Wondering how to target seniors for marketing? That’s understandable. They’re a unique demographic. The good news is it’s not too difficult to market to “older” folks. You just need to understand their lifestyle. This post tells you everything you need to know about marketing to seniors, and if you still have questions at the end, it tells you where to get the answers.
If you’ve decided to invest in reaching an older demographic, you’re a wise businessman or businesswoman. If others doubt your choice, pass them these facts:
Most of Your Consumers are Older, Not Younger
Baby Boomers Have Buying Power and They’re Buying
Seniors are Far More Tech Savvy than You Think
Like any smart marketing manager or business owner, you want to know more about your target audience so you can market to them effectively. You want to put yourself in their shoes. But, if you’re in your 20s, 30s, or 40s how do you do this?
We’re going to help by telling a quick story. Pretend for a minute you’re a fly on the wall observing the following scenario:
A Day in the Life of “Older” Folks
At 59, life is still pretty good for Marty. He gets up at about 8am, and enjoys a full breakfast while browsing his smart phone or tablet for 45 minutes. He checks out the news, goes to Amazon to look at the deals of the day, and then looks at Facebook to see what new pictures his kids have posted.
Today his oldest son posted pictures of his family decorating their house for Christmas. Marty remembers how fun it was to celebrate Christmas when his kids were young. So, he searches Amazon for presents for the grandkids and purchases a few. The grandkids will be excited to get them.
Moments later, Marty’s outside raking leaves. He can’t believe there’s still no snow in December. There used to be tons of snow this time of year when he was a kid. But, it’s nice to have warm weather when he’s outside. Soon, he’ll have to hire someone to do some of the yardwork, he thinks to himself, as he realizes his back pain has made it harder to do a full day of yard work.
Later Marty takes a bike ride with his friend Pete who he has a lot in common with. They stop for a bite at a café after their ride and Pete fills him in on the vacation he’s planning with this wife. Marty realizes how fun it would be to take a vacation and makes a note to talk to his wife about making plans for a trip. Before leaving, they chuckle over the scene across the street. A younger couple is debating a large purchase. If only we knew then what we know now, Marty says with a grin.
Just as Marty’s returning home, his wife pulls in. She still works part-time. They chat for a while and then get ready for dinner. They talk to their kids on Skype afterwards and learn their second son was in a minor car accident. Both Marty and his wife are thankful that he bought a reliable and dependable car even though it cost a bit more and they had to help him pay for it.
Marty and his wife head to bed thinking life is pretty good.
This story is typical of the “older” generation’s experiences and lifestyle. And, as I’m sure you could tell, they have clear values, beliefs, and preferences. Your marketing needs to target those. It needs to be relevant to someone like Marty.
Maybe you still need a bit of help figuring out how to market to senior citizens? No problem. Here are five ways to market to the boomer generation:
1. Create Messages That Get to the Point
“Mature” folks have been around the block a time or two. They’ve learned life’s lessons, and they’re confident in the choices they’ve made. So, there’s no need to tease them with your marketing. Instead, get straight to the point. The best marketing messages for seniors are clear, simple, clean, and straightforward.
2. Remember How Much They Care About Their Family
“Older” consumers are very focused on their children and grandchildren. They want to provide for them and help them. Marketing should keep this fact in mind.
Show “older” consumers how your products help the ones they love. They’ll be more apt to buy from you and pass along your information. They’ll also be more likely to view your product, service, or company favorably.
You’ll be the company that helps them take care of the most important people in their life.
3. Create a User-Friendly Call to Action
Yes, seniors are spending a lot of time on their smart phones and tablets. And, yes, they are far more tech savvy than people realize. But, they are still aging.
They may have been able to spend an entire weekend gardening, mowing the lawn, and keeping up with the grandkids 5 years ago, but now they’re starting to think about hiring help. They’re preparing for the reality that they won’t be able to do as much as they used to. You’re marketing needs to be respectfully sensitive to this.
When you ask them to sign up for a newsletter or download a free guide, make the process clear and simple. If possible, let them sign up or download without having to load a new page. If they do have to load a new page, make sure it’s easy for them to follow through on what you’re asking them to do.
They want to be independent and do things on their own. If they can’t, instead of asking for help, they’ll go to another site or company.
4. Gain Their Trust Then Ask Them to Share
By the time people reach their 50s, they tend to have a small but very close group of friends. They’re connected to potentially like-minded people who trust their opinion. This means you have an opportunity to gain additional exposure with a single message.
Marketing campaigns that target seniors should build trust. Once a relationship has been established, ask them to share your product or service with their friends and offer them an incentive for sharing as a thank you.
5. Emphasize Value and Dependability Over Price
Boomers have more disposable income. They’re also wiser than younger consumers. They’re more interested in products that last. This means they care more about value, longevity, and dependability.
Don’t emphasize a lower price in your marketing. Instead, focus on how your product outlasts the competition, is safer, and more reliable. Quality sells with “older” folks.
Now that you know how to market to seniors, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you move forward.
1. Seniors use Social Media
Baby boomers spend more time on Facebook than any other social networking site because they primarily use Facebook to stay connected to friends and family. This means you should focus your marketing efforts on Facebook, not Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.
2. They Also use Smart Phones and Tablets
Seniors have more leisure time. They will spend some of this time browsing the web on their smart phone or tablet. Make your website responsive so that boomers can easily research your product or service on these devices.
3. Seniors Watch TV
The 50+ crowd watches more TV than the younger generations. They’re also staying with cable and not switching to sites like Hulu and Netflix. Sticking with traditional marketing methods, such as television ads, will prove fruitful. Just look at how frequently the pharmaceutical industry uses television ads for direct-to-consumer marketing. A lot of those ads target seniors.
By now you’ve learned more about the lifestyle of the 50+ crowd. You’ve also learned five ways to market to them and some ideas for reaching them. If you still have questions about how to setup a marketing strategy that targets seniors, or you simply need a bit more guidance, reach out to your local digital marketing agency. They will give you all the help you need at an affordable cost.
Source for all statistics:
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