While millennials may be the hardest to ignore and the most vocal about what they do – and don’t – want to see, you’re shooting yourself in the foot if you aren’t spending a lot of your time and resources targeting the older crowd.
You may offer a “Senior Citizen’s Discount,” but it’s unwise to discount the seniors as a group. Roughly 10,000 baby boomers are entering the senior segment on a daily basis shares Pew Research Center. They’re definitely a unique demographic, but marketing to them doesn’t have to be difficult.
Why You Should Invest In Marketing to Seniors
Unless you’re selling something like college textbooks or rad hiphop wear, most of your consumers are of the older persuasion, not younger. By far, baby boomers are the largest age group in existence, and they like to spend! They’re looking for a little guidance in how they can better their lives, and a well-delivered marketing message can get their attention.
- Their expenditures are greater than any other age group across all product categories, making them one of your biggest profit assets.
- They spend $400 billion more than all other generations each year, accounting for half of all dollars spent on consumer goods.
- They control 70% of all disposable household income in the U.S, giving them more purchasing power than anyone.
Including them in your campaign should be a no-brainer! And have no fear of using online campaigns. Older folk actually tend to be more tech savvy than what you think. In fact, they spend more time online than the younger crowd. According to the Pew’s Internet & American Life Project, the 74-plus demographic was the fastest growing demographic among social networks in 2010. They pay attention to ads they see on social media and research those products before buying.
How to Reach Seniors
Reaching the seniors (and baby boomers), shouldn’t be very difficult at all. They’re utilizing a variety of media platforms every day, so are open to approaches from all angles. Older Americans are watching television, listening to radio, paying attention to Spotify, Facebooking, and watching Youtube. They’re also still reading the paper and subscribing to magazines. That means multichannel marketing is going to be the best approach to take, but you’ve got to be thoughtful. What you put out there on different channels should complement each other, not create confusion.
For the first half of their lives, they communicated via telephone, so your tone should be one that is conversational, yet informative. They’ll connect with content that is relatable, easy-to-digest, and educational.
Actionable Tips For Marketing to Seniors
- Think “Active Wisdom.” Age has given this crew wisdom, but it hasn’t slowed them down a bit. They’re out there doing all the things they wish they could have done when they were younger: taking exotic vacations, playing extreme sports, and more. They’re all about the next experience and adventure.
- Use Real Examples. Seniors aren’t impressed by the numbers. They’re looking to see examples of how real people have benefited from using your products. They want testimonials, reviews, and quotes from users.
- Keep It Simple. These folks didn’t grow up with a smartphone attached to their hand. If you’re looking to drive them to your online store, make the process as easy and straightforward as possible. They don’t like to ask questions or ask for help, so if your system isn’t intuitive enough, they’ll move on to one that is.
- Keep Things Active. Remember they’re active, so using images of older people sitting around their living room using your products aren’t what they want to see. Come up with more active ways to use them. Need some inspiration? Picture Depends’ ads displaying attractive, active people, implying that a little urinary incontinence doesn’t slow them down.
- Cater to Varying Groups. This age group is huge, so there are many differences between individuals based not only on their age, but their location, as well. Your conversion rate can really get a boost if you focus on specific senior groups.
- Establish Trust. More than ever, consistency will help to build trust. Do what you say you’re going to do (and avoid what you say you won’t). Use every opportunity throughout the buying process to strengthen their trust in your brand. Let them know you’ll never spam them and that their private information is safe with you. Give them reasons why you need this information and what it means to their experience. Your emphasis on security will go a long way. Offer money-back-guarantees.
- Be a Teacher. Boomers don’t want to be sold to by pushy sales tactics or empty words. They want facts, figures and solid information. Teach them about your product. They may need a little time to digest, so be prepared to make print media available.
- Focus on Value. This group is less price sensitive, since they have five times the net worth of the average American. Focus on the value of your product, not the cost. That will resonate more with this group.
Keep in Mind
Baby boomers of today are not made of the same stuff their parents were. (Well, maybe a little, but that’s beside the point.) They are tough, vibrant, young-at-heart, and active. They’re healthier and happier than ever before. They don’t want to be perceived as old any more than they want to be old. Your marketing campaign should put you in places seniors are likely to look, but you need to make sure you don’t talk to them like they can’t understand you. A few of them may be wearing hearing aids, but they’re hip to what’s going on.
Older adults aren’t drawn in by trendy jargon, slang, or internet acronyms unlike their younger audiences. They “want information that is clear, honest, and concise, and makes them feel valued as people,” sums up Karina Tama-Rutigliano in Forbes.
This is definitely one group of people that should not be overlooked. The opportunities with this generation are immense. Marketers acting more like educators than sales people will be able to help baby boomers and seniors in choosing the products that are best for their lifestyles. They’ll appreciate your straightforward approach in your content and may just become customers for life. If you’re looking for specific, actionable items catered to your products and services, Clock Tower Insight can put together an individualized report for you.