This year marks an exciting generational milestone – the youngest of the Baby Boomers turns 50 years of age. But they aren’t necessarily celebrating. In fact, most don’t even consider themselves to be “senior citizens,” a term their grandparents used back in “the good ol’ days” when turning 50 meant the beginning of the sunset years.
Compared with their predecessors, today’s senior is more active, expects to live longer and views retirement differently. In addition, this generation faces new financial challenges.
Change Your Marketing Approach: Using the new realities of this demographic to inform advertising strategies.}
In my many years as a marketer, I’ve seen how media consumed by seniors has changed significantly. And it will certainly evolve further as Boomers continue to age and demand more from how products and services are marketed to them.
A report by Nielsen, in collaboration with BoomAgers, shows that in five years, 50% of the U.S. population will be 50-plus. Right now, Boomers and seniors spend close to 50% of all consumer packaged goods dollars, controlling more than 70% of all disposable income. And yet, marketers gear less than 5% of advertising towards them.
Know Who You’re Targeting
We have learned through our research that if you break down the generic “senior” target into the segments below, you can reach your consumer with the right message, using the right medium, in a far more cost-effective way.
Mature Retired: Age 75+
Recently Retired: Age 65-74
Pre-Retired: Age 50-64
The Caretakers – The Ultimate Influencers: Age 36-49
Choose your Audience Carefully
As our population ages, an increasingly active and sophisticated customer is entering the senior marketplace. And they are having a profound effect on the types of marketing needed to successfully reach and convert them. As the new senior segment of the population is more clearly defined, marketing practices must evolve as each audience moves into the next stage of life.
In recent years, I have been surprised by how much pressure traditional brands are starting to face. I’m seeing new brands enter the market, making the same mistakes and misconstruing segments of audiences. With so many different targets and influencers emerging within the senior group, one size truly does not fit all, and you will need to increase the sophistication of your marketing campaigns if you want to keep up.