How to Market to The Not-So-Silent Generation

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By: 321

December 23, 2015

While the millennials of the world are quick to proclaim themselves as ready to transform the ancient ways of generations past, they may easily underestimate and overlook the powerful market of 65-plusers and how this demographic is still highly influential. Nowadays, 65 is the new 45 and people want to stay relevant and continue living exciting, active lives. So how can you market to this revitalized and redefined Silent Generation, many of whom are willing to at least dip their toes into the world of internet marketing, social media, and mobile apps?


Be Classic, But Not Too Classic
While the typical ad targeted to seniors feature a happy, smiling couple embracing by the ocean, hair perfectly blowing in the wind, there is a certain amount of authenticity lacking. Many marketing experts recommend casting models 10-15 years younger than the targeted demographic when, in fact, a gray hair or a few wrinkles can be overlooked when the person seems like they are enjoying life, staying physically active, and feeling engaged. Sandra Timmermann, executive director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute concludes, “They want to see the person doing something that is relevant to their life, not necessarily to their age.” So while the classic beach scene may seem like exactly what seniors wish to be doing with their presumed endless amount of free time, they very much still value their time as retirees and would perhaps be more likely to visualize themselves working together on a project or engaging with others in a social setting.


Culture is Key
One size does not fit all to this demographic and it is vital to embrace the diverse niches within the “Not-So-Silent Generation” and how their cultural differences influence what they view as a realistic or desirable.  A recent Pew poll found that seniors cited “having more time with family” and “spending time with grandchildren” as the things they valued most while loneliness and isolation were their biggest fears. With more seniors becoming primary caretakers of grandchildren or making large monetary contributions for them, the role of grandparent goes far beyond buying the grandchildren toys on holidays. This concept can build a sturdy foundation for an effective marketing campaign. Suddenly, the stereotypical couple-on-the-beach scenario becomes a fun and rowdy family gathering, an art project with younger kids, or even a vacation with just the grandchildren. Studies show that other cultural nuances to pay attention to include community, spirituality, independence, and education.


Keep It Simple 
Studies by the Pew Research Center found that in 2014, 74%  of senior citizens used a mobile device and more than 39 million had social media profiles. When it comes to the actual formatting and design of marketing materials aimed at 65-plusers the key is to keep it simple. Instead of a colorful photo collage, use plain backgrounds, minimal copy, and softer colors. Include relatable language, don’t be vague in your message, and state informative facts. Older consumers are more likely to want evidence and reliable testimonies before making a purchasing decision. If you are enticing them to download a mobile app or take up a new form of technology make the onboarding user experience as easy as possible with minimal steps that don’t ask too many questions or require a lot of personal information. 
Remember that although much of the 65+ audience are willing to expand their technological horizons, they were not raised in an environment where technology was a daily part of life and many actions that come naturally to younger ones may take more time for them to adopt. Now more than ever we must realize the growing potential of this market and gladly let them into the high-tech bubble of the 21st century. 
At 321 we closely study the key demographics of our clients, including those aged 65 and older, as we strive to create ads, videos, websites, apps, and more that appeal to what really matters to them as individuals. Contact us to find out how we can impact your audience.

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