What is your reaction to this headline?
As with any broad declarations like the one made in the headline, further investigation reveals underlying complexities.
For one thing, this neat cut between old and young does not stand up to the facts. A significant number of baby boomers buy more over the Internet than many younger segments. Besides, older folks represent the largest, growing segment of the population with the most wealth.
Research shows unprecedented adoption of interactive media by the older generation.
In her October 6, 2007 New York Times article entitled The Web, Despite Its Promise, Fails to Snare Iowa Voters, Julie Bosman compares the effectiveness of the Internet in the presidential campaign in Iowa versus New Hampshire.
“Yet even the campaigns concede that many caucus goers in Iowa are happily encased in an old-media bubble, immune to the digital overtures of the modern presidential campaign and much more tuned in to commercials on television than to videos on a candidate’s Web site.
… Though the typical caucus voters here are avid followers of the news, they get their information in traditional ways. They read the morning papers, watch the network news and tune in to the Sunday news programs with the fervor of Washington political operatives.”
In New Hampshire:
"New Hampshire voters, by contrast, appear more plugged in. Many residents live in the Boston media market and work in the technology industry. And while local blogs are scarce in Iowa, they have proliferated in New Hampshire.”
It is clear that the market continues to evolve and based on this article, it appears that there are geographic differences that transcend age.
Regardless of age, people consume the Internet, email, broadcast, print, direct mail and all media in various degrees based on their personal preferences. That's why strong direct marketers sell to people the way they want to be sold.