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Event coverage: Festival of Marketing 2017

So much of marketing discourse urges we be mindful of millennials – closing out the first day, Jo Malone said: “I understand that the young generation wants to create. Treat me as an equal, teach me, they say” – but one of the more powerful presentations told us we shouldn’t forget the baby boomers. There is £173 billion in spending power collectively between the UK’s over-50s, yet baby boomers feel under-represented and forgotten about in today’s marketing.

The compelling “Grandmother Pukka” – Lucia Whitehouse, the self-proclaimed “instagran of Instagram”, a prolific Instagrammer and an over-50s influencer – pondered why the representation of the over-50s centres around “old people stuff”, like gardening or stair lifts. Research by Gransnet found L’OrealDove and Marks & Spencer are among the best at representing the older generation; Boden has just approached Grandmother Pukka to be a new face for the brand.

But Jane Stocks of BMI Healthcare did give a word of caution for those thinking of targeting baby boomers: this is not one homogenous group. They know what they want, and are not easily influenced. If a baby boomer follows you on social, you have to work hard to keep them. She advised you be there at the point of need, be discoverable, but avoid the hard sell – baby boomers hate to be patronised.

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Lauren McMenemy

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