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Many marketers have an “old vs. new” mentality when considering the marketing channels they should employ to capture their 55+ active adult prospects. Obviously digital is the present and the future — but is that where most of your budget should be spent? How effective are traditional channels like print and direct mail? Are they defunct and therefore a waste of money? And of course, the most important question of all: Where will you see the highest return on your investment? Read on for insights into how we successfully integrate all methods for our clients.

Reset Your Perception

Baby Boomers are more tech savvy than you think! Today’s active adults are not Luddites unwilling to use new technology; just the opposite — they are actively engaging in social media, utilizing search engines to research purchases and using more mobile technology than ever before.

Roughly four-in-ten seniors are smartphone ownersIn fact, according to a recent Pew Research Center study “smartphone adoption among seniors has nearly quadrupled in the last five years, and around a third of older adults use social media.”

The Pew Research Center determined Facebook to be the most widely used form of social media for seniors with 72 percent of adults aged 50 to 64, and 62 percent of those 65 and over, on the platform. This correlates with our own Social, Silver Surfers national study where we found that, more than ever before, Baby Boomers are on various multiple platforms and are willing to engage with brands via social media. This trend has been reflected in the increase in leads we have seen from online ads. Desire to Engage with Brands Via Social MediaFor our clients targeting Boomers, Facebook advertising, Google AdWords and Bing Ads all work extremely well for generating high levels of interest at a low cost per lead.

More than ever before, mature consumers are even being influenced to purchase through social media; however, don’t forget that they are not millennials and still have reservations surrounding internet marketing and its motives. Be cognizant that you will need to nurture these leads differently.

Don’t Forget the Tried & True

Digital marketing is here to stay, there is no doubt about that. While we found in our Social, Silver Surfers research that the internet is the first place mature consumers turn to when beginning their home purchase journey, it is not the only place. With its low cost per lead, it can be tempting to shift your plan and just use digital avenues.

Don’t fall into the trap! It would be a mistake to entirely trade in the tried-and-true traditional channels for the younger, flashier digital model.

We believe in a strong integrated marketing strategy; digital is a very important piece, but it is not the only (or even always the best) way to target older adults.

Direct mail, print ads, paid content, radio ad spots and even billboards are all extremely effective channels; don’t discount their power. Traditional Marketing TacticsIt can sometimes feel that these “old” methods are not providing any return on your investment because so many of the leads they generate are organic or hard to assign to one specific tactic.

Cut down on the ambiguity by using unique landing pages and a call tracking service so you can more accurately determine where your leads are coming from. This will help you when it comes time to budget and plan for the next year.

Because we measure all our tactics, we know that print ads and paid content still gain a lot of traction with the 55+ market, but they must be the right sections in the right publications. For example, we recently placed an advertorial for a client that resulted in over 75 calls in one day!

Are you using different channels effectively?

When planning, create a strategic, integrated marketing program in which offline and online channels work together. Utilizing this approach casts a wider net and allows you to capture active adults through whatever medium they choose.

So, how did we successfully use an integrated strategy for that client with the great advertorial response? Subsequent ads and advertorials, in coordination with targeted Facebook ads and email campaigns garnered over 500 RSVPs to their recent information session and their list of leads grows daily.

When it comes to reaching Baby Boomers old and new channels working synchronously is the best way to maximize your return on investment.

Join Us for a Webinar!

On Wednesday, May 30, at 2 p.m. Eastern, Creating Results is teaming up with industry experts from both 55+ and senior living for Beyond Aging in Place: How to Position Universal Design to 55+ vs. Senior Living Prospects. Don’t miss it!

Register Now

About The Author

Susan Monahan