We've written extensively about the importance of targeted marketing for Home Performance. You only have so many resources to spend on marketing your business, so you need to focus your efforts on the market that's most likely to buy your services.
So what is that market? Well, it depends on where your business is located and what specific type of work you do. In some markets, the ideal target might be the greenies. In another it could be the analytical/engineer types (see the first comment here). In some markets it could be the upper-middle class, who have disposable income and can afford the upfront cost of home energy efficiency improvements. Targeting and segmentation need to be chosen according to your business, location and strategy. That said, there is one demographic that is a pretty good bet cross the board: baby boomers.
Why are Baby Boomers an Ideal Target Demographic for Home Performance?
Regardless of your region, baby boomers present one of the largest opportunities for home performance retrofits. A few reasons:
- Baby boomers are a huge demographic. (76 million Americans were born between 1945 and 1964.)
- With the kids out of the house, baby boomers often downsize to a smaller house -- meaning they're right in the middle of the moving process, and making investments to improve their quality of life in the retirement years.
- They have equity.
- From Wikipedia: "Baby Boomers control over 80% of personal financial assets and more than 50% of discretionary spending power. They are responsible for more than half of all consumer spending, buy 77% of all prescription drugs, 61% of OTC medication and 80% of all leisure travel."
- According to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, energy efficiency and upgraded heating and cooling systems are key remodeling trends amongst boomers. (PDF: Housing Turnover by Older Owners: Implications for Home Improvement Spending as Baby Boomers Age into Retirement.)
- Boomers are subject to the "Last House Phenomenon:"
- They're typically on fixed incomes and value certainty (= fear of escalating energy costs)
- They're frugal and managing their funds long term (= low operating costs are highly valued)
- Resilience is critical (= concern about energy sources and durability)
- Smaller is better (= simplification is a core value)
- Comfort is king (= willing to spend money to keep an aging body happy)
Implications for Your Marketing:
Think about the baby boomers that you know. While these generalizations are definitely not categorical, stereotyping is good for marketing. We think these are for the most part safe assumptions:
- Typically, baby boomers use their mobile phones less than younger folk. Surfing the web is more often done on a PC, less frequently on mobile devices.
- Thought from a different generation, they're still connected to the internet in a big way.
- They're more receptive to print than 20-somethings and 30-somethings. They still read the paper and magazines. They may be more likely to read direct mail than younger homeowners.
- They're more likely than younger homeowners to already have a relationship with a contractor. This is a barrier that you'll have to break, but can do that by communicating your value proposition well.
- They're engaged with the community, which means they network. Word of mouth is critical, which means that a superb customer service experience is paramount.
- More spare time in retirement means they're willing to take the time to learn about home performance related topics than a busy parent with young kids working full time. Be helpful, be educational, and you're more likely to get a great testimonial at the end of the job.
Thoughts? Feel free to chime in in the comments.