Thinking Outside the Sweet Spot

Late Night Radio Secrets
July 26, 2012
Curation and Customization Drives Revenue and Growth
August 2, 2012

Thinking Outside the Sweet Spot

I just moved my son into his first post-college apartment in Manhattan’s East Village.   He shares it with two other freshly-minted college grads.  The rent is high and the space is limited.  My son’s entry level salary will basically cover his rent, and not much more.  That’s just how it is today.

On moving day, while the three, twenty-something young men unloaded vans and U-haul-its, their three moms talked about all the things WE bought to make their living space a home, including bed frames and mattresses, rugs and floor lamps, grocery items, shower curtains, and lots and lots of toilet paper (that’s a whole other story). Ka-ching!!!  It should be noted that none of us consulted our respective sons during any part of the purchasing process.

I share this story because it always baffles me when I read how my generation, Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964, accounts for half of all product purchases — yet only 5% of ad dollars are aimed at the 35-64 demo.  Really?  Furthermore, it’s projected that Boomers will control a full 70% of disposable income in the next five years.  Sounds like a missed opportunity to me.

The prevailing sweet spot for marketers is adults 18-49.  CBS is attempting to change that.  “Rather than saying a 22-year-old is more valuable than a 58-year-old, the fact is an affluent 58-year-old is certainly more valuable than a 22-year-old who is just getting by,” says CBS Corp. chief research officer David Poltrack.

When it comes to radio, there is a wealth of options to reach Boomers.  News/Talk formats and public radio stations are especially appealing to mature, highly-educated radio listeners.  More than half of listeners to these formats (57%) are older than 55 and three-quarters (77%) are over age 45.   You can also find Boomers listening to Internet radio.  Many of AccuRadio’s stations are specifically programmed for mature adults with sophisticated taste in music (think Jazz and Classical).

So, next time you plan a marketing campaign, consider marketing outside the 18-49 sweet spot.  Think how sweet it will be when the demo that sees or hears your spot will actually be able to afford what you’re selling.

Lisa Sable is a Senior Marketing Strategist at The Radio Agency. Please follow The Radio Agency’s Blog “Sounding Board” by subscribing to the email or RSS links above. Visit our website