In the business world today, there is one demographic that has come to capture the attention of most marketers – the millennials. There is no doubt that millennials are the favored demographic for marketers as nearly every article, advertisement, and study is aimed at understanding and drawing in millennials. Is this concentrated effort worth it? Are we, in so doing, neglecting another large base of individuals? The answer to that question is, yes. In fact, one critically underestimated group is seniors. This abundantly large group of individuals is very frequently overlooked by companies, which could be considered a marketing mistake,since targeting this untapped group has many profitable advantages.
For one, seniors have a great deal of money. A recent study found that 70% of all disposable income in the United States is expected to come from the expanding senior demographic within the next five years. Why is this? Well, the senior community is growing every day. In fact, according to AARP, about 10,000 adults celebrate their 65th birthday and become seniors every day. This rapidly growing group of individuals has been largely neglected by marketing groups, but it is not based on any sort of rationality. Seniors are more apt to look into new products because they have more time and are usually in a more comfortable financial situation.
Better data means better customer profiles. Collecting data about consumers’ buying habits and demographics (including age, gender, location, occupation, etc.) is invaluable. You can use this data to create customer profiles, which essentially provide a detailed profile of your different target customers. The better your customer profiles, the more you can target your direct marketing efforts.
Many marketers claim that seniors are simply not a convenient market because they do not use technology and social media in the way that most others do. However, surveys have shown that seniors do, in fact, use technology and social media.They are also one of the most open demographics to new products. This false stereotype has persisted contrary to the evidence. Seniors use their phones and social media differentlythan most others. A large number of seniors say their primary motivation for using social media is to connect and stay connected with family. Most millennials use it for differing reasons.
Despite what most marketers and big companies think, seniors can be reached in the same ways that millennials can be reached. One method of marketing that has already proven to be very successful amongst seniors is texting. Seniors understand the basic concept behind texting and they usually respond very well to advertisements of that sort. To them, it is not foreign. For businesses, that should be very encouraging. Marketing via texting is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to market.
At the end of the day, every business should take into consideration this overlooked demographic. It has the potential to be very lucrative with few deviations from the mechanisms used to target millennials. The appreciation for the simple forms of marketing in the senior community makes reaching out to them easy and effective.