“The perception is that Americans over 50 only dabble on the internet, but we are finding that they are increasingly spending time online becoming involved in robust internet activities, such as online communities. In specific areas, there is often little difference in use of online technology between older users and some of the youngest users.”
-Jeffrey I. Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future at the USC Annenberg School for Communication
Last year a study conducted by the AARP and the Digital Futures Project found that the online behavior of older Americans (50+) is rapidly mirroring, and in some cases exceeding, that of younger Gen Y users.
And while that may be news to you, for David Weigelt and Jonathan Boehman, it's the cornerstone of their business and the focus of their new book Dot Boom: Marketing to the Baby Boomers Through Meaningful Online Engagement.
Weigelt and Boehman are the co-founders of Immersion Active, a marketing agency focused on the senior and baby boomer markets. In their new book, they share their years of experience and explained how marketers can effectively use the web to reach and engage with boomers online.
And despite the conventional wisdom that the internet is a hang out for those (so called) "digital natives," the authors contend that the boomer generation is deeply engaged with everything the Internet has to offer — they email, use search engines, shop, research, download…but when it comes to channels like social media, they can be a bit more reticent to dip their toes in the social web.
But live without the web? No way! Watch and listen to what happened when Immersion Active asked boomers what they would do without the Internet.
So watch out Gen Y--boomers and seniors are web savvy too and before long you might be getting a Facebook friend request from your grandma or grandpa (which might also be a good thing to remember before you share too much info online)!