By Jeff White

What do millennials, gen exers, and baby boomers have in common?  Home improvement projects.

Until the last couple of years, home improvement retailers have focused their marketing dollars on targeting gen exers and baby boomers. But millennial homeownership has grown in recent years, and home improvement retailers have noticed.

Now that we know there are basically three different types of home improvement audiences, what do you need to know in order to market to them?

Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, or better known as the “over 50 crowd” grew up without the use of technology, but this generation is quickly becoming comfortable with it.  While some baby boomers might misinterpret a social media ad as spam, it’s important to remember that they do represent the highest value as consumers in the market today. In fact, the “over 50 crowd” accounts for 50% of all consumer expenditures, but marketers only spend 10% of their marketing dollars on them. A recent study done by Harvard University revealed that households with people 55 and older accounted for half of all the current home improvement spending.  And, as baby boomers reach their 70’s and 80’s, researchers say their investments in home modification to enhance accessibility will soar.

Gen Exers, born between 1965 and 1980, are the smallest group of the three generations, and they are also the busiest. Between raising a family, shuttling kids around, paying mortgages and tuitions, and working many hours, they still spend a lot of time online. This generation has the highest household income compared to the other two generations, and many of the Gen Exers work in a career that did not exist when they graduated from high school or college. They grew up without ever experiencing shopping online. They still enjoy the occasional in-store shopping trip, but they enjoy researching and purchasing products online even more. Gen exers typically spend more money on home improvement renovations than the other two generations, and also spend more time researching DIY vs DIFM projects (Do it for Me).

Millennials, born between 1981 and 1999, represents the largest economical force of all the generations with an annual buying impact of over $200B. They are the most connected online group of these generations, and the most responsive to online advertising and product reviews. They are the least frequent in-store shoppers and value recommendations from family, friends and social platforms. Millennials love the “next big thing” and marketers are aligning their ad dollars to more innovative solutions to keep up. One of the main reasons homeownership has grown so rapidly and become more affordable for the millennial generation is because they  tend to buy older homes that need repairs and upgrades.

Now that you better understand the home improvement audiences of each generation, you can start building media plans that better align with your advertiser’s KPI.  Here are a few tactics and recommendations that we find to be the most effective with home improvement campaigns.

  • Audience Targeting – Find users who have show interest in home improvement, DIY, or are in-market for remodeling.
  • Contextual Targeting – Reach users who are reading home and garden content.
  • Hyperlocal Targeting – Geofence their location, competitor’s locations, or home improvement and hardware stores to serve ads while someone is shopping.
  • Mobile Location Retargeting – Reach people that have been to home improvement or hardware stores in the past.
  • Retargeting – Keep your advertiser top of mind during the research phase and drive users down the funnel by serving ads to anyone that has visited their site.

Reach out to your Centro contact for more information on these and other tactics!