As we know, to be successful in search, we have to adapt and tailor our plans, strategies and tactics to the mass audiences and do our best to accommodate their intentions, interests and behaviors. With that said, I came across an interesting segment on CBS’s 60 minutes episode “Children of the Baby Boomers” which talks about the “Echo Boom Generation” and it really caught my attention because everything that was said has a strong direct influence in all of our search marketing efforts. For example, if you do a quick Google search for “echo boomers” you will see a plethora of organic listings talking about this very topic.
So What is an “Echo Boomer”?
In Wikipedia, it states that “according to the theory of William Strauss and Neil Howe, the Echo Boom Generation is a sub-generation in North America and some European countries branching off Generation Y.
The Echo Boom is simply an expansive term for children born between roughly
1982 and 1994. The Kids of this generation are called Echo Boomers, a reference to the fact that the generation falls between about 30 and 36 years after the Baby Boomer
generation, and thus many Echo Boomers are the children of Baby Boomers. In this theory, the generation spans from, and immediately follows, the so-called MTV Generation and immediately precedes the Internet Generation.
Why should we care?
This generation is significant because they are the last born to
appreciate the changes of the digital revolution, and the rise of the
internet and computer technology. The “Echo Boomers” are expected to be
highly involved in what is sometimes being called Generation C
Now that we have idea of what Echo Boomers are, we have to be aware of what, how and why people are searching the way they are. To me, this is the essence of why we do what we do.
Here’s a possible typical search example.
Please Note: I realize there are many Baby Boomers out there who are very web savvy and DO NOT need the assistance of a child or grandchild to introduce them to Searching online. I am only making a very generalized statement based on experiences with my own parents and family as well as real stories and experiences from friends.
A Baby boomer (who has not yet gotten web savvy) wants to start shopping online. She’s familiar with the web, but not too familiar with everything so she asks her son, daughter, niece or nephew (who are online everyday whether on You tube, Face book, Amazon, whatever right). So the “echo boomer” will suggest to the Mom the following “do a Google search on Bed comforters” The EB then tells the Mom to click on the ads at the right side of the Google search, and you can start shopping, comparing, ordering etc… So, instead of the Baby Boomer Mom just diving right into it, she values the experience and opinions of her younger generation. I know this may not be the most accurate example, but you can understand where I can coming from. The opinion of the “truly experience web surfers and searchers” influences the newer, less experience baby boomers trying to understand the internet. Let’s face it, the older the person, the more skeptical they are with the Internet.
Why is this significant in Search?
- Helps us better understand who were are targeting with our Ad/Creative Messaging.
- Helps determine which “head” and “longtail” keywords to go after.
- Explains why Ad and Landing Page Testing is increasing in importance as we try to tailor our messaging to specific audiences which provide the best results.
- Explains why were seeing an increase of Internet searchers year after year.
- Signals possible reasons why there is an apparent increase of Female buyers online.
- According to a 2007 Bizrate.com article: Share of new online orders by female buyers (54%) continued to exceed those of new online orders by male buyers
So in conclusion, I hope this blog post is interesting and sheds some light into what’s going on with the behaviors of our searchers. In all of my research and tactics that I picked up over the years, I can safely say that understanding what is going on in our society is far more important than any secret to the latest Google quality score. If it wasn’t for listening and trying to adapt to Internet searching behaviors, why the hell do we still have jobs.