According to a new study, by ThirdAge Inc. and JWT BOOM, with over 1,210 adults 40+ years of age, over 72% of ThirdAgers access the Internet from Broadband in their homes, which is significantly more than the national average across all age groups. And, over 82% of all respondents are researching or reading information Online on health and wellness for themselves and for their families.

Sharon Whiteley, CEO of ThirdAge, said "ThirdAgers (baby boomers and mid-lifers generally in their early 40's through mid 60's) are regularly stereotyped as being technophobes and slow to jump on the technology bandwagon. However... not only are they online, they're surprisingly a formidable presence on the Internet."

According to the survey, ThirdAgers spend time on the Internet are to:

  • Seek out information (92%)
  • Stay in touch with friends and family (95%)
  • Shop online (73%)
  • Browse the Web (95%)
  • Read articles (91%)
  • Research products before purchasing offline (86%)

What they're not doing is watching videos, writing blogs, playing games or downloading music, notes the report. The report includes data that shows that:

  • Close to 108 million people are over the age of 45, more than 40 percent of the population, with the majority of the buying power in the United States
  • They account for 70 percent of the U.S. net worth, controlling $9 trillion
  • In the next 15 years, the 50-64 age popular will grow by 50 percent and the 65-plus population will grow 32 percent
  • Traditionally coveted 18-40 Gen-X and Gen-Y populations will grow only 3 percent combined

Whiteley says "... many marketers... (are not) building a trusted relationship with people who are over 40... These generations have grown up in the information age; they will seek facts, data and peer input..."

Based on survey findings, over 96% share information and details about new discoveries with their family, 84% with their children, 83% with their spouses and 71% among their co-workers making this cohort one of the most active groups in the viral marketplace.

Research results also point to the fact that marketers would do well to understand the value of an integrated media plans when marketing to ThirdAgers as 92 % visit an online Web site after they've read about it in a print article. 89 % typically visit a Web site after seeing a print ad, and 83 % visit a site after seeing a television ad.

Additional top line findings about this market segment:

  • 82% are using a desktop computer to connect online
  • 17% are using laptops
  • 73% are using Broadband to access the Internet from home
  • 82% are using the Internet to seek information around health & wellness
  • 69% get health & wellness information from doctors and medical professionals
  • 79% would respond to promotional e-mails about products and services
  • 92% have read about a Web site in a print article and then visited online
  • 89% have seen a print ad and later visited the online site
  • 83% have seen a Web site advertised on television and later visited it online
  • 65% will visit a Web site address after hearing it on a radio
ON:Boomers Hip to Web Technology. Online for Needs, Not Entertainment via @jpenabickley