Today’s marketers spend considerable time and resources trying to figure out how to reach the ever increasing millennial market. Even though millennials occupy the largest portion of the population (75.3 million), focusing on them exclusively means missing out on other equally important demographics. Many marketers have started to refocus their efforts towards an alternative high spending population segment – baby boomers and senior citizens.
The senior market comprises four major groups:
- Pre-Retirees (50-65): The term senior generally starts at 55 years of age and up, but many people turning 50 are also planning for retirement. Additionally, younger spouses (ages 45-54) married to older retirees are often ready to make financial changes and pre-retirement decisions.
- Grandparents and Relatives (50+): Grandparents and older family members deserve separate segmentation, because they often spend their money on relatives.
- Active Retirees (65+): This refers to seniors who no longer earn active income. Their money is sourced from savings, assets, Social Security, pensions, and more. This segment of the population exists on a “fixed income”.
- Late Retirees (65-75): Similarly to pre-retirees, this segment encompasses age groups above the standard retirement age who are still working.
Why Market to Seniors?
While seniors do respond to traditional advertisements, they are increasingly tech-savvy – mobile and social media in particular. When creating products and services targeted for seniors, understand that they are increasingly active, and happily pursue hobbies and entertainment. They are more than they appear to be.
The majority of major brands (approximately 65%) frequently choose to overlook this 50+ age segment, which is a big mistake. Close to 70% of all the disposable income in the United States is held in the hands of this age bracket within the next five years, and almost 10,000 adults turn 65 every day. This means that the senior age group has 45 times the spending power of their younger counterparts. Clearly they deserve the attention of marketers.
How to Reach the Senior Market
Reaching senior requires an understanding of how to communicate with them. Here are seven tips to help you be more effective.
1. Relevance: It goes without saying that all marketing communication should be relevant to the intended audience, but this is especially true when targeting seniors. People over 65 appreciate straightforward messaging – they don’t need games or clever advertisements. Using clear, thoughtful language and avoiding trendy words will help considerably. “Reasons why” and product endorsements from individuals also work well.
2. Simplicity: When developing your programs, keep the user experience simple and straightforward, as you would with any task you ask your buyers to perform. Everything from onboarding to check out should be uncomplicated and easy to use. While seniors are much more familiar with technology than most people think, it’s important to understand how to connect with an older audience without relying solely on technology to drive conversions.
3. Exclusivity: Building gated, exclusive offers and promotions that target seniors, like sale days, free deliveries, birthday gifts, etc., will help considerably. The goal is to create campaigns that give seniors a sense of pride and value. This also means enabling seniors to easily share your offers – word of mouth is always an effective promotional tool.
4. Trust: When asking seniors for personal details, make sure they understand why the information is needed and how it supports their overall shopping experience. It helps to reinforce that their private information is safe and secure. Both testimonials and money back guarantees can also help foster trust.
5. Personalization: Don’t assume all of your customers are similar because they’re part of the same demographic. Not everyone over the age of 55 likes or cares about the same things. Make it a priority to customize your marketing and communication strategy to reflect your target audience’s education, cultural upbringing, location, employment status, and more. It’s also important to avoid stereotypes. And don’t assume that one message across all age groups will work, tailor your tone for each segment.
6. Support: Stay in touch with customers post-purchase. Senior citizens want to feel connected to the companies they do business with. By acting as a trusted brand, you show them that you care. This includes being responsive and helpful regarding support issues to ensure they don’t encounter the same problems again.
7. Visuals: Image selection is a very important factor when marketing to seniors. When selecting images to accompany your content, keep in mind that most people see themselves about 5-10 years younger than they are. You always want customers to connect to the image of a person they believe could be them.
Following these guidelines will help you effectively communicate with seniors and ensure your marketing campaigns are successful.
SheerID’s Digital Verification Platform enables brands to market their senior offer broadly — verifying eligibility instantly within the brand’s experience, and providing a seamless purchase process for the consumer.
Learn more about senior verification. Or contact us to set up a free demo.
For more information on how to leverage the power of gated offers to tap into the senior market, read the following blog posts: