More and more Baby Boomers are moving into retirement each year, and each year this demographic becomes more important to consumer marketing, whether you sell general products or senior services. People aged 65 and over represented 12.4% of the population in the year 2000, but are expected to grow to be 19% of the population by 2030.*

Marketing to seniors crosses numerous demographics – every race, men and women, people of different faiths, economic levels, spending habits – all tend to be lumped into marketing to seniors.

This demographic will remain a robust buying population for years. Knowing how to reach seniors may improve your bottom line. Here’s why:

Seniors live longer now. Advances in health care have extended human life for many seniors. On average, Americans live longer than ever before, and are healthy enough to be active in their senior years. For many, that means a longer retirement with income from Social Security, as well as investments, pensions, and other assets. As we live longer, we buy longer.

Seniors are more active. No more “rockin’ chair” for Boomers. This demographic is active. They take vacations, attend events, join organizations, volunteer their time – these folks are more active because they have more free time to do what they want to do.

Seniors learn. No more grumbling at the computer. Today’s seniors have learned to use the Internet, exchange emails and post to social media sites. Many have even chosen to go back to school and start a whole new career. It’s exciting to stay up-to-date with the world around us, and seniors want to learn, and have the time to learn.

Seniors don’t retire anymore, or they retire later. Seniors are part of the workforce – some by choice, some to make ends meet. Many seniors would never think of retiring. Work keeps the mind alert and the body active.

Tips on Selling to Seniors

Reaching this expanding demographic requires rethinking some of your marketing efforts. For example:

  • Use traditional newspaper advertising. Seniors still like to read the paper over coffee, and it’s one demographic that is likely to take a subscription and see your advertisement.
  • Target senior publications – national and local. This group still reads print magazines.
  • Send coupons through traditional mail rather than asking a senior to access your site, click the download button, chose a place to save the coupon, and finally print it out. Many seniors still like to review and cut out the coupons they receive in the mail, so go “old school” when reaching out to older consumers.
  • That being said, many seniors are adept at using computers. To make your website accessible and attractive to all visitors – including seniors – keep it easy-to-use, make sure the text is large enough to be easily read, and focus your message on helping seniors improve quality of life using online resources – like yours.
  • Seniors watch cable TV, so buying ad time in bulk can lower the cost per ad.
  • Many seniors listen to the radio. In their cars, at home, at work – this demographic stills tune in. Marketing on radio can be a low-cost means of targeting the seniors in your business’ service area.
  • Seniors sign up with social media. It’s a great way to keep up with the family, connect with old friends (and watch funny cat videos).
  • Seniors comparison shop, looking for the best price or the offer that best suits their needs. Make it easy for seniors to find your pricing. Also, make it easy to make an online purchase. Offer reassurance throughout the online sales process. Provide trust builders. Keep instructions simple. Provide notification that the order is received and is processing.

More and more seniors with discretionary income join the consumer ranks upon retirement. Target marketing at a savvy, active, motivated, engaged individual – one with experience at consumer spending.

Don’t underestimate the senior demographic. They have money to spend and they’re ready to buy. You just have to go where they are, and offer what they want.

 


*www.aoa.acl.gov/Aging_Statistics/index.aspx

The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.