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Today we went live on Amazon with the latest e-book in our “Social, Silver Surfers” study of Boomers’ and seniors’ digital marketing preferences.

This one-of-a-kind proprietary national study of 40+ers began in 2010. That first Social, Silver Surfers effort resulted in a small PDF that captured what older adults like / don’t like about websites and social media. Creating Results repeated and expanded our research in 2013, this time publishing an Amazon e-book which captures the data and related marketing recommendations.

The most important result, however, has been the improved effectiveness of our client’s digital marketing programs.

We’ve also received positive feedback from those who are targeting Baby Boomers and seniors in a variety of industries. These marketing pros tell us their ROI improved by applying the tips from Social, Silver Surfers.

That motivated us to go even further with this new e-book.

The latest edition features new segments (Mobile first! Caregivers! Move Helpers!) and interviews with a variety of silver surfers. Their stories bring the numbers to life. Plus, we’ve included dozens of data-driven tips to help readers boost their marketing results.

What’s the Big Idea? Putting Users First

Creating Results first invested in this national research because we were frustrated. There wasn’t enough data on our favorite “end users,” Boomers and seniors.

There was little senior-housing-specific data. The existing, generalized technology surveys didn’t include people over 55 at all. Or pollsters lumped together everyone over 35 in a nonsensical category like “non-Millennials.”

(As if a 42-year-old man behaves in precisely the same way online as an 85-year-old woman, or has the same marketing preferences. Nonsensical!)

It’s a shallow stereotyping to treat all mature consumers either as irrelevant or as one silver sea of sameness. That attitude, sadly, carries over to website design and development and to decisions about social media marketing.

It helps explain why only a third of 40+ers feel the average website represents their lifestyle or values.

Chart - most people over 40 don't feel the typical website reflects the needs or lifestyle of their generation

If there’s one big take-away from this third edition of Social, Silver Surfers, it’s the importance of putting users first.

User-first means moving past the stereotypes.

  • As you develop search engine or social marketing plans, consider not just the age of prospects but generational cohort, gender, lifestage and more.

User-first requires educating 20-something web developers on who the organization’s ideal (older) customer is.

  • They’ll design better online experiences when they rely on research instead of ME-search.

User-first requires considering where mature web visitors are in their purchase journey, what their goals are.

  • Fewer pushy sales spiels. More soft messages conveyed along with thoughtful resources and expert guidance.

Where and Why to Access Social, Silver Surfers

If you’re ready to purchase the new edition of Social, Silver Surfers, please click here: http://amzn.to/2ycRJ5s.

If you’re not quite at that point in your digital marketing journey, but want to learn more, please click here: www.SocialSilverSurfers.com.

The microsite contains several useful free resources, including three interactive tools which offer to “grade” your website or social marketing as a social, silver surfer might. One of the tools is specifically for those marketing 55+ housing / senior living / retirement communities.

Why consider the insights from Social, Silver Surfers at all?

  • If you are charged with getting bigger results from smaller budgets (and question whether headline grabbing techniques like Facebook are really the way).
  • If your prospects are members of Generation X, the Baby Boom or the Silent Generation.
  • If your team struggles to keep up with the changing digital marketing preferences and behaviors of older adults.
  • If you are looking for ways to increase your effectiveness and improve your digital marketing ROI.

We are grateful to the 1,000 40+ers who participated in this latest round of digital marketing research and to the leading organizations which partnered with us on the project. A special thanks to the entire Creating Results team for its unwavering support of Social, Silver Surfers since round #1 in 2010.

We’re looking forward to sharing some of the key data points from the ongoing national research on this blog in the coming weeks and months. (Not yet subscribed? Please scroll to the top of this page and sign up, so that you don’t miss any valuable tips.)

I hope you’ll share these resources with your team and/or colleagues!

About The Author

Erin Read

For nearly 13 years, Erin Read spearheaded integrated and digital marketing programs for Creating Results' clients. She directed and co-authored four national studies/eBooks (Photo Finish and three editions of Social, Silver Surfers) and served as the principal blogger for Mature Marketing Matters. Now a consultant to the agency, Erin is leveraging her expertise in marketing to baby boomers and seniors while tackling new challenges. Find her on LinkedIn .