New Report Shows Luxury Brands Can Benefit by Building Personalized Relationships with Boomers

WealthEngine and Forbes Insights survey finds consumers age 50+ are still a valuable segment to high-end brands, but require an integrated online-offline approach

Nov 16, 2015, 14:35 ET from WealthEngine

BETHESDA, Md., Nov. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Today WealthEngine and Forbes Insights released the report "Engaging 50+ Consumers in a Digital World: How Luxury Brands Earn Trust Through Online and Offline Channels" highlighting the marketing potential and best practices for luxury brand marketers to reach and win the business of wealthy 50+ consumers. Luxury marketers who exclusively focus customer acquisition strategies on Millennials or who shift outreach exclusively to digital channels are missing opportunities of gaining the market share of a still powerful customer segment – Boomers.

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Consumers over the age of 50 in the U.S. currently generate $3.6 trillion in annual income, which accounts for 49% of all after-tax income. The survey of wealthy consumers over the age of 50 found that this segment of luxury consumers assign a higher value to traditional, in-person experiences over digital channels when making their purchasing decisions.

"As technology continues to change how consumers engage with brands, today's luxury marketers are faced with the challenge of effectively communicating the right message at the right time to the right audience," said WealthEngine CEO Mark Logan. "This underscores what our WealthEngine customers know…marketers who provide personalized experiences both online and offline will gain an edge over the competition when it comes to both customer acquisition and loyalty."

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Wealthy 50+ consumers assign high value to in-person experiences with brands. With the exception of travel, wealthy Baby Boomer consumers still prefer to purchase luxury products in person as opposed to online, citing the benefits of having a tactile experience before purchasing.
  • While they spend less time on social networks, wealthy 50+ consumers are still influenced by referrals from family and friends. Word of mouth and direct mail were tied for the most preferred method for receiving marketing messages about luxury products and eight out of 10 survey respondents reported being willing to promote a brand via word of mouth.
  • Wealthy 50+ consumers respond positively to timely messaging and promotional offers. Seven out of 10 survey respondents say that a marketing message prompted them to buy a luxury product when it was timed to when they wanted or needed to buy the product or service, and just over half purchased the product or service because of a specific promotional offer.
  • 50+ consumers care about their privacy and respectful marketing. Data collection and personalized messaging work when done right. Privacy concerns cause some discomfort here, but survey respondents seem to understand that data sharing is the tradeoff for receiving more relevant and targeted messaging.

"A big takeaway of this research is that marketers must look carefully at the entire purchasing lifecycle for Boomers to best understand how to reach them," said Forbes Insights' Director, North America, Brian McLeod, who led the survey for Forbes. "Boomers use digital and social channels for parts of their buying journey, while still relying heavily on the personal experiences that come from direct mail and instore interactions. Marketers need to find that right balance and weave in personalization carefully and respectfully."

This report is based on a survey of 462 U.S.-based individuals conducted by Forbes Insights during the spring of 2015. All respondents were above the age of 50, had a disposable income of $50K or above, and a net worth of at least $1 million. To achieve an added layer of insight, Forbes Insights also interviewed several executives and experts, incorporating some of their advice within the report.

To read the full report, please visit: Luxury Marketers: Don't Forget about Boomers.

About WealthEngine
WealthEngine, Inc. is the leading provider of predictive marketing analytics, audience development and wealth intelligence services to nonprofit organizations, financial services, and luxury brands. Recently named a Cool Vendor in Data-Driven Marketing by Gartner, marketers and fundraisers use WealthEngine's comprehensive insights to understand what drives consumer decisions and when best to engage them. Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, WealthEngine serves both the United States and the United Kingdom. For more information, please visit

SOURCE WealthEngine