Older Americans, from baby boomers to those over 60, are becoming a more significant Internet target market, according to a new study by eMarketer.com. Called, Baby Boomers and Silver Surfers: Two Generations Online," "it projects that the number of US baby boomers who use the Internet at least once a month will reach 63.7 million in 2011. That is up from the current 59.4 million.
The number of silver surfers (62 or older) who use the Internet once a month will increase to 25.3 million in 2011. That's an increase from 19.2 million this year. Together, these two groups will number 89 million within the next three years.
"Baby boomers are diverse, notoriously difficult to pigeonhole and sometimes overlooked by marketers, who are generally more interested in catering to younger and more active consumers of goods, services and media," said Paul Verna, a senior analyst for eMarketer. "But boomers wield enormous economic clout and are increasingly turning to online and mobile channels for a wide variety of needs, including eCommerce, financial services, travel, entertainment, health and wellness information, news and user generated content."
Boomers have on average about $24,000 in annual discretionary income, according to The Conference Board. That is more than any other segment of the population.
"To focus on younger demographics at the exclusion of boomers and those over 60, as some marketers have done, is to miss a potentially huge opportunity to tap into a large, vibrant, diverse and fast growing segment of the US Internet population," Verna concluded.
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