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    Marketing to the 50+ crowd: A booming opportunity

    Marketing to the 50+ crowd: A booming opportunity

    Weeks before his 70th birthday, my colleague quipped, “I still don’t like being called a ‘senior.’ Unless there’s a good discount attached.”

    The joke leans on an aging, coupon-clipping stereotype that should be retired. My boomer colleague is part of an adaptable, active, tech-forward cohort who cannot be overlooked, largely because they also hold more than half of America’s wealth.

    Ogilvy’s 2030 Forecast asserts 60+ is the fastest-growing and wealthiest consumer class, representing a lucrative “silver economy” for product and service brands. This is especially true in large urban centers. So, how can marketers reach this broad and profitable segment? And what messaging will most appeal to their unique perspective and values? 

    This article explores actionable insights and best practices for marketers aiming to captivate the booming boomers.

    One size does not fit all

    First, it is essential to acknowledge the breadth and heterogeneity of the 50-80+ cohort. That’s over thirty years of biological, psychological and social diversity, not to mention varied interests, economic means, technological proficiency and media consumption habits. 

    Do not try to fit this sprawling generation into a one-size-fits-all box. Rather, leverage machine learning to parse your mature marketing into clusters and create more personalized targeting and messaging strategies for these subsegments under the boomer umbrella.

    Experience is everything

    Values for this age group center around:

    • Quality of life, including emotional connection, personal well-being and financial security.
    • Autonomy and independence as they live longer and spend more time bonding with family and like-minded friends and neighbors.

    A genuine interest in their communities and charities, plus ways to give back or share their life experiences, provides an entry point for brand messaging that aligns with their aspirations.

    When it comes to spending, affluent North American boomers are drawn to experiences with lasting value. This makes them a great target for adventure, luxury or wellness travel and event-based promotions. They spend more than other groups on material goods that cater to quality of life, such as health supplements and assistive technology.

    Financial planning, investment advice, legal and health apps and services are top service categories, with hobbies and crafts, DIY projects, cooking, gardening and pet wellness as key interest areas among various subgroups of this generally affluent and retired demographic.

    Happy days 

    Despite the proliferation of digital platforms, television remains a media cornerstone for broad swaths of the 50+ audience, followed by terrestrial radio. The digital ecosystem is replete with scams targeting vulnerable users, which is eroding trust among the upper age tiers.

    Baby boomers generally value authenticity, accuracy and trustworthiness in advertising, making TV an effective marketing vehicle as it tops consumer reports for trustworthiness, attention and recall compared to social media ads. Conversely, Statista data shows baby boomers report lower-than-average ad recall on music portals and streaming services: further evidence to support the use of traditional broadcast in your marketing mix.

    TV is as efficient as it is effective. CTV and streaming platform CPMs can be as much as 10 times greater than the cost of premium television advertising.

    Dig deeper: 4 tips to get the most out of CTV advertising

    Give credit where credit is due

    While TV is crucial, assuming your mature audience is not receptive across channels would be a miss. The “digital divide” is a fallacy as 50+ audiences:

    • Have keenly adopted smart technology.
    • Dominate the social platforms Facebook and X. 
    • Outnumber other generations on Amazon.
    • Outspend on Temu.

    Omnichannel marketing strategies allow for niche targeting, personalization and the kind of trust-building connection that resonates with boomer audiences in various contexts and at different points of their decision journey. 

    In awareness campaigns, consider combining national linear TV with connected TV using story-driven 15- and 30-second ads to communicate important product information focusing on value. This will also help build awareness with the soon-to-be 50+ audience who may not subscribe to cable television.

    Positive, descriptive peer reviews can boost purchase confidence during consideration. Finally, Millward Brown research shows desktop is preferred to mobile for online shopping, making it a priority among lower-funnel tactics. Clear links to privacy policies and company contact information on your website and landing pages further establish trust and credibility. And maybe a discount is worth testing.

    Dig deeper: The omnichannel opportunity: A path to seamless experiences

    Let’s be clear

    While we don’t want to unfairly age the aging, it is reasonable to acknowledge that physical and cognitive decline may in some cases affect their digital experience. Therefore, designing campaigns with accessibility in mind is not only ethical but also of strategic advantage.

    Use legible fonts, clear visual cues and user-friendly navigation. Explore compatibility with assistive technologies to ensure you are meeting your target audience’s information processing needs.

    Repackage seniority

    As my colleague noted, baby boomers prefer not to be reminded of their age. Too often, marketing campaigns aimed at older demographics rely on clichés and outdated portrayals, alienating potential consumers. Instead, embracing diversity and authenticity is key to resonating with this audience.

    By representing the 50+ demographic in all its complexity, marketers can forge genuine connections and foster trust with their target audience. This entails moving beyond narrow depictions of aging and celebrating the richness of life experiences that characterize this stage of life. This crowd benefits from hindsight, insight and foresight. That’s 360-degree wisdom, which should not be undermined.

    Marketing to the 50+ crowd presents a booming opportunity for brands that acknowledge the target’s individuality, intelligence and evolving needs. Controlling most U.S. assets, this consumer class deserves a nuanced and personalized approach. Making television part of an omnichannel marketing strategy with messaging that promotes experiential value and well-being is a starting point for gaining the attention of this trust-forward cohort. 

    Without propagating stereotypes, design mindfully for accessibility to ensure optimal cognitive processing and recall. By embracing the demographic’s complexity and wealth of experience, marketers can forge meaningful and lasting relationships grounded in mutual respect.

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    The post Marketing to the 50+ crowd: A booming opportunity appeared first on MarTech.

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