Grandparents are the Gifts that Keep Giving
A demographic target audience which is solely based on age, gender, and income only tells part of the story. Smart marketers realize that behavior and the life stage of consumers can often times determine buying habits that are more revealing and actionable.
And today’s media—especially online media, can pinpoint potential life-stage consumers precisely. Such is the case for the big and fast growing consumer group consisting of grandparents—a sub-segment of seniors that is spending billions of dollars a year and is ready to spend even more in a variety of product categories. To say that there is untapped potential with grandparents as a consumer segment is quite an understatement. The numbers, extrapolated from an AARP study, are staggering:
- It’s estimated that there are approximately 90,000,000 grandparents in the U.S. That’s about 12 million in California alone.
- About 75,000 Americans between the ages of 45-69 become grandparents each month
- 89% of grandparents say they enjoy buying gifts for their grandkids
- 25% say they spend up to $250 per year
- 24% say they spend between $250 and $750
- 25% spend over $1,000 annually
- As for what they spend on their grandkids, the categories vary:
- 95% say they buy birthday and holiday gifts including toys, books and clothes
- 53% help with educational expenses
- 37% contribute to everyday living expenses
- 23% help with the cost of medical/dental expenses
- 41% spend for the child’s overall well-being
- 43% spend on activities that are fun to do with them
Jerry Shereshewsky, CEO of Grandparents.com, put it this way:
“The grandparent life stage accounts for a multi-billion marketplace ranging from products to services to educational investments. With grandparents today being more active and aware than ever before, the avenues for spending are varied and deep.”
On a personal note, I’m about to become a grandparent for the first time in a couple of months. And our future grandson is being spoiled before he’s a day old. We’ve already purchased a car seat, a stroller, a baby seat for the back of a bicycle, and a number of books, toys and clothes. And all this coming before the baby shower! I must say we’ve never spent money with such pleasure. I was even tempted to buy a little baseball glove, a tiny surfboard, and a miniature set of golf clubs until I was reminded that I was a few years early on those. My grandparent friends smile at me because they get it. No shopping is as fun or as rewarding as spending money on grandchildren.
My wife and I don’t understand why we’re not being advertised to by marketers who are spending their budgets on parents, while largely overlooking grandparents. Creating a specific grandparent strategic plan consisting of creative and media with them in mind seems like the easiest and smartest way to grab the lowest hanging fruit. Grandparents are receptive and anxious to spend. And that could mean big profits for CMO’s everywhere.
Photo by Monkey Business Images
- Partner Silver Advertising, specializing in marketing to Seniors. Author of The Silver Rush: Marketing to the California Senior.
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