Baby Boomer Digital Trends and Their Impact on the Home Improvement Market


It’s no secret: older homeowners are driving today’s home improvement market. A recent study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University revealed that households 55 and older account for half of all current home improvement spending. And as this audience ages into their 70s and 80s, researchers expect their investments in home modifications to soar even higher as they look to enhance accessibility.

The competition between home product brands will undoubtedly become fierce in years to come as they vie for baby boomers’ attention and loyalty. And, unfortunately, misconceptions about the audience’s use of digital media still run rampant – even among many of today’s marketers. We’re here to dispel them and ensure you have the knowledge and insight you need to engage this audience and attract loyal customers to your brand.

Misconception #1: Boomers struggle searching for answers online.

Forbes reports more than 95% of baby boomers are using search engines to find information. And while home improvement brands should still be focused on short target keywords in their pyramids, it’s important to remember this audience is more likely to phrase search queries as specific questions. By considering the questions this audience might ask about a product and incorporating answers into branded online content, marketers are more likely to drive higher engagement and build a base of loyal baby boomer customers.

Misconception #2: Boomers are slow to adopt voice technology.

As smart technology continues to proliferate within the home improvement category, Google reports baby boomers are increasing their use of voice-activated devices. In addition to employing voice commands to control things like thermostats, security systems and lighting, they’re also leaning on smart speakers as trusted companions, with 55% reporting feeling empowered to instantly get answers and information. In fact, boomers today are more likely than millennials to say they want their voice-activated speakers to deliver information about relevant deals, sales and promotions.

Misconception #3: Boomers would rather read it than watch it.

Baby boomers grew up in an era devoid of on-demand media, leading to the inherent misconception that they’re less likely to be engaged by online video. In fact, the opposite is true. Boomers have reported turning to video, especially on YouTube, as a way to save time, get help or learn something new. A recent Google study shows they’re 1.3x more likely to watch a YouTube video tutorial than read product instructions. Home improvement brands can leverage this audience’s acceptance and adoption of online video by providing short, digestible content that helps them better understand products and their advantages in an aging home.

While we hope we’ve begun to set the record straight on boomers’ digital aptitude, we’ve really only scratched the surface. Hart welcomes the opportunity to work with your brand to ensure your marketing and communications plans are successfully engaging this audience. Baby boomers will continue to drive growth in the home improvement category, and we’ll work to make sure you get your piece of the pie.

To find out more about Hart and our work, visit our website.

John Logue
Director, Business Development