Rapid changes in technology have forced hoteliers to reconsider the way they do business. Consumers today are exposed to multiple hotels. Hence, it has become important for hoteliers to connect with their customer segment and win their mindshare. This has called upon a new way of market segmentation, where target audience is categorised into more niche groups to help deliver personalised content.
While millennials have emerged as the predominant segment and a lot is being done by hoteliers to win them over, another significant segment that has not garnered as much attention is The Baby Boomers.
How important is this segment to your business? And what can be effective ways to market to the Baby Boomers?
Who are the Baby Boomers?
Baby Boomers are those born between 1946 and 1964 and constitute a large segment of the society. Incidentally, they are also the richer class of people. The average age of a CEO in India is 56 years; the average age of billionaires is 63. This means Baby Boomers have a significant purchasing power. According to an AARP research, the 50+ age group spends more than $120 billion a year on leisure travel, and, on average, are expected to take four to five trips in a year.
Being at the peak of their travel years and having the money to spend, Baby Boomers surely form an ideal target segment for your property.
Hotel marketing approach for Baby Boomers.
Unique experience is important to this segment. Just like millennials, Baby Boomers also try to maximise their travel and fill it up with exclusive memories. They look upon travel as rejuvenation – taking a break from work. Hence, focus on creating special packages for them. Fill in their stay with activities such as wine tasting, yoga, golf sessions, and pool side dinners. Outdoor activities such as local sightseeing, wildlife photography, fishing etc. can be organised as well. Though Baby Boomers are young-at-heart, they may not be keen on hectic physical activities such as skiing or dirt biking. It is always better to talk with your guest to know their likes and dislikes and purpose of travel, and create customised packages for them.
When it comes to technology, keep it simple. They can be open to online bookings or providing feedback online. However, while at the property, they appreciate human assistance. Unlike millennials who like to self-check-in or order room service through their mobile, Baby Boomers prefer being escorted to their room or asked if they’d like to take any additional service.
Baby Boomers can be skeptical. Their years of experience have taught them not to trust everything blindly. So, while they are open to new experiences it is very important for hotels to win their trust. Ensure your website provides complete information about tariffs, accommodation and packages. Never over promise. Connect with them prior to their stay to ensure you know their preferences. Add a personal touch by telling them about the weather and what kind of clothes they should carry or places they should have on their itinerary. Most importantly, always be polite and patient.
Do Baby Boomers prefer luxury hotels or independent properties?
Baby Boomers prefer their travel to be hassle-free. They seek convenience and are willing to pay for it. They are looking for a hotel that they can trust. They also scout the Internet for reviews before making a booking. Hence, ensure that your guest reviews are highlighted on your own website and across the online space. As long as the hotel can support them in experiencing a fulfilling vacation, they will not mind whether it’s an independent property or a well-known brand.
A significant section of foreign visitors belong to this segment.
The Baby Boomers of USA have India on their list, says a leading group of hotels. This means, when deciding on offerings for this segment, hoteliers need to keep in mind multi-cultural and global preferences. Services and amenities at the property should be at par with international standards.
Baby Boomers also travel with their family – sons, daughters and grandchildren. In such cases, hoteliers need to focus on diversifying their offerings to suit the likings of a multi-generation group while also ensuring the family has fun together.