Robert Sofia, co-founder and CEO of Snappy Kraken, said he understood why the audience at Financial Advisor magazine’s 10th annual Inside Retirement conference in Atlanta, Ga. might be skeptical of his expertise on his chosen topic, “The Ultimate Boomer Marketing Plan.’’

After all, Sofia is a 30-something, presumably with years to go before he retires.

“If I were you, I might ask myself, “What qualifies this person to speak on the subject of (baby boomer retirement). Well, I’ve actually spent my entire life studying baby boomers,’’ Sofia said, and with that, a projection screen showed a vintage photo of the Sofia family of four children and two baby boomer parents enjoying a vacation about 30 years ago.

The Ormond Beach, Fla.-based Snappy Kraken is a technology and automation company that specializes in creating software marketing programs for investment companies, insurers, broker-dealers, RIAs and custodians.

Sofia’s early financial services career included advising residents of The Villages in Florida, where about 75,000 people of the baby boomer and Silent Generation lived within a five-mile radius. Baby boomers, typically people born from 1946 through 1964, number about 76 million in the United States.

“The baby boomer market is massive; it’s in the 55- to 75-year-old range, with a large part of the generation in its 50s, or about 10 to 20 years to capitalize on their financial planning needs,’’ Sofia said.

Another upside to acquiring boomer clients is that their children, many in the age range of 40 to 50, are beginning to seek financial planning advice for their retirement.

Sofia said financial advisors must differentiate themselves from the pack -- most marketing campaigns are of the cookie-cutter variety -- starting with understanding what makes the boomer tick: Get to know their values and what they care about. “Understand their persona and what resonates with them. If you do, the client will say, “This  person gets me.’ ‘’

Boomers well remember life before social media, but Sofia said, 90 percent of boomers use Facebook, so if you want to reach them, use social media. The average boomer spends 27 hours a week online (11 hours on  Facebook alone), 68 percent regularly watch videos online, and they prefer communicating by long form text, he said.

Successful marketing is specific to the interests and needs of clients, Sofia said, and since  boomers prefer to meet other boomers in social settings, planners should organize gatherings around their interests, such as a golf outing, a wine tasting or charity event. Invite your client and tell them to bring a friend.

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