Trivia & Facts

How to Advertise to Seniors and Baby Boomers in 2020

Selling to Senior Citizens

10 Tips to Marketing to Seniors (Best Way to Advertise to Seniors)

Know Your Market

In the same way that every automobile isn’t a Ford, every member of the mature market isn’t a “senior.” Those over 50 are part of a multi-segmented group, each segment having its own wants and needs.

What’s more, each age segment can be defined further by income, ethnic status, health, discretionary time, and more.

Is your target market in their early fifties, possibly with children still in college and likely still part of the working force?

Are you talking to those in their early 60’s who may well have impending retirement and health concerns?

The point is, when it comes to the mature market, one size does not fit all. It’s important that you identify the segment to whom you are selling and take the time to incorporate that knowledge in everything from your copy and design to your choice of media.

Just the Facts, Please

“Been there, done that,” may well be the battle cry of the over 50 sets. The most effective sales messages to this group explain in a clear and straightforward way exactly why they should be interested in what you have to offer and exactly what benefits they will receive.

Build Relationships

As a whole, this market values personal ties and will take the time to get to know you and your product or service. Experience tells them that few things require an instant decision. It’s unlikely that they will respond well to pressure tactics.

Use Lifestage Marketing

Life-changing events (a child’s marriage, retirement, moving, health problems, etc.) are defining moments for this market. Use these events to create connections. For example, market fitness products by focusing on the parents’ free time now that the kids are gone – or financial services products that provide enough post-retirement security for a dream vacation.

Educate the Market

Some of the most successful campaigns educate the market on real-life concerns while subtly slipping the product message in between the lines. American Express, for example, built its pre-retirement base by sponsoring seminars on fraudulent telemarketing. Promotional events were low-key, but those attending knew the sponsor cared enough to help them protect their money

Design with Eyes in Mind

No matter how young they may feel and act, diminished vision is a fact of life for most people over the age of 50. Set type in a readable size (12 points is recommended) and use plenty of white space, bold headlines, and subheads to make a copy a pleasure, rather than a chore to read.

Consider the column width when designing. While the long copy is acceptable to this group, which overall prefers a strong rationale for buying, shorter columns are easier to read than typeset across an entire page width.

In photography and graphics, four-color is preferable to black and white. Choose models with some sensitivity to your market.

Clearly, today’s over-50 group is not confined to rocking chairs…or to the golf course. Use photography and art that reflect the lifestyle of the group to whom you are speaking.

Avoid Scare Tactics

Scare tactics and discouraging news about aging won’t motivate this group to act or buy.

Consider this: Seven in ten people over 50 say they love to try new things; roughly 10 percent of those attending college are over 50; health club memberships by this group are up nearly 150 percent since 1988.

Direct marketers who recognize the joys of aging stand a much better chance of reaching this market.

Don’t Call Them Names

Probably the quickest way to turn off the younger members of the over-50 group is by offering them “senior” discounts, or products designed for “seniors.”

When speaking to those over 65, it pays to avoid labels such as “old” and “elderly”.

As one ad executive says, “the only label these people like is ‘grandparent’.”

Demonstrate Your Credibility

If your company has been in business for 25 years, say so. If you’re new on the block, emphasize your commitment to customer service.

Testimony from satisfied clients, research results, professional endorsements, documentation, and evidence are all key copy elements.

Remove the Risk

Offer a money-back guarantee, free trial period, or lifetime warranty. Reassure the reader that there are real human beings at the other end of the correspondence.

Use names in your copy as you talk about the people who will be making the product, handling the account, or providing the service you offer.

We hope these tips have helped you rethink how you market to seniors. Being old does not mean being old-fashioned. Seniors are young at heart, active, and modern.

Our needs are not limited to adult diapers and orthopedic shoes, we also appreciate nice cars, fashion, and the love of travel.

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