis. However, targeting for older Gen Xers actually decreased, sometimes significantly. Audience data purchases for ages 45-54 years went down 24%, as did budgets allocated to audience data for ages 40-44 years (-42%).

The biggest decrease in targeting by age group was with Gen Z (18-24 years). Somewhat surprisingly given the new focus on Gen Z, spending for pre-packaged audience data on this age group decreased by 68% year-over-year. This seems in conflict with other studies that have shown retailers actually spending more on targeting Gen Z. In early 2018, for example, RetailMeNot revealed that marketing spend targeting Gen Z was growing by a significant 65%.

Advanced Demographics See Highest Spend

Advanced demographics (more granular demographic groups) as a whole saw the highest share of audience data spend (23%) in the US during the January-October 2018 period. The most impressive increase in growth was seen with the Hispanic Audience or Spanish Speakers, which experienced 96% growth in spend year-over-year.

Another demographic that saw remarkable growth was Pet Owners, with advertising almost doubling their spend (+89%). Pet supplies and pet food were recently ranked 2nd and 3rd, respectively, on a list of top 10 CPG categories by dollars spent online – with $5.7 billion spent on pet supplies and $3.5 billion spent on pet foods online in 2018.

Parenting segments did not fare quite as well. Spending on audience data concerning declared parents was down 49%, while spending on data for parents with children was down by 38% year-over-year.

About the Data: The findings are based on spend across the Lotame Data Exchange (LDX). The top-five categories include Advanced Demographics, B2B, Age, Home & Family, and Automobile Models.

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