3 Surprising Things I’ve Learned about Marketing to Seniors in 2015
Just like the people we market to, the team at Creating Results is … well … on the “mature side.” As one of the newest and youngest team members I was asked to share my thoughts about marketing to seniors in 2015. Here are three surprising things I learned.
Seniors are Social?
They use social media? Be serious- my grandmother doesn’t go around liking my status updates or commenting on any of my daily photo uploads. But apparently your grandmother does, along with the other 56% of seniors 65+ in the U.S. that are active on Facebook these days.
Though Facebook is the most widely used social media platform by seniors, a significant 21% of 65+ adults in the U.S. are active on Linkedin.
This data further confirms research conducted in Creating Results’ ebook Social, Silver Surfers, that also found that Facebook is the most used social media platform of people over 50. Creating Results also uncovered that 70% of older adults see YouTube as well as email as social media.
Who You Calling Old?
Oddly enough when marketing to seniors – or should I say the “mature consumer” – we as advertisers have to be extremely conscious of the kind of buzzwords we use in messaging. According to Steve Olenski, a contributor for Forbes.com, seniors don’t want to be reminded that they are seniors, instead they gravitate towards concepts focusing on rich lifestyle components like adventure, travel, and leisure. Olenski also advises to concentrate on their accomplishments and their future.
However, in terms of analytics we must use those same forbidden terms to gain the most accurate results regarding our SEO efforts. Seniors may not want to be referred to as seniors, but the fact is that they use those terms in their online searches.
Just by conducting a simple keyword search in Google AdWords phrases like “active adult community” and “50+ community” or even “boomer community” are searched far less frequently than phrases like “senior community” and the forbidden phrase “retirement community.” In fact, the search term “retirement community” is used more than any of the other keyword searches.
Shoot em’ an Email!
With the marketing industry evolving and the technological advancements of today’s world, email marketing is an even more effective avenue. Email allows marketers to reach audiences like they have never done before at a much lower cost than direct print-based advertising.
Before I joined this team I knew it made sense to supplement print advertising with email advertising. However, since joining Creating Results I have seen that seniors in fact are starting to prefer direct marketing be done via email than via print avenues.
So is print advertising really the supplement to email advertising? Seniors, along with every other consumer, are more likely to engage through email/online advertising than with the tons of catalogs and brochures they are targeted to receive. According to a study conducted by DMN3, using email is among the top three online activities of Baby Boomers.
The DMN3 study also revealed that contrary to what most believe, Baby Boomers don’t spend as much time engaging with direct print advertising as they once did. It is the online components that are generating the most traffic and conversions in marketing to seniors. The most engaging online channel for senior is through search engines and the second channel is through email.
Learning in 2016
It’s that time of year when people create resolutions. Here are a few of my mature marketing resolutions.
In 2016 I hope to engage those mature consumers more through social platforms… or what they consider to be social platforms (email!).
I’m interested in learning more about retargeting through email and various social media channels. Retargeted marketing technologies developed significantly throughout 2015 and I saw this first-hand as Creating Results increased our retargeting capabilities for our own clients this year. I suspect 2016 will bring additional advances.
I can’t wait to see how developers will provide marketers with new, innovative ways to reach our target audiences of
older adults … seniors … mature consumers … PROSPECTS.