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Boomers vs. Echo Boomers in Search Marketing


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In a past article that I wrote on SemGeek.com entitled "The "Echo Boomers" Generation in Search Marketing", I wrote about the phenomena about the generations influence in search marketing. So, after a great response from readers I have revised a new article which I intended to dig a little deeper into the subject matter.

What Is An Echo Boomer?
Echo Boomers, also referred to as Millennial and Generation Y, were born—the majority to Boomer parents—between the late 1970s and the early 1990s. Totaling 72 million (three times the size of Generation X), they comprise more than a quarter of the U.S. population. Not only does this cohort have a healthy annual purchasing power of its own, but its members have the ear and often hold the purse strings of Mom and Dad, members of the largest and wealthiest U.S. market segment.

The Secret Sauce of Search Marketing
As the demographic with the largest disposable income, advertisers must remain dialed in to the most successful avenues for targeting Boomers. With more members of this generation searching and buying online all the time, the ability to understand and successfully predict their behavior is key.

Predicting which products, services or even search categories will perform best before spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on testing is akin to hitting a gold mine when it comes to advertising. Search Marketing (low competition, low cost and high return on investment) exceeds all other mediums in its ability to track and analyze the user experience every step of the way—from the initial keyword search, to what ad was clicked on all the way to how, and where the visitor left the site or initiated a conversion.

Without so much as conducting one focus group, advertisers can learn from users’ searching behavior how to make improvements for the next visitor. The secret sauce of search marketing can be found in the answers to three basic questions:

(1) What are they searching for? (News? Product information?)
(2) How are they searching for it? (Generic keyword? Specific phrase?)
(3) What made them click? (Was it the ad copy? The price? Free shipping?)

Helping Parents on How to Search
What does this have to do with Echo Boomers, you may be wondering. Well, when it comes to understanding and ultimately affecting Boomers’ online behaviors, advertisers, marketers and other professionals would be remiss not to step back and consider the influence of their beloved sons and daughters. As the first generation to come of age in the digital age, the children of the Boomers take computer savvy to new heights and are helping mom and dad to explore new frontiers and make decisions along the way.

From Facebook and Flickr to Google and Wiki technology, Echo Boomers have a tremendous influence over the research and purchase behaviors of their Boomer parents. For this reason, those companies who are spending money on online advertising as well as product and services promotion should be vigilant about targeting Echo Boomers. It’s important to keep top of mind that these younger individuals can be counted on to pass the word on to Mom and Dad, shaping their search behaviors, increasing their comfort levels and ultimately establishing brand allegiances.

Behavioral Searching Differences:
In addition to interacting with the search results differently, Boomers and Echo Boomers do not search for products and services using the same terminology. For example, an individual from each cohort may be searching online for an iPod. A Boomer might type in “portable radio” where an Echo Boomer would find what he or she wants by typing in “iPod.”

A good search marketer would anticipate these differences and develop search marketing to successfully target members of each group, evolving these strategies as the two generations continue to influence one another’s practices. As Boomers and Echo Boomers work together, the gap in their practices is likely to narrow significantly. Search marketing will then no longer have to develop entirely separate strategies to attract these distinct audiences.

In fact, this very idea has become the driving force behind Google, Yahoo and all of the social networking sites that are watching as the generations continue to collaborate with each other about how best to search and buy online, resulting in more generalized behavior.

What Does The Future Hold?
With the ability to turn on a dime and target users with great precision, it’s not surprising that Search Marketing has emerged as a highly effective tool for reaching out to Internet users. It’s quickly become one of the fastest growing and most lucrative industries in the world and smart advertisers will make sure that they’re in the know when it comes to the most successful strategies.

As savvy searchers and, more importantly, influencer’s of their Boomer parents, the online behaviors of Echo Boomers should continue to be the subject of careful consideration.

Filed under: Google Adwords, Uncategorized

One Response to "Boomers vs. Echo Boomers in Search Marketing"

  1. Being a Boomer myself, I understand your article to the Nth degree. But one thing I believe is that the E-Boomers are still a bit self indulgent and haven’t quite moved to the level in total that you equate with them. That is a generalization for sure as there are always outliers.
    I have two thirty somethings and they are much more into their existence to really affect good ole’ Mom and Dad. That time is not long off though, as I believe once in their 40’s their attentions will turn more towards us older people as they like to say.
    Just my 2 cents
    Milford
    http://www.instant-article.com

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