This is a blog intended for businesses wondering how they can tap into the mature consumer market. You may have heard some passing statistics or have noticed more articles appearing lately, referencing this age group and its impact on the economy and business.
For those who don’t know me, I am the publisher and owner of the magazine INSPIRED Senior Living. I’ve published inspiring articles about people in this age group since 2004. During this time, I’ve gotten to know our readers really well…and also the businesses that market to our readers.
To give you a little background: In addition to the magazine, we have an expansive website with thousands of related articles, and we’ve placed advertising on behalf of hundreds of businesses who want to reach this segment of the consumer market. Twice a year we host a one day lifestyle show event that attracts over 180 exhibitors and 3500 attendees. I am also the author of a Canadian bestseller book, “To Move Or Not To Move? A Helpful Guide for Seniors Considering Their Residential Options”.
I’ve scrutinized and engaged this market segment from many angles. I have both the scars and the trophies to go with these achievements, but more importantly, I have firsthand experiences, discoveries and knowledge to share.
As an entrepreneur I understand the concerns of business owners, managers and marketers – particularly around advertising. In the postings and pages on this site, you will find an ever increasing library of research, links to resources, statistics, articles, and survey findings. I’ll share my personal views on the subject of age and marketing. I’m particularly eager to discuss the challenges of marketing to a demographic that we primarily define by age, not by who they are or what they are interested in. And herein lay the distinctions that I believe cause some of the marketing confusion.
Until a consumer reaches about age 50, marketers tend to downplay the age factor. Instead, they focus on interests, or interests combined with gender. You are a cyclist. You are a coffee drinker. You are woman that wants to take care of her skin. You are a man that judges success by the car you drive.
When a consumer is over the age of 50, however, advertisers seem to drop the ball, not sure whether they should be throwing long or short. Suddenly they don’t know their customer. They pack up their ball and go looking for another game where they feel on familiar turf. They go back to marketing to a younger crowd.
Research tells us 85% of marketing is aimed at young consumers. That leaves only 15% directed at the mature consumer.
What makes this so disproportionate is that 50% of todays adult consumers are over the age of 50. The players on the field have shifted dramatically but the business and marketing world has not shifted with it.
Those who study these trends say businesses that fail to make this adjustment in their marketing will feel the repercussions in increasing waves as the Boomer generation continues to move into the 65+ demographic. The interesting thing is that while new industries will spring up to accommodate the health and aging needs of this consumer group, many existing businesses don’t need to come up with new products — they just need to market their products to a generation that has shifted into a different age bracket.
Yes, there are definitely industries that will need to tweak their products to make them easier to use for someone with decreased agility, but what most Boomers are saying, and proving, is…they’re taking their interests with them, they’re not giving them up as they pass the 65 year goal line. The game is not over, by a long shot.
This is good news. Kayakers at 40 will still be kayaking when they’re 70. Guys that buy sporty SUVs at 45 will still buy sporty SUVs at 75… or they might buy that new luxury model, switching it up from sporty to something more elegant and refined.
What makes marketers crazy is some are downsizing while others are building bigger homes. Some are looking for a second home/vacation rental in a sunny climate. Some are moving into a retirement residence or condo where they don’t have to shovel snow off the walk, leaving them free to take long stretches of time to go cruising or on that adventure safari they’ve dreamed of all their life. Their bucket lists are endless.
Figuring out what floats the boat of a person over 50 is the first question to entertain. Don’t even bother asking their age. They may not tell you. Age is just a number to them…it’s not a condition and it’s certainly not going to prevent them from doing what they love and want to do.
So this site is about celebrating a new era in marketing. A new era in our economy. A new era in the evolvement of society and in our thinking, particularly when it comes to age.
If you are curious about future trends, I invite you to check out more of the articles on this site.
If you want to become more targeted in reaching this massive mature consumer market, please visit our website at www.seniorlivingmag.com or email us at email@example.com for more information and display advertising rates for our magazine INSPIRED Senior Living.
You can also ask about a multi media campaign that includes our website and our 55+Lifestyle Shows.
Barbara Risto is the publisher of INSPIRED Senior Living magazine, with headquarters in Victoria, British Columbia CANADA.