Across the U.S., a new person turns 50 every seven seconds. But while aging baby boomers get most of the attention, the senior market is diverse. Relationships matter most to a 75-year-old consumer, while '60s music and a glitzy ad campaign may attract the "young" senior.
Since seniors account for about 75 percent of all U.S. wealth, there's money to be made with this population. To better understand this market and make sales, you'll need a three-part strategy:
- Learn about the different needs of the over-50 market.
- Design a senior-friendly marketing and communications strategy.
- Take advantage of expert resources to develop your message.
Trump the competitionYour competitors may ignore the senior market, and you can capture it through a renewed focus on customer service, a welcoming atmosphere and large-print ads.
Sharpen your messageNot all seniors are alike. Marketers cite a major difference between traditional "mature folks" — age 65 and above — and younger baby boomers known for their independence.
Hire them, tooDon't just sell to seniors. If you want to be senior-friendly, hire seniors as full- or part-time employees who can talk up your company and help older customers.
Find the best listsNeed a national or regional mailing list of active senior consumers? List brokers break down information on some of the most targeted U.S. markets.
Don't forget the WebMore and more seniors are taking to the information superhighway, and experts forecast this trend will continue as more baby boomers reach age 50.
National Institute on Aging.
- If you have a retail store, consider large-letter signage and wider aisles among other changes.
- Free trials and money-back guarantees are concepts that can improve senior response to your message.
- Be patient. Unlike younger consumers, seniors may not be in a hurry to make major purchases.
- Convene an informal focus group of seniors to evaluate your product and your marketing approach.