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“ Putting Boomers on Buses”. American Bus Association 2007 Marketplace 01.28.07. Putting Boomers on Buses. What do we know about Boomers?... Born 1946-1964 33 million Americans of retirement age (growing to 78 million as Boomers retire) Will inherit $4 trillion in net worth

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Putting boomers on buses

“Putting Boomers on Buses”

American Bus Association

2007 Marketplace

01.28.07


Putting boomers on buses1

Putting Boomers on Buses

What do we know about Boomers?...

  • Born 1946-1964

  • 33 million Americans of retirement age (growing to 78 million as Boomers retire)

  • Will inherit $4 trillion in net worth

  • Traveling more than ever before

  • Spend $157 billion on travel annually


Putting boomers on buses2

Putting Boomers on Buses

What do we know about Boomers?...

  • Boomers account for 36% of all MC travelers

  • By 2015, MC industry will be dependent upon them


Putting boomers on buses3

Putting Boomers on Buses

What do we know about Boomers?...

  • As grandparents, Boomers are now the force behind multi-generational travel

    • Influenced by 9-11

    • Reconnecting…seeking togetherness

    • Extended families are traveling in larger units

    • 30% of traveling grannies have taken a trip with a grandchild

    • 60% of kids aged 6-17 would like a vacation with their grandparents


Putting boomers on buses4

Putting Boomers on Buses

What do we know about Boomers?

  • The opportunity is with the Boomer female

    • Boomer women travel more than any other group in the U.S.

    • 44% of Boomer women have $75,000 HHI (they have both time and $$$ to travel)

    • Boomer women make 80% of the travel decisions (for family and spouse)

    • The average adventure traveler is a 47 year old female


Putting boomers on buses5

Putting Boomers on Buses

What do we know about Boomers?...

  • Of those who take nature, adventure or cultural trips, 75% are female

  • They want a balance between adventure and comfort

  • Women travel with friends. They like their “gal pals”

  • Boomer women have close relationships with their children and grandchildren

  • They’re plugged in…80% use the internet to research before buying


Putting boomers on buses6

Putting Boomers on Buses

What do we know about Boomers?...

  • The Boomer psyche…

    • See themselves as special

    • See themselves as forever young (“adult teenagers”/Phil Goodman

    • Skeptical of institutions and authority (the “sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll generation)

    • Like to associate with people like themselves

    • Do not identify with older people (seniors)


Putting boomers on buses7

Putting Boomers on Buses

What do we know about Boomers?...

  • The Boomer psyche…

    • Not an homogenous group…

      • Childless-by choice vs. parents of new babies vs. grandparents (or both)

      • Retiring vs. starting new careers vs. returning to college

      • Downsizing vs. playing parent to Gen Xers vs. raising grandchildren

      • Older Boomers (46-55)…more career-oriented Vs. younger Boomers (55-64)…more family-oriented


Putting boomers on buses8

Putting Boomers on Buses

What do we know about Boomers?...

  • The Boomer psyche…

    • Five major sub-sets (Chadwick Martin Bailey)

      • Status Seekers (25+%)…places great value on having money and visible marks of prestige

      • Traditionalists (23%)… church-going, frugal and politically conservative

      • Blue Collar Skeptics (18%)…hard-working and lower-income


Putting boomers on buses9

Putting Boomers on Buses

What do we know about Boomers?...

  • The Boomer psyche…

    • Activists (17%)…protest poster children of the 60s and 70s. Interested in liberal political messages and environmental issues

    • Achievers (10+%)…Aggressive users of technology and very goal-oriented


Putting boomers on buses10

Putting Boomers on Buses

What do we know about Boomers?...

  • The Boomer psyche…

    • Not passive…want control in designing and choosing their travel experiences

    • They seek a bargain…but that means getting a good price on something of great value…not the lowest price

    • Organized travel is acceptable when it’s physically or mentally challenging, and they lack the skill level to do it alone…or when safety and cost make it more practical to travel as a group


Putting boomers on buses11

Putting Boomers on Buses

What do we know about Boomers?...

  • The Boomer psyche…

    • Top 5 considerations for vacation selection (MAP study)

      • Spending time with family (47%)

      • Experience new and different things (42%)

      • Relax and do nothing (42%)

      • Spend time with friends (35%)

      • Catch-up with things at home (29%)


Putting boomers on buses12

Putting Boomers on Buses

What do we know about Boomers?…

  • Boomer biases

    • Not content to see the world from a speeding motor-coach

    • MC transportation not perceived as upscale-enough or quick-enough

    • Tours considered too regimented and a travel genre for seniors (which they will never be!)


Putting boomers on buses13

Putting Boomers on Buses

What do we know about Boomers?...

  • Boomer entitlement means…

    • Accustom to being spoiled

    • Being catered to

    • Doing whatever they like…when they like

    • Not being told what to do…or how to do it

    • Having others do it for them

    • Having value, choice…and pampering

    • Having it all (Me Generation)


Putting boomers on buses14

Putting Boomers on Buses

Attitudes to travel…

  • Approaching retirement with energy and zest (“Boomers who are hitting 60 are approaching life like 35-year-olds”)

  • “Healthier, more adventurous, willing to look further”…Armstrong/TWD

  • The keys are activity, flexibility and fun

  • They seek leisure experiences that are customized, easy, exotic, unique, exclusive and stimulating


Putting boomers on buses15

Putting Boomers on Buses

Attitudes to travel...

  • Pleasure, “luxury” and high-quality, personalized service are desired

  • They’re taking longer trips, allowing for in-depth exploration at a leisurely pace

  • Adventure without the risk is preferred (e.g., dog sledding in Alaska followed by cozy, toasty accommodations and a tasty, hot meal)


Putting boomers on buses16

Putting Boomers on Buses

Attitudes to travel...

  • Their travel expectations will shift toward self-improvement and in-depth experiences

  • Themed and educational trips are OK, but no lectures please!

  • Locales that play to Boomer’s own nostalgic coming-of-age will become top-sellers (Beatles “Love” at the Mirage)


Putting boomers on buses17

Putting Boomers on Buses

Attitudes to travel...

  • They want a broad range of authentic, value “experiences” not associated with the seniors’ group:

    • Adventure ($50 billion category/55 mm Americans)

    • Ecology and the environment

    • Agri-tourism

    • Culture (food, dining, music, entertainment, shopping)

    • Heritage

    • Sports


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Putting Boomers on Buses

Attitudes to travel...

  • Examples of immersive cultural and generational experiences

    • Regional art museums featuring relevant Boomer material (Annie Leibovitz exhibit)

    • A tour of the Harley-Davidson factory in Milwaukee

    • Visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland


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Putting Boomers on Buses

Attitudes to travel..

  • National Geographic’s “Expedition”

    • Out-of-the ordinary journeys

    • Pre-eminent tour guides

    • Off-the-beaten path experiences

  • Elderhostel’s “Road Scholar”

    • Resident experts

    • Groups no bigger than 23

    • Spend time in a crime scene laboratory

    • Going back stage in a NYC theater


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Putting Boomers on Buses

Attitudes to travel...

  • Packaged travel should be unregimented

    • No herding please! (the faint aroma of a cattle drive)

    • Consider dropping “tours” from the marketing message

    • Pare down group size

      • Smaller groups

      • Subsets that engage in different activities at the same time


Putting boomers on buses21

Putting Boomers on Buses

Attitudes to travel...

  • Boomer travel package examples

    • Orange County CVB/French Lick, IN

      • “Visit on your own time, your own dime”

      • www.orangecounty.travel

    • Dutchess County Tourism

      • “Going my way” itineraries (in development)

      • www.dutchesstourism.com

    • Alternative Tours

      • “New York as you like it”


Putting boomers on buses22

Putting Boomers on Buses

Attitudes to travel...

  • Companionship is a key factor:

    • They want to spend time with friends and loved ones

    • It isn’t negative when it’s a group of your own friends

    • Encourage them to bring friends (incentive)


Putting boomers on buses23

Putting Boomers on Buses

Attitudes to travel...

  • They have little patience for long, uninterrupted stretches of road time

  • Instant gratification and non-passive opportunities are preferred…less time traveling from place-to-place, and more things to do

  • Instant gratification lifestyle means travel is booked with less notice and planning


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Putting Boomers on Buses

Attitudes to travel...

  • But when they’re ready to book, they want it NOW!

  • Having others handle the detail is appealing, but only if trust has been established


Putting boomers on buses25

Putting Boomers on Buses

What are the selling strategies?...

  • Tease/trial them with family packages

  • Involve the kids…they respond to that

  • Appeal to them as adult teenagers wanting adventure as well as stress relief from life

  • Offer group transportation and accommodations but impose less rigidity on daily movements (an a la carte approach)


Putting boomers on buses26

Putting Boomers on Buses

What are the selling strategies?...

  • Don’t mix age groups in the same tour

  • Steer clear of “seniors” imagery:

    • They don’t identify with people older than themselves (stodgy and grey-haired)

    • They don’t want to be like their parents

    • Early-bird specials and senior discounts are a turn-off


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Putting Boomers on Buses

What are the selling strategies?...

  • Downplay the group aspects of the tour and emphasize the benefits to the individual

  • Consider packaging unique events built around Boomer interests, e.g.,

    • Sixties music and dance

    • Nostalgia

    • Food and dining


Putting boomers on buses28

Putting Boomers on Buses

What are the selling strategies?...

  • Stress special-ness:

    • Preferred seating for high-end credit card holders

    • After-hours access to museums

    • Accommodations that reflect the experience of the place without being down and dirty

    • The illusion of customization

    • Lots of pampering


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Putting Boomers on Buses

What are the selling strategies?...

  • Make the travel purchase quick, easy and convenient (“Fun that is difficult to obtain isn’t fun at all” …Courtney Day/Senior Network)

  • Emphasize expertise!

    • Add value they can’t get by themselves

    • Demonstrate skill and knowledge that Boomers will respect and pay for

    • Guides should take on the characteristics of personal trainers


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Putting Boomers on Buses

What are the selling strategies?...

  • In marketing to Boomer women…

    • Market your experience as something a woman can share with others

    • Don’t use high-pressure tactics

    • Discuss how the purchase will benefit the family

    • Because she projects herself into the advertising, make sure she can identify with the models and icons (no trophy wives)


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Putting Boomers on Buses

What are the selling strategies?

  • Feature family-type visuals (happy marriage)

  • Reconsider the use of exclusive male (or neutral) imagery in marketing materials

  • Pay attention to detail…she does (e.g., thread count)

  • Women expect more (bath amenities, exercise options, pillows, healthy food options)


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Putting Boomers on Buses

How do they get their information?...

  • Purchase decisions influenced by online research and W-O-M

  • They devour magazines

  • They were raised on radio

  • They like to use:

    • 1-800 numbers

    • Internet search and web-based information

    • DVDs and virtual reality


Putting boomers on buses33

Putting Boomers on Buses

How do they get their information?

  • Boomers are skeptical. Expect serious information-gathering before a decision is made

  • PR that features third-party, expert endorsement is very effective

  • Don’t promise more than you can deliver. Failure to deliver is catastrophic with this consumer


Putting boomers on buses34

Putting Boomers on Buses

How should we talk to them?...

  • “Tour” is out; “journey” is in

  • Let them know that convenience and choice can be found in MC touring

  • Common language of expectations … instant gratification, pampering, catered to, flexibility, fun, pleasure, luxury

  • Speak the language of business … credentials, experience, facilities, staff, reputation, guarantee, quality commitment


Putting boomers on buses35

Putting Boomers on Buses

How should we talk to them?

  • Use more contemporary images and language in marketing communications

    • Never use “seniors”

    • More youthful models

    • Replace “mature” with “experienced” and “educated”

  • Confirm your bona fides…testimonials, qualifications, bonded & licensed


Putting boomers on buses36

Putting Boomers on Buses

Get with the times!...

  • Upgrade terminals and equipment

  • Offer concierge services at terminals

  • Offer attractive food and beverage services

  • Computer hook-ups on the motor-coach…internet access should always be part of the package (connectivity is a must)

  • Leather seating on coaches


Putting boomers on buses37

Putting Boomers on Buses

Get with the times!

  • Shorter hauls or more frequent stops…or provide entertainment such as personal video screens, satellite radio or internet access

  • How about the whole MC for yourself

    • Fitted out with all the comforts of home

    • Guide and chauffeur included

    • For families and small groups


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Putting Boomers on Buses

Closing thoughts

  • This demo is different

    • The “Me Generation”

    • Unlike the seniors you know

  • You can get them on the motor-coach…but it won’t be easy

  • You need their business

  • Rethink everything…marketing and product


Putting boomers on buses39

Putting Boomers on Buses

The New Model…

  • Provide credible and informative marketing communications

  • Make it easy to purchase

  • Get there quickly

  • If you can’t. provide diversions

  • Offer variety

  • Experiences must be unique


Putting boomers on buses40

Putting Boomers on Buses

The New Model…

  • Think adventure and culture

  • Customize the experience

  • Rough and tumble is out; comfort and convenience is in

  • Upgrade the product

  • The experience you gained with seniors is of limited value


Putting boomers on buses41

Putting Boomers on Buses

The New Model

  • Get trial…families, friends, grandchildren…whatever it takes

  • Think like the cruise lines


Alf nucifora

Alf Nucifora

The Luxury Marketing Council of San Francisco

43 Cable Roadway

Sausalito, CA 94965

415-332-1085

[email protected]

www.luxesf.com


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